4.3 Monitoring progress
This stage is about keeping track of your progress. How confident are you that you are achieving the standards of communication required for your work? How can you check how well you are doing?
Monitoring progress in communication skills involves knowing how to:
make judgements about the quality of information that you use from various sources;
synthesise information; and
communicate information in a form that suits the purpose.
Monitoring your own progress accurately is difficult – you need to be able to stand ‘outside of yourself’. Developing and improving communication skills involves practising your skills in different situations and then standing back to consider and reflect on how you adapted your skills for the purpose. Feedback can be especially useful here to help you be critically reflective about what you are doing and how you are doing it.
Monitoring progress is not just a one-off activity. Effective learners monitor regularly, checking what they are doing, how they are doing and how well they are doing. But this is often not as straightforward as it appears. Try to work with others to critique your work. This will help you to judge your work not only by your own standards but also by other ‘external’ standards, for example against written criteria given alongside a work project or assignment or the skills criteria on the Bookmark.
Monitoring your progress thus involves you thinking about and critically reflecting on what you doing and how you are doing as you produce documents, discuss and present your work.
Use your log or diary to comment on the choices you made in using communication skills and reflections on their effectiveness, including any changes you make to your strategy overall. Keep your notes, comments and work in your Skills File.