Work a nine day forthright (week one five days, week two four days).Home from work at approximately 1715.Holiday periods.Not always driving on my commute to work.| Three hour daily commute leaving home at 0530.Full time employment.
Motivation to Study after the Working Day
One of the weaknesses which I have identified is how do I motivate myself after a working day. I start work at 0700 and finish at 1545. Either side of this working day I have a 62 mile commute, how do I then persuade myself to start to study? Leaving home at 0530 and not returning until 1715 can take its toll. Although I do car share and may only have to physically drive one of the days during the working week, I am still fatigued in the evening.
However, I am resourceful and focused and should be able to plan to alleviate this weakness. I do believe that if I can produce a robust personal action plan then this should allow me to focus on my studies and still have time to relax with my family mid-week, and especially at weekends. I do think that I will have to remain flexible to ensure that I stringently follow this plan.
Time Management in the home environment is another weakness that I have identified. I have found that whilst at home there are many distractions that can manifest themselves and these will certainly impact on my study if they are allowed to interfere. It may be necessary to carefully manage all my extra-curricular activities to ensure that my studies receive the priority and attention that will be required to succeed. I do not want the precious time I do have with my family to suffer, however to complete my studies I may have to sacrifice this on occasion to allow time to study.
Studying in Isolation
Distance learning can have many advantages; however you can find yourself isolated without personal contact with your tutor and peers, unlike fulltime student who are studying at University, many of whom are most likely living on or near campus. The distance learner can find they are isolated and many may be unable to alleviate this without face to face interaction with tutors and fellow students. I have found that the University’s Virtual Learning Environment provided a means of interaction with fellow students through the medium of the Discussion Board situated on each units site in My Sites.
I find that access to reference material is also a problem, for example not all local libraries hold stock of the unit’s reading list. I plan to liaise with my local library in advance to ensure that any reference material will be readily available when I plan to start each unit. Utilization of the University’s on-line library and resource will also be of importance.
Activity 2 The inventory
Developing yourself as an independent learner
The aim of this inventory is to help you to think about your approach to learning. Everyone is unique and there is no ‘right’ approach to learning. By learning how we learn and by exploring new and different approaches to learning it is possible to become even more effective learners. We hope that this tool will help to stimulate your learning.
Name _________________ Today’s date ___
Not very Very a) Before you go any further, indicate how
independent you think you are as a learner. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 b) How would you define ‘independent learning’?
__Learning at home away from a structured classroom_
c) Ask a colleague for an estimate of how
independent you are as a learner. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
SECTION ONE: MOTIVATION
Not very Very
1. How interested are you in your studies? 1 2 3 4
2. How keen are you to succeed in your studies? 1 2 3 4
3. How keen are you to become a better learner? 1 2 3 4
SECTION TWO: MANAGING YOUR LEARNING
Never Rarely Sometimes Always 4. Before starting a study session, are you clear about what you hope to learn? 1 2 3 4 5. To what extent do you plan how and when you are going to learn something? 1 2 3 4 6. If you were having difficulties learning something, do
you consider other sources of help? 1
2 3 4 7. If you come across new approaches would you
incorporate them into your study process? 1 2 3 4
SECTION THREE: REFLECTION
8. To what extent do you question what you are told, for
example by tutors, books etc? 1 2 3 4 9. When you have finished learning about something, do
you think back about how effective your learning
process was? 1 2 3 -4 10. Do you change the way you go about learning new
things as a result of thinking about past learning
situations? 1 2 3 4
INTERPRETING THE RESULTS
Now add up the numbers in the boxes you ticked in each of the three sections. Q1–3 (Motivation) Total = Independence level = 12
3 – 5 = low independence, 6 – 9 = moderate independence, 10 – 12 high independence Q4–7 (Managing Your Learning) Total = Independence level = 14
4 – 7 = low independence, 8 – 12 = moderate independence, 13 – 16 = high independence Q8–10 (Reflection) Total = Independence level = 9
3 – 5 = low independence, 6 – 9 = moderate independence, 10 –12 high independence GRAND TOTAL Grand total = Overall independence level = 35
Grand total: 10 – 19 = low, 20 – 30 = moderate, 31 – 40 = high
BSc (Hons) Engineering Management Personal Action Plan
| Unit| Assessment| Time Scale for Completion| Resources and support required| 1.| Study Skills for Distance Learning| Theme AActivity 1| 25th March 2012| Study Skills for Distance Learning Student Guide and Blackboard| | | Activity 2| 30th March 2012| Study Skills for Distance Learning Student Guide and Blackboard| | | Activity 3| 15th April 2012| Study Skills for Distance Learning Student Guide and Blackboard| | | Activity 4| 27th April 2012| Study Skills for Distance Learning Student Guide, Blackboard and consultation with tutor.| | | Theme B1500 Word Essay| 22nd May 2012| |
2.| Integrating Professional Engineering Experience| | 30th October 2012| | 3.| Management of Change| Theme ATheme BTheme CTheme D| 25st January 201310th March 201330th April 201330th June 2013| | 4.| Applied Problem Solving in an Engineering Workplace| | 31st September 2013| | 5.| Dissertation| | 1st February 2014| |
Week One – 5 Day Working Week
Monday| Tuesday| Wednesday| Thursday| Friday| Saturday| Sunday| 2 hours Study in the evening| | 2 hours study in the evening| | 2 hours study in the evening| 4 hours study| 4 hours study|
Week Two – 4 Day Working Week
Monday| Tuesday| Wednesday| Thursday| Friday| Saturday| Sunday| 2 hours Study in the evening| | 2 hours study in the evening| | 4 hours study| 4 hours study| 4 hours study|
How well do you work?
| | Yes| No|
1| Do I waste time| * | |
2| Do I give time to my priorities| * | |
3| Do I know what I want to achieve each day| * | |
4| Do I put things off| * | |
5| Do I waste other people’s time| | * |
6| Do I set deadlines| * | |
7| Do I meet deadlines| * | |
8| Am I in control of my time| * | |
9| Are others in control of my time| * | |
10| Do I plan my time| * | |
11| Do I spend too much time on some tasks| * | |
12| Are there times in the day when nothing seems to get accomplished| * | | 13| Do I prefer to do things that are interesting even if they are not a priority| * | | 14| Do I spend too long on something trying to make it perfect| | * | 15| Do I plan my time successfully in the short term| * | | 16| Do I plan my time successfully in the long term*
Having completed the Time Management and Learning Materials on the Learning Community I have come to the following conclusions. Although I have the ability to prioritise and allocate tasks in the working environment, it is a different scenario when it comes to studying at home. Distractions manifest themselves around every corner.
I will have to ensure that I follow my study plan religiously and ensure that I am not distracted. This is easier said than done, with the distractions of the internet always in the background when working on the Blackboard. Although a powerful tool for study, it is easy to stray and waste valuable time “surfing”. Strong will will ensure that this does not happen.
Taking into account my SWOT analysis, study plan and timetable that I have set, hard work and determination will be the key to successfully completing my studies.