Hive products, such as honey and wax, are a huge benefit in every day life, let alone in any sort of situation where you’d need to leverage your preps. This may sound funny, but I think most people should have a basic grasp of general construction concepts. If you already have the basics covered, maybe find a tactical medical course, or something a little more aggressive.
Our page Learning Approaches explains some of the general approaches to teaching and learning. However, an understanding of your preferred learning style may help you to find new ways of studying that better work for you. Kolb’s learning cycle proposes that we all learn from our experience in a cyclical way. To complete the cycle, people then need to be able to practice the new skills they have learned. Two men called Peter Honey and Alan Mumford noticed this and built on Kolb’s work to propose the theory of learning styles.
They don’t want to hear what they should be doing, they want to dive in head-first and have a go. In order to learn effectively, it’s important to be able to use all four styles, but most people have a preference for one or two. As it’s possible to learn and develop other styles, learning style preferences change over time - unlike other psychological assessments, such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, which tend to stay remarkably consistent over time. People often notice that their learning style has changed in response to different job demands or changes in their life. One of the most common models of learning styles, taught to teachers and therefore familiar to many children, is based on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
It describes learners as Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic and describes how you prefer to take in information.
Visual learners prefer to take in information by seeing and often process it in pictorial form. Kinaesthetic learners learn by experience and particularly by tactile exploration of the world.
You can get clues to whether someone is visual, auditory or kinaesthetic from the kind of language that they use. Visual thinkers will use phrases like “I see what you mean”, and “Let me get the picture straight in my mind”.
Identifying learning styles is interesting and entertaining, but it also has some important practical implications.
It follows, therefore, that you should use your preferred style to work out what sort of learning experiences will suit you best. Activists, who are also often kinaesthetic, like brain-storming, role plays, group discussion and problem-solving.
Pragmatists like case studies and time to think about the practical applications of what they’re learning.
If your course is examination-based, you also need to think about how you’re going to revise the subject matter.
Teachers and tutors at all levels of education are increasingly aware of different learning styles and the need to tailor lessons and courses to fit different styles.
As a learner, though, it also helps if you are actively aware of your preferences, and can choose courses and learning experiences that will fit these and from which you will benefit. Teaching Reflective Skills and PDP to International Students: How effective is the use of PebblePad?
The following paper will introduce some of the issues involved in developing Personal Development Planning (PDP) skills and will then examine the findings from an investigation introducing PDP to a group of international master’s degree students in the Business School at Oxford Brookes University.
Jackson and Ward (2004) suggest that PDP is useful in the development of students’ meta-cognitive skills. Two further aims of using PebblePad were to encourage students to record a wide range of transferable skills that they could use in their future career development and to help them identify their strengths and future developmental needs. It is often the case that graduates are unable to articulate clearly the transferable skills they have developed whilst studying for a degree. Rees, Forbes and Kubler (2006) list the skills that employers believe graduates should achieve on completing an undergraduate programme, including cognitive skills such as problem solving, transferable skills such as working in a team, personal capabilities and technical ability. Students from other cultures are often accustomed to different teaching methods than those prevalent in the UK. Biggs (2003) proposed a theory for teaching international students based on three levels of teaching. At level 1, students have to assimilate or adjust to the practices undertaken at the overseas institution. Level 2, which Biggs calls accommodation is when the lecturer adapts their normal style of teaching, for example by being more serious with international students so as not to cause any offence.
Level 3, teaching as educating, focuses on what students do, rather than on what students are or what the lecturer does. Lynch (2008) found that PDP and reflection are concepts with which many international students are not familiar.
Sunderland and Powell (2007) describe e-portfolios as purposeful collections of digital items. PebblePad is a flexible e-portfolio system developed by Pebble Learning in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton. Theoretically, at least, there seems to be plenty of evidence to suggest that reflection is a good skill for students to develop. In total, 173 students from a range of master’s programmes including eMarketing, Business Accounting, Marketing and International Trade and Logistics undertook the PDP module. Hofstede’s ‘cultural dimensions’ (2001) were used to initiate a discussion between students about their cultural backgrounds and the impact this might have on their learning experience at Brookes. After each session, students were expected to write a short reflective review about the topic covered, evaluating what they had learnt and how the experience was personally relevant.
Other examples of activities that students have the opportunity to reflect upon included Belbin’s (2004) Team Inventory, an employability day, workshops on networking, career management, and presentation skills, ad well as extra-curricular activities relevant to their development such as English language classes. Students were encouraged to reflect on feedback, practising both giving constructive feedback and receiving feedback. The students were also asked to evaluate a significant event or critical incident, which could in fact be something quite ordinary.
