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

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3.2.3 Identify and research relevant sources of information

This is about identifying and tracking down the resources you need – books, reports, manuals, training courses and people. It involves finding out what is available to help you with the task at hand – in this case improving a particular skill. Skills resources may be included as part of your course or you may have manuals and online resources available at work.

People represent important sources of information and support, for example your tutor, manager, other students and colleagues. Discussing ideas with others, either face-to-face or through e-conferencing can bring enormous benefits to your own learning and understanding. Many employers now expect people to be skilled at working collaboratively because it can be effective for both the individuals and the project they are working on. Higher-level tasks are demanding and at times difficult – we all get stuck at times. Using other people can bring enormous benefits to your overall performance. As part of your strategy, consider the resources you might need and how you can make use of them.

Keep a record of sources of information you have used. Annotate your records to show how you have used particular sources and your evaluation of their quality. You may wish to check how to reference sources correctly. Find out with whom you could discuss your ideas – a colleague, tutor or mentor – and let them know what you plan to do.

Time out

A good place to start in tracking down resources is your course material or work-place resources. An increasing number of resources are available online through library databases. There may also be skills workshops organised locally or you may have a resource centre nearby. Friends, colleagues and other students can also be of great value.