One of the decisions that I will never regret having taken in my life is the move to take up my degree studies, more so the unit on the Introduction to Degree Studies (IDS). We must all admit that one cannot compromise on the importance and the significance of the accreditation achieved by obtaining a viable degree certificate qualification, especially in today's competitive world. In this paper, I will be carrying out an analysis as well as a reflection on the significance that the introduction to Degree Studies has impacted as far as my skills, competence and the personality is involved. Basically, this unit consists of six key subjects namely: Information technology; communication; application of number; team or group work; performance; improving one's own learning; and problem solving. This paper will carefully reflect on the significance that each of the subjects has had I my life as far as my professional skills and personality development are involved. (McNeill, P., 2011). The area of communication was to help improve my communication skills whether writing or oral, this would enhance the fluency and clearness of communication. Communication is a major requirement in the interaction of individuals and passing of information. It was also a way of improving on team work by showing the benefits of working together in attaining a similar goal. One of the communication activities I learnt from was the Belbin exercise, whose result was to display the individual roles of the persons in the team. My first team project was a presentation for the Foundations of Business Management. When the presentation came to an end, we conducted a Belbin exercise. The results obtained from the exercise provided confirmation of my team role, and the roles of the exercise were accurately similar to those of which I had in the team work (Gordon, M. K., 2011).
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Personnal Report on My Way to Degree Studies
The Introduction to Degree Studies also opened a door for me on how to create presentations. Presentations are a great necessity when presenting information to a group of people either in a workplace (proposing business projects) or school setting (presenting a report or research for a class). The presentations provide a means for relaying information in as few words as possible within a small time frame. It was a completely new thing in my education and had me in confusion and difficulty for some time. With every practical example my tutors gave me feedbacks on how enhance and at the same time simplify my presentations, which were very good tips and led me increase on my knowledge base. My tutors also provided me with information on how a presentation should look like, and how to prepare them. I learnt the interpretation and application of numeral information, a key skills area within a wide range of practical contexts e.g. analysis of demographics, graphical statistics etc, and while using ordinary office software. During the study sessions, I gained a great opportunity to reintroduce myself to mathematical formulas and terms, and their applications which I had done in my "A" level. Some of the major topics in the statistics module that I learnt include mean, mode, median, standard deviation, and variance. People that were not familiar with these methods enjoyed the help attained from numeracy sessions, but for me they were skills of importance and served as a wake up session. Mathematics as I came to realize is a major building block of courses and is a compulsory study subject to be able to succeed with most units offered, and studied it hard and with appreciation for the enrichment it would do to my education. In other sessions, I got the chance to work with Microsoft Office Packages and increase on the information about them to enable me to use them efficiently.
Another key skills area that I learnt was the identification of requirements in any information, and the search from them in a wide range of sources. The information search sessions were very important in that they helped in the growth of my knowledge of databases where I can find information on a given topic of focus. Also during these sessions I learnt the different styles of referencing e.g. Harvard style and other styles used in referencing include Chicago/turabian, APA, and MLA; the information required during referencing; and where and when to reference e.g. when writing a report, presentation, and essay while placing the references at the end of the document. Another benefit was the usefulness and value of statistical information e.g. mortality rates, crime rates etc obtained from websites when providing evidence or support for a research or an essay on a wide topic. Also the internet is a superhighway of information and provides a very source for general to specific information. Some websites also provide E-books that are copies of books that one cannot find access to from a store (either expensive or not available) or library; it becomes a very dependable source of information for research on reports and essays. All the sessions involved with Introduction to Degree Studies advanced my way of thinking towards ideas and information in a planned and organized manner. Organization and planning are two very important methods that help in the achievement of results in a positive and productive way. In the beginning time management was not of much importance but after IDS sessions, I grew to appreciate the benefits of planning on time and learning. This major lesson is a very important requirement in the organization of one's schedule, prioritization of actions, and achievement of either short term e.g. assignment or work deadline or long term goals e.g. my own place of residence.
One tool that greatly helped me plan my events in learning is the Gantt chart, with weekly markings. I kept it up to date with information about my assignments, tests, and presentations giving me ample time for planning and preparation before the advent of the deadline. The personal action plan technique supported me a lot during studies in my year. I was able to learn my areas of weakness and the necessity for me to improve on them for increasing success in education and life. At the beginning of the year, the Professional and Academic Development team prepared a Self Assessment Exercise which showed me the study skills I should develop, and the academic skills I should improve on. This booklet was very helpful and helped me fill the Personal Action Plan easily with the information contained within it. With reference to the answers contained in the PAD publication, I can view my level of advancement in confidence around research, writing etc. In the beginning I was greatly intimidated by writing essays and reports by all the requirements for them to be completed, but now, I can prepare them and presentations without difficulty, and information finding is much easier also by prioritizing on the easy methods of research e.g. the internet. I was also introduced to another personal development plan which involved the use of the VARK exercise. It was a very new thing to me and it was a questionnaire essentially aiming at discovering one's preferences on how he or she works with information. The exercise identifies an individual's preferred learning style for input and output of information and ideas. The result of the exercise was a Read/Write style, which I had a preference for in learning. The unit on Introduction to Degree Studies helped me adjust or ease into the subjects offered. It creates an environment where one is fully at per with all the other units and can be seen to be related making it easy to understand. Without its beneficial information it would be very hard to start other units that go directly to the information to be taught, minus the introductions to information required to prepare one to study the unit.
In my experience IDS plays a great role in the lives of student who find some of the units hard to understand, it gives a layout that is a strategic method of studying that ushers them into an easy and comfortable state of mind alloying them to be confident while learning. In conclusion, the Introduction to Degree Studies unit has made it easy for me learn and study for other units in a very systematic, planned, and organized way, that is, with the use of a Personal Action Plan. It has helped by improving on my information searching skills mainly with the use of computer technology, creating a path for increasing my knowledge base (connection with open information databases), helping me develop skills necessary for very efficient management of data e.g. statistics, and how to research and present information and avoiding plagiarism e.g. through the use of Harvard style of referencing. I can confidently say that the IDS unit is an important part of University education with all the benefits it has to me and other students in order to improve on education and job opportunities which are project based and also involve a lot statistical data.