Other models follow a similar premise, having students reflect on an event, analyse the experience and then try to modify their behaviour. Many of the students in the workshops commented that this was the first time they had ever considered in such depth their personal feelings and their strengths and weaknesses as areas for development. The first assessments in the module was to create a formative action plan using PebblePad (valued at 20 per cent). In general, the students that failed the assignment recognised their strengths and weaknesses, but in terms of reflection did little more than describe activities undertaken during the programme. Many students requested additional instructions and explanation, asking to see a specimen action plan, ‘the subject is totally different from nearly all known courses. The second assignment was the summative webfolio including a revised action plan submitted towards the end of the course (valued at 80 per cent). To pass the webfolio assignment, students needed to include a reflective account of their professional and personal development during their learning experience. In this study the students undertaking the PDP workshops (173 in total) were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire and feedback form (see Appendix 1). The students commented on the differences in the education systems in their home countries and the UK.
On the whole, a British educational qualification appeared to be highly valued by the international students.
Skyrme (2005) argued that international students who can recognise the limitations of their previous education are usually able to develop the skills they need to adapt to the way a university delivers its learning. As noted in the methodology section, a number of the students had not previously come across PDP and needed to be convinced of its usefulness.
While many students initially found reflective writing difficult, comments from the feedback showed that undertaking reflective writing was a positive experience for some of the students. Many Asian students undertaking the PDP workshop were able to reflect well and gained good marks for both assignments.


Students whose English language skills were less developed reported that they found writing and editing online much easier than talking about topics in the workshops. It would appear necessary to ensure there is enough time in the module to allow students to learn to use a system such as PebblePad, particularly students who are less confident with using technology. PDP and reflective writing aim to help students make sense of their learning experience in a way that could benefit both their personal and professional development.
Initially the international students appeared to lack awareness of the transferable skills they could potentially develop whilst undertaking their postgraduate education. In order to make the link between the relevance of subjects being taught and PDP there needed to be a very clear relationship between the modules that the students were studying and PDP.
In order to use a system such as PebblePad there needs to be good staff development and training to support the tutors and to ensure student engagement with the material. Dr Christina Meredith is a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and works as a freelance Business Psychologist.
To what extent can live projects contribute to creating entrepreneurial learning environments? The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. 1021st Century Skills in ContextThe best way to practice critical thinking is to have something to think critically about, and the best way to practice creative thinking is to create something. Maybe you have never started seeds before, or maybe you want to try to grow something that maybe shouldn’t grow in your neck of the woods.
You can get this from other pollinators too, like Mason Bees, but there are other benefits as well.
Some hive products you may have never heard of, such as Propolis, have massive benefits as well. I don’t mean the ability to build a big building or a shed, but being able to knock together some basic (albeit rickety) structures can come in handy.
Knowing how to can, smoke, dehydrate, ferment, or otherwise preserve food is something everyone should know how to do. For example, some people like to sit down and read about a subject while others prefer to get on and have a go at it. This experience and reflection is then incorporated into the theoretical knowledge that the person already possesses, or is supported by reading and training, building up a framework into which to fit their experience. But there’s no question that while we all go through the cycle when we learn something, we also all prefer to start in different places and to spend more time on some aspects than others.
This means that they will often think or remember things in pictures and like to read, see graphs, and use symbols. You are strongest in your preference and you will also enjoy learning more, and get more out of the experience, if it’s in your preferred style. Choose courses that will offer you those options, or one that is heavily based on laboratory experimentation for scientists, rather than those that call for quiet study at home on your own. Choose case- or problem-based learning, where you’ll have both time to think about things on your own, and discuss them with others. Choose courses that will let you read ahead, and discuss over time, rather than just one-day courses needing immediate input, and ones that allow observation as well as participation.
It may be that it could be tailored more to your learning style, or the tutor may be able to suggest a more appropriate course for you.
For example, reflection may facilitate how students monitor their understanding of a topic, how they evaluate their progress and how they maintain motivation to complete a task. How can graduates demonstrate to prospective employers that they have ‘people skills’, such as the ability to work effectively as a member of a team?
These skills should be further developed and enhanced when undertaking a postgraduate degree. For example, Asian students are often reported as being quiet and introverted (Harshbarger, Ross, Tafoya, & Via, 1986). For example, African students may have experienced didactic, teacher-centred learning (Kanu and Marr, 2007) and may encounter difficulty in adapting to student-focussed, discussion-based seminars. Level 1 is teaching as assimilating, level 2 is teaching as accommodating, and level 3 is teaching as educating. Biggs argues that lecturers can often assign stereotyped behaviours to international students depending on their country of origin.
Beigel (2006), for example, investigated staff and student perceptions of PDP in the language department at the University of Chester and found that the majority of students reported doing the minimum amount of work to meet the requirement for their portfolio and did not use it again once the assignment had been completed.
