Key skill assessment: Communication
Key skill assessment: Communication

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Key skill assessment: Communication

8.3 Synthesis of information

The synthesis needs to show you can:

  • evaluate and synthesise information and present sources correctly;

  • identify the various arguments and present your interpretation in a way that brings together information in a coherent way;

  • prepare an oral presentation for delivery and be prepared to lead a discussion of it.

Your presentation and discussion needs to show you can:

  • organise and clearly present relevant information, maintaining audience interest and using images to illustrate complex points;

  • respond perceptively to others.

Your work will be assessed using the criteria in Table 2 below. You should also use Table 1 as a guide in preparing your work.

Table 1: Criteria for assessment of your improving own learning and performance portfolio and a checklist to help you assess your work against the criteria

Criteria for assessment: evidence you present must show you can: Checklist: check that your evidence shows what you have done to:
Develop a strategy for improving your own learning and performance.
Review your current capabilities and clearly identify what you hope to achieve in the future. Identify patterns of strengths and weaknesses to identify goals and explain why these are important to you.
Research information on relevant learning opportunities and ways to improve your performance, to inform planning. Identify where you can use skills to improve your learning and performance (i.e. time management, methods of learning, and seeking and using feedback) within your study or work activities.
List reference sources that you might use, including people.
Set SMART targets and plan how these will be met, prioritising tasks and making a reasoned choice of methods and resources. Write down a plan for accomplishing your goal(s) that:
• divides the work into parts;
• identifies interim targets;
• gives a time schedule/deadlines for the parts.
Keep notes of revisions and a log that records why you made modifications.
Include the methods you intend to use to achieve your goals.
Monitor progress and adapt your strategy to improve your performance.
Manage your time effectively and take responsibility for using different ways of learning to meet new demands. Use plans and make adjustments when required.
Identify what the learning task involves and make decisions about the method to learn.
Seek and actively use feedback and support from a variety of sources, to help meet your targets. Use feedback and your own self-assessment to develop a picture of your performance.
Use criteria to help you monitor your progress.
Reflect critically on your learning and adapt your strategy as necessary to improve your performance. Use interim checks and adjustments to see if:
• targets/sub-goals are being met;
• attempted methods are approaching your goals.
Describe the changes you had to make in your plan along the way.
Identify modifications that have or should have taken place.
‘Stand back’ at critical points to reflect on performance.
Evaluate your strategy and present the outcomes of your learning.
Review the different ways you have learned and the extent to which you have met your targets. Identify and label activities you have learned using different ways of learning.
Bring together and clearly illustrate what you have learned, organising evidence to support your purpose. Consider any aspects of your learning that have changed.
Assess the effectiveness of your strategy, including factors that affected the outcomes, and identify ways of further improving your own learning and performance. Assess the quality of your work by making connections between criteria, feedback comments and your own judgement of your performance.
Identify those factors that affected the production and presentation of your work.
Relate goals for improvement to progress so far, and to possibilities for future development.

Table 2: Criteria for assessment of your communication skills portfolio and a checklist to help you assess your work against the criteria

Criteria for assessment: evidence you present must show you can: Checklist: check that your evidence shows what you have done to:
Develop a strategy for using communication skills over an extended period of time.
Clearly identify the outcomes you hope to achieve. Identify where you can use communication skills (i.e. written, visual and oral) within your study or work activities.
Identify goals and explain why these are important to you.
Plan your use of communication skills, and make a reseasoned selection of methods for achieving the quality of outcomes required. List reference sources that you might use, including people.
Identify relevant sources and research the information. Write down a plan for accomplishing your goal(s) that:
• divides the work into parts;
• identifies interim targets;
• gives a time schedule and deadlines for the parts.
Keep notes of revisions and a log that records why you made modifications.
Include the methods you intend to use to achieve your goals.
Monitor progress and adapt your strategy, as necessary, to achieve the quality of outcomes required in work involving at least: a) one group discussion about a complex subject; b) one document of 1,000 words or more about a complex subject.
Monitor and critically reflect on your use of communication skills, adapting your strategy as necessary to produce the quality of outcomes required. Use feedback and your own self-assessment to develop a picture of your performance.
Use criteria to help you monitor your progress.
Use interim checks and adjustments to see if targets/sub-goals are being met and if attempted methods are approaching your goals.
Evaluate and synthesise information from different sources. Use search strategies to obtain information.
Keep an accurate record of sources with notes on relevance and usefulness.
Check information for accuracy, bias, distortion.
Use and reference correctly the information obtained to develop arguments and interpretation in a coherent way.
Communicate relevant information with accuracy, effectively using a form, structure and style that suits your purpose, and respond perceptively to contributions from others. In communicating your own work:
• select a form that suits the purpose, e.g. to inform, explore, persuade;
• lead discussions making points clear;
• write extended documents, making sure material is structured logically;
• check spelling, punctuation and grammar is accurate by proofreading and re-drafting;
• respond perceptively to others.
Adapt your strategy as necessary to produce the quality of outcomes required. Describe the changes you had to make in your plan along the way.
Identify modifications that have or should have taken place.
Monitor and critically reflect on your use of communication skills. ‘Stand back’ at critical points to reflect on performance
Evaluate your overall strategy and present the outcomes from your work, using at least one formal oral presentation. Include a variety or verbal, visual and other techniques to illustrate your points.
Organise and clearly present relevant information, illustrating what you say in ways that suit your purpose, subject and audience. Develop the message and prompt action:
• integrate verbal and visual elements to create a whole;
• pace the use of images/visual aids to allow the audience time to view them;
• understand and give an enthusiastic presentation;
• draw comparisons and give examples to maintain interest
Use images to help the audience to follow and understand the presentation:
• ensure you can use any equipment needed;
• use images that are clear and make sense;
• structure your work with a beginning, middle and end.
Vary use of vocabulary and grammatical expression to convey particular effects; enable fine distinctions to be made; achieve emphasis and engage the audience. Make contact with the audience.
Ensure presentation can be heard clearly.
Pace the presentation, making use of cues to identify beginning, middle and end.
Work within allotted time.
Use appropriate language, including specialist terms.
Show sensitivity to others.
Assess the effectiveness of your strategy, including factors that had an impact on the outcomes, and identify ways of further develop your communication skills. Assess the quality of your communication work by making connections between criteria, feedback, comments, and your own judgement of your performance.
Identify those factors that affected the production and presentation of your work.
Relate goals for improvement to progress so far and to possibilities for future development.
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