It has taken me quite a long time to complete the Introduction to HE course: a) because I made lots of notes initially (see my folder of reference notes shown in photographs below); and b) because I had to wait for a chance to do my primary research for the related assignment (research into the work of Bridget Riley), and wait for a book that I had ordered to arrive at the library.
In retrospect, I think I could have achieved a similar outcome by printing out the course and highlighting the important key words instead of writing out some of it and highlighting that. I used post-it notes to make it easy to find specific sections of the course, such as ‘Research’, which is proving useful for refreshing my memory on certain points. I used yellow highlighter for key words, and green highlighter for noting useful actions that I would be taking, which does make it quite a good reminder, as I can skim the page and pick out the important aspects.
I made a couple of checklists such as the ‘Learning Log Checklist’ shown above, to summarise what I had learned.
I watched videos about other student’s work and experience of studying, carrying out the assignments and researching, which all gave useful pointers, for example, on how to present work for assessment.
The section on ‘Planning Studies’ has helped me to focus on what I am aiming to achieve; the tasks involved; prioritising and organising tasks, and adding them to a time-table.
The ‘Smarter Reading’ techniques certainly saved me some time by getting me to focus on the information that I required, rather than reading at random and getting sidetracked. I decided on the areas I wanted to find out more about before I started my Bridget Riley research. The use of a mind-map and key words helped with that task.
I need to practise more at succinct note-taking, and have printed off some A4 sheets with sections for reference source, notes, key ideas, my summary and connections to my own work, which should help with that in future research and note taking.
Having started the first assignment of Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary, I feel that the Introductory Course has given me a good grounding for carrying out the various parts of the assignment:- such as summarising the learning outcomes and activities involved, carrying out relevant research and reflecting on how that research could impact on my own work; the actions I need to take to complete the assignment and how to record and reflect on my learning.
I am glad that I took the time to go through the Introductory Course thoroughly and will use it as a reference and reminder in the future.