She also observed that many students were initially hesitant about sharing personal reflections. Depending on the purpose of the e-portfolio, the items can provide evidence of students’ work, ideas and reflections as well as feedback from peers, tutors, colleagues and friends. The system allows students to create different online documents known as ‘assets’ to record their learning achievements, aspirations and social and cultural experiences. She suggests that for many learners reflection is successful in learning environments that offer guidance or incentives; for example, through a reflective portfolio. Reflective practice is not a new idea – John Dewey (1933) introduced the idea into education. The students were predominately international (37 out of 39 in my module), representing many different nations including Kenya, China, Thailand, Greece, Brazil, Russia and Germany.
In our first meeting several international students said that they did not understand what PDP was, or what the benefit would be. The first seven weeks of semester one focused on PDP skills, with the opportunity for students to reflect on the content and the relevance of each workshop. Personal skills included their personal effectiveness, flexibility, self-discipline and communication skills. Mory (2004) states that feedback can aid learning by providing new insights and understanding. Kolb (1984) and Gibbs (1988) were used to demonstrate how an incident can be depicted as a cycle as shown in Figure 2. Students were asked to consider their current situation and their ideal situation and then to use a SMART format to detail the steps they needed to take to progress from the current to the ideal situation through reflection. The resulting action plan was vague, showing no relationship between the plan and reflection. A webfolio is an electronic version of a portfolio containing evidence of the students’ work presented on different ‘pages’ that can be edited and linked to other websites or assets.
This included a demonstration of the ability to be self-critical, plans for future career development, and an account of involvement in extra-curricular opportunities. One student from Eastern Europe said she was used to accepting given information and thus found it difficult to become a critical thinker, ‘I just memorise all of the materials and just write it in the examination.’ Nevertheless, she recognised the importance of building an argument and strived to comprehend and produce the required work. Chamot (2001) and Gao (2003) suggested that students demonstrating meta-cognitive skills are characterised by their ability to assess a task in a new context and adjust to its demands – their strategy is dynamic and not passive.
Of the respondents, 79 per cent said that PebblePad has helped them to reflect on their learning experiences.
Students’ ability to undertake reflective writing seemed to hinge on their English language skills. One of the issues raised by students was that they did not have the time to reflect on the content of their modules. The aim of using PebblePad is to enhance the skills and employability of postgraduate students; this includes the development of their CV and the opportunity to record and reflect on their experiences and achievements in an innovative, creative manner. It could be concluded that the relationship between their subjects of study, reflection and skill development needs to be taught explicitly. This would seem to be of primary importance to gauge whether PDP, PebblePad and reflective writing is in fact beneficial in the long term for international postgraduate students. The module was taught in a way that values diversity with respect to gender, ethnicity and culture.
Christina is currently an Associate Lecturer in the Business School and has been teaching PDP using PebblePad since September 2008.
You’ll get plenty of practice with these and the other 21st century skills in Part I of this handbook.
However, it’s not usually quite as clear-cut as this since preferences can change over time and as you are required to do different things at work and in life more generally.
As most parents will testify, it’s not unreasonable to describe very young children as natural kinaesthetics, always wanting to feel something or put it in their mouths!


Maybe you should ask your lecturers if you can record the lecture, or perhaps record your notes onto a Dictaphone or digital voice recorder? The student, therefore, becomes an active participant in critically evaluating their own learning. Yorke (2005) defines employability as ‘a set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that make an individual more likely to secure and to be successful in their chosen occupation(s) to the benefits of themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy’ (p.
Postgraduate students should, for example, achieve a more systematic understanding their academic discipline, a critical awareness of current problems in the discipline, together with increased self-awareness and the ability to identify their own training needs.
Liu and Littlewood (1997) reported that Chinese students listed listening to the teacher as their most frequent activity in senior school. An interesting conference paper presented by Koshmanova in 2006 examined educational practices in the Ukraine. As discussed previously, this could include the view that students from some cultures and countries are passive, rote learners who do not think critically or participate and who find Western teaching methods difficult. Over half of the students who failed modules had not submitted a portfolio, while another 14 per cent submitted portfolios but failed to gain a pass mark.
The teaching of PDP and reflective skills could be influenced by stereotyping of international students’ learning styles and ability to reflect.
While health professionals have also been engaged in reflective practice for many years, other disciplines have been slower to adopt it.
We placed an emphasis on the link between their personal objectives and their professional development during the programme. A further four workshops were held towards the end of the second semester for students to reflect on their learning experience and development. Bourner (2003) adds that giving feedback to students on their use of reflective skills is very important for their development.
Students were also asked to identify their personal strengths and weaknesses using a SWOT analysis.
A webfolio might include an introductory page, a page about the student’s cultural background, one page for the action plan and so on. Of the students who responded, 75 per cent agreed that the content of the module was relevant and useful for postgraduate study, while 81 per cent agreed that workshops in the PebblePad module ‘were related to the learning and assessment activities of my MSc’.
