Academic and Employability Skills are considered essential qualification for a lot of jobs position and they have become necessary for an employment success in business environment (Jackson, 2014). Academic skills can be defined as approaches which are applied to learning.
The aim of this report is to analyse and reflect on some skills that I have learned and gained on the first term on the module Academic and Employability Skills, and some skills that I still need to develop. These are very useful to me because I will use them in my career and personal life as well. For this report I will use Gibbs (1988) reflection model which has 5 stages: Description, Feelings and thoughts, Evaluation, Analysis, Conclusion and Future Actions. Gibbs model it is considered to be one of the most popular reflection model and I will use it, in order to evaluate and analyse the experience gained during the learning course.
Gibbs Reflection Model
As a student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David studying for the Certificate in Higher Education for the module Academic and Employability Skills, I was asked by my lecturer to write a 2000 words reflective report. In this report I will reflect, analyse and evaluate how this course has helped me to improve my Academic and Employability skills. Then I will reflect on the skills that I still have to develop and come whit an idea how can I improve them.
This module helped me to understand why it is important to have academic and employability skills. I have learned during this course a lot of skills like; how can I improve my academic writing and how to structure a report, how to paraphrase and make references and how to write a report and reflective essay. I also learned how to write a cover letter and make an CV. These are very useful for me because I can apply for any job in a professional way. I have learned many thinks by enrolling to this course and all of them are very important to me in order to get better job.
FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS
During the first day of my class, I felt a little nervous as well as exited. It is just mixed feelings I had before attending the class. I was eager to know about the topic which it will be taught to us about the academic and employability skills. I enjoyed that there has been discussion on the topics every week. I also felt that the thinks which I have learned during the academic and employability course was very much helpful in getting a better job and has enabled me to think in a different way.
In the second term of the course the lecturer asked us to write a reflective report of 2000 words. When I first heard that we needed to write a reflective report I was little bit scared and confused I could say more lost, because I have never done something like that. I was thinking that it will be very difficult because, I did not know how to start and what means to be reflective. I was feeling confused and unconfident because of my knowledge and because English is not my first language. My feelings of confusion changed during next week. After the lecturer started to explain to us what reflective report means and how should we structure I realised that after all is not going to be that difficult to complete the task. But the confusion came again in my mind because in the first term we had a different lecturer. But during next week the lecturer decided to evaluate all that we have learned in previous term and my feelings of confusion it was gone. This report for me it was more like a challenge because it was about my experience during the module and every think that I have learned. In this way I was able to see what academic and employability skills I have acquired and what skills gap I have. Now I was feeling confident and determinate to complete my task.
EVALUATION & ANALYSIS
After I have expressed my feelings about the course and the academic sessions, now I will evaluate and analyse the total experience. In the first term I have learned about various types of skills like; Personal skills (time management and organization), People skills (communication and team work) and Basic skills (reading and writing). Learning about those skills it is very useful for me because these are the academic and employability skills required in individual for getting better job position in the competitive world (Pinto and Ramalheira, 2017). The lecturer gave us many activities for different types of skills development. For instance, People skills like, communication and team work they are very essential and useful. These skills are very important for my future career development because in these days an employer look for this type of skills. In the second term we had different activities like CV, interview and cover letter. Then we learned about reflective writing, analytical thinking and critical thinking. Learning about all this it was a very good and useful because it is going to help to complete my task and in the future job. The bad side of this experience it is that some of the skills like, problem solving and decision making I did not improve as much as I wanted. But by regularly reflecting on my achievements and setbacks I am sure that I will start to see my strengths and weaknesses and then plan every step.
Learning about all these skills it is important to me because I can get more employment opportunities, because an organization only place candidate when they find something different or unique in her/ his (Simatele, 2015). During the course I have enjoyed the group discussions which has assisted me in increasing my knowledge and improving my skills. I have analysed that the group discussion that we had in class has helped me to improve my team working and communication skills. I also realised that my time management skills have improved a lot. This module has helped me to develop my time management skills, and now I can manage my time more effectively. I can prepare myself from time and prioritize the important and urgent thinks according to their urgency.
TIME MANAGEMENT MATRIX
Developing all these skills was possible by studying in this University and with the help of my lecturer.
Conclusion Gibbs reflection Model
Gibbs reflection model has helped me in evaluating and analysing the overall experience of these academic sessions. All the stages have helped me in completing this reflective report and evaluate all my knowledge. First stage helped me with the description of the report and all the events of the module. The second stage helped me to understand the feelings and thoughts that I have experienced during the entire course. The third and fourth stage helped me to evaluate and analyse the skills that I have learned and to see which ones needs development. Then in the next stage I will provide the conclusion about the reflective report that I have been writing. This reflection model has helped me to understand what I have learned and that are a lot of thinks that could have been done differently.
It has been concluded that development of Academic and Employability skills it is very much important in order to get suitable job in desired field. The other fact that is been discovered from the study is that academic skills are very much crucial for accomplishing success and to achieve desired career goals. It has been concluded that improvement of academic and employability skills it is very much helpful in context of both professional and personal development. All I want to state is thanks. I really appreciate all the things which I have learned during my first year of this academic course. I have to say that by participating at the Academic and Employability course I have successfully developed as well as improved many of the abilities such as, critical thinking, reading as well as writing, thinking skills, basic skills, people skills and many other. This reflective report tried to describe, evaluate and analyse my experience during the academic sessions of this year and to state how well I have developed myself.
Writing this reflective report has helped me to understand why it is important to reflect, evaluate and analyse on the past events. I think that studying this module has helped me to gain a lot of knowledge and skills also all these I am already using at my workplace. Now I am communicating more effectively with my team, managing my time by prioritising the important and urgent things first and engaging more in to group discussion as it will assist me in increasing my knowledge (Stow and Crawford, 2018.).
On the other hand, two skills mentioned in this report still need to be developed. Problem solving and Decision making. I am planning to improve these skills by following few steps: reading books and doing research, pay more attention in class and ask questions, improve my note-taking skills, to memorize actively and not passively, be an active listener and to reflect on my own methods, because self-reflection involves looking inwards at my strengths, weaknesses and goals (Messum and et.al., 2016).
Andrew Maund, Michaela Schriek and Paul K. Tinkler 2017(Certificate in Higher Education: Skills for the Workplace Student Yearbook).
Jackson, D., 2014. Testing a model of ungraduated competence in employability skills and its implication for stakeholders. Journal of Education and Work. 27(2). pp.220-242.
Pinto, L. H. and Ramalheira, D. C., 2017. Perceived employability of business graduates: The effect of academic performance and extracurricular activities. Journal of Vocational Behaviour. 99. pp.165-178.
Simatele, M., 2015. Enhancing the portability of employability skills using e-portfolios. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 39(6). pp. 862-874.
Towns, M. and Crawford, K., 2018. An adaptable model for employability and career.
Messum, D. and et.al., 2016. Content analysis of vacancy advertisements for employability skills: Challenges and opportunities for informing curriculum development. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability. 7(1). p.72.
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