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

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9.8 Drawing ideas together

This key skill has used a three-stage framework for developing your skills. By developing a strategy, monitoring your progress and evaluating your overall approach, you take an active role in your own learning. But learning does not necessarily follow a path of steady improvement, it involves change: revisiting ideas, seeing things from different perspectives, tackling things in different ways.

You are unlikely to be able to complete your work by working through it from beginning to end in a straightforward manner. You will need to bring together your key skills and your subject knowledge to address the tasks you have been asked to complete. As you work, you may discover gaps you still have to fill, areas where you have to dig deeper for information. This is a normal part of trying to put ideas together. In effect, you are piecing together a jigsaw, bringing skills, knowledge, analysis, explanation and interpretation together to make a single coherent picture. Unfortunately, the pieces usually do not all come to hand at just the right moment. The trick is to build up parts of the picture, and then bring those parts together as you begin to see the overall design. The key elements of this approach are:

  • Check that you really understand what the work requires. Recognise that your skills and understanding of the task develop over time.

  • Break the task into manageable chunks; focus your work on one aspect at a time.

  • Think strategically about your approach to the task as you are doing it. Be prepared to change your plan if you need to reschedule your work.

  • Work flexibly, using the resources provided as and when you need them.

  • Review and reflect on your own performance while you are tackling the work. Your Skills File offers a way of recording and monitoring your development to give you insights into how you are learning as well as into what you are learning.