This would also be supported by constructivist learning theory (Vygotsky, 1978), in which learners actively construct personal meaning rather than passively accept others’ interpretations.
Most students managed the technology, but some would have liked more help with the technical aspects.
It is possible that, as Beigel (2006) reported, many students may only be doing the minimum to meet the requirements to pass the assessments.
This is particularly relevant for international students because the teaching style in a UK higher education institution is, for many, very different to that in their home country. In the workshops, however, students could be coached to develop an understanding of the relationship between the activities and other subject areas. Tutors need to be confident about giving appropriate feedback, not only to mark the online coursework, but also to help students improve and develop their reflective writing skills. As global competition for postgraduate students may increase with the implementation of the Bologna Process, the university could attract students by offering a technology-based PDP programme to enhance student employability.
The role of personal development planning (PDP) in undergraduate learning: Perceptions of its value and links with attainment in the Languages Department of the University of Chester.
The value of reflective journaling in undergraduate nursing education: A literature review. A fresh perspective on progress files: A way of representing complex learning and achievement in higher education.
The reflective learner: Chinese international students’ use of strategies to enhance university study – working paper no. These skills are then used in every step of the inquiry process (Part II), which in turn is used in every project in Part III. Try taking notes, or drawing a picture such as a mind-map to help you remember it more visually, or organise a discussion session afterwards over coffee with others to consider the learning in a different way. The e-portfolio system PebblePad was piloted in a series of workshops designed to explore whether its use would enhance the postgraduate students’ reflective skills for use in their PDP. The link between academic knowledge and personal competencies is further illustrated by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) benchmarks for master’s in Business (2007), which includes the following statements as outcomes: ‘development of the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of business and management to complex issues, both systematically and creatively, to improve business and management practice’ (p. These claims are also supported by a study undertaken by Sato (1982), in which she compared the participation of Asian students in classroom interaction with that of non-Asian students.
The Ukraine inherited the Soviet model of education, which focused on theoretical knowledge and placed less importance on the practical application of knowledge.
Level 1 could be described as a deficit model of teaching because the focus is on the student’s lack of knowledge and skills (pp. Students are able to upload photos, videos and even particular sounds together with ‘thoughts’, which are the ideas or reflections generated by the student about their asset. The assets are private but can be shared with selected students or tutors in order to receive feedback. Despite an early enthusiasm for reflection, some health professionals have recently debated the difficulty of developing reflective practice and integrating theory with practice for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Each workshop usually involved students working in small groups, with different individuals making up each group every time.
In order to pass the module, students were expected to demonstrate that they could recognise their strengths and areas for development and reflect on their learning experience, including any feedback they received. The webfolio gives the student the opportunity to tell the story of their personal journey during their time at Oxford Brookes. But with time the tutors concerned trained my eye not only to look back in history and ahead in the distant future but also the present in equal measure’.
A few students reported that they felt ‘stupid’ asking questions in class and often did not understand aspects of an assignment due to language difficulties. Reflective writing, as suggested by Moon (2004), appeared to be an unfamiliar and sometimes difficult concept, particularly for students who had never before had to consider areas such as their personal strengths and weaknesses. Symposium presented at The Annual Meeting of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, San Francisco. The following graphic shows how all of this important information fits together for a dynamic learning experience. In the Ukraine, it was normal for authoritarian university professors to impart information for students to memorise without any discussion or reflection. Mann, Gordon and MacLeod (2007) argue that there is a lack of evidence to support and inform curricular interventions. It was occasionally necessary to encourage students to work with those who did not come from their home country. The reflective component required that students evaluate and reflect upon workshop activities and other modules in the programme.
Using the virtual environment to ask questions gave them the opportunity to think about and compose their questions.
Engaging students with PDP seemed to be more successful when they could relate the activity being undertaken to their core academic subjects. Life SkillsIn addition to the learning and literacy skills we’ve discussed so far, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills lists life skills that everyone needs to succeed.
These passive modes of learning are teacher-centred and, consequently, it is argued by Zhenhui (2001) that students receive knowledge rather than interpret it. Koshmanova reported that the system is slowly changing; although many teachers adhere to the old system, innovative methods such as role play and reflection are being introduced.
Students who were very proficient at speaking English sometimes became impatient with those whose English skills were less developed. Kemp (Eds.), Enhancing the international learning experience in business and management hospitality leisure sport tourism (pp. This analysis of Asian students has become part of a stereotypical characterisation; however, Watkins and Biggs (1996) found that Chinese students could adapt their learning and adjust their learning style between memorising for understanding and surface learning for exams.
It was necessary to encourage all students to contribute to in-class discussions and not just those who had strong English language skills. It was found that, when compared with Australian students, Chinese students had higher cognitive goals and, contrary to the stereotype, did participate in tutorial discussions.



Creating a new book in indesign
Improving verbal communication in clinical care
Corporate training materials business etiquette


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