3.8 Evaluating strategy and presenting outcomes
By now you will have found out about and sampled different resources for learning and used different ways to learn. But the structured approach used in this section is one of the main resources for developing and improving your other key skills.
So how do you know if you have learned? How do you know if you have improved? How do you know if you are meeting the standard for improving your own learning and performance expected of someone doing a course in higher education or using higher level skills at work?
There are two possible ways of finding out. First, you can look at the notes and comments in your Skills File, including the activities you have completed for this key skill. Your notes and the activities provide you with an ongoing record showing what you have done, factors that had an impact on your learning and any aspects you have changed. Feedback from your tutor or manager should help confirm your self-assessment of where you are now and the next steps for your learning and development.
Secondly, use the notes and activities relating to this key skill and begin to make use of other criteria that you have available; for example, the key skills criteria on the Bookmarks, competency statements at work, assignment criteria and so on. Practise using criteria together with feedback and discussion to help you accurately assess your own performance.
Developing and using the skills of improving your own learning and performance can enhance all other learning. You can apply the process to a section of a course, to other skill areas, or to activities at work. When you begin the process of evaluating your strategy, you may face several challenges. You may not be familiar with the process of ‘looking inward at learning’ and you may not be confident in doing so. Some people may actually resist participating – evaluations can then seem vague and superficial, as they focus more on the tutor and the course rather than on their own learning.
Honest evaluation of yourself and your own development can, at times, seem risky. For this key skill, try to focus on the depth of insight and self-knowledge rather than on evaluation of content.
In evaluating your strategy and presenting the outcomes of your work, you need to know how to:
select and bring together effective ways to present outcomes;
assess the effectiveness of your strategy; and
identify ways of further improving your own learning and performance.