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Key skills: making a difference
Key skills: making a difference

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2.3 The key skills framework

In this course each key skill section uses a common three-stage framework to help you develop your skills. The stages of this framework are:

  • developing a strategy for how you are going to tackle the key skill;

  • monitoring your progress as you develop your skills;

  • evaluating the strategy you have used and presenting outcomes of your work.

But working on your skills and techniques is only part of the story. The other part relates to how you develop and apply your skills in the different areas of your study and work. For example, the communication key skill section prompts you to plan how you will use and develop your communication skills; and as part of improving your IT skills you will need to know how to monitor your progress by using feedback on your performance. Combining the three-stage framework with your detailed requirements emphasises how you go about developing your skills as well as what skills you are developing.

The three stages of the key skills framework are described in detail below. When you move on to tackling the key skill sections you will find that each stage includes a number of ‘Time outs’, where you are invited to stop, think and sometimes ‘do’ a small task or activity. At the end of each stage, a final activity encourages you to pull your work together. This activity has an associated Skills Sheet template for you to print out and which you will use to summarise your responses to the activity as well as your progress through each framework stage. Thus, there are three activities and three Skills Sheets associated with each key skill.

You should allow time to think about and work through each stage and its associated activities. They are not meant to be done in a single session. Rather, you should plan to complete the work over a number of weeks as your ideas develop. You may prefer to read through each stage completely before you start work on it, to get an idea of what is involved. You can then focus on the specific details of each activity. Once you have worked through the activities, much of the process will seem like common sense, and you can adapt it to fit in best with your own way of working.