Study Skills for Health and Social Care Students
Publication Year: 2012
Many students on Health and Social Care Foundation Degree and Access courses struggle with the academic expectations required of them at this level. This book is written to support such students in adapting to self-directed study, understand the assessment process and how they can make the most of their learning opportunities. The authors also cover practicalities such as avoiding plagiarism, using their studies to become a reflective practitioner, and understanding the benefit of research and critical thinking. More than a generic study guide, this book is practice-based and will be of great benefit to health and social care students.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Learning to Learn
- Chapter 2: Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Skills
- Chapter 3: Information Literacy, Thinking, Reading and Writing
- Chapter 4: Developing Presentation Skills
- Chapter 5: Practice Learning and Ethical Practice
- Chapter 6: Understanding and Using Reflection
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© 2012 Juliette Oko and James Reid
First published in 2012
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent to the publishers.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012936249
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 978 0 85725 874 8
ISBN 978 0 85725 805 2 (pbk)
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About the Authors
Accreditation of prior learning (APL)
APL allows credit for previous learning and experience, usually in the form of an exemption from part of a course. This is normally assessed by learners providing evidence that they have met the learning outcomes of the module from which they want to be exempt.
Active learning see learning.
The word ‘active’ is used to emphasise that effective listening is a mental activity that requires effort and concentration (Williams, 1997, p47).
The person responsible for selecting successful applications to a particular course.
Alternative Languages and Augmentative Communication Systems
The recognition that not all people speak and not all body language is commonly used or understood throughout the world. Languages can be non-verbal, such as sign language, or alternative systems such as Makaton and image communication. Written communication can take the form of characters that are not the recognisable letters of the Roman alphabet, for example Braille and the Moon alphabet.
The process of checking and marking your coursework. Depending on your course, assessments may include examinations, essays, project work, reports or a combination of any of these (see formative assessment and summative assessment).
Also known as an exam board, an assessment board is a meeting of the academic staff and the external examiners to agree the marks for each student (see award board and module board).
The outcome or result of your course, including a degree, certificate or diploma.
A meeting of the academic staff and the external examiners to agree the award for each student or to agree that a student can progress to the next part of the programme. Award boards and assessment boards can occur concurrently.
Bachelor of Arts (see Bachelor's degree and BSc).
[Page 100]Bachelor's degree
Undergraduate degree qualification awarded by the university. It can take the form of an ordinary degree (BA or BSc) or an Honours degree (BA(Hons) or BSc(Hons)).
Bachelor of Science (see BA and Bachelor's degree).
A financial grant given to eligible students by some PSRBs that doesn't need to be repaid.
The university buildings and facilities in a particular location.
Provides expert information and advice on career prospects, including help in developing a CV and finding work.
Qualifications usually leading to the Certificate of Higher Education. A certificate is issued following the completion of a one-year course.
These include verbal, written, presentational, non-verbal, individual and group skills (see non-verbal communication and verbal communication).
Skills and knowledge that are essential to perform the functions of the profession successfully.
Course unit or module that is compulsory or required and must be completed successfully in order to gain an award.
A piece of work you need to complete as part of your course.
(Criminal Records Bureau) Enhanced checks are undertaken for all professional programmes where students are working with vulnerable adults or children to ensure their suitability for practice placements and protection of the public.
Typically three years’ full-time or four to six years’ part-time study, leading to the university award of Bachelor or Master.
The grading scheme for undergraduate degrees. Honours degrees can be first-class, upper (2:1) and lower (2:2) second-class, or third-class honours.
Many university faculties or schools are divided into departments, for example, Department for Social Studies. Students belong to the department that provides the course on which they are enrolled.
DipHE/Diploma of Higher Education
An award given for successfully completing two years’ full-time study at the university.
A major written piece of work or research project undertaken in the final year of an undergraduate Honours degree course.
European Computer Driving Licence - a scheme for assessing ICT competence.
The process where students become registered students of the university. This must be done at the beginning of every year.
A written piece of work on a particular topic.
In contrast to values, ethics is more prescriptive and deals with what can be considered ‘right and correct’. Ethics represents guidelines or principles about the way professionals ought to behave, and many helping professionals have codes of ethics or codes of conduct to which members are expected to adhere and to which they can be held to account (see values).
The member of the academic staff responsible for collating all student results and presenting them to an exam board.
A procedure whereby students can ask for particular circumstances that may have affected their studies to be taken into account, particularly in relation to assessment (see mitigating circumstances).
A collection of schools and departments in a university, for example, Faculty of Health and Social Studies.
The range of feedback comments that you receive from your tutor/module leader and your practice teacher/mentor intended to aid your learning and facilitate improvement. This can refer to feedback in class following a learning activity; feedback on performance in your placement; feedback in an individual tutorial; as well as formative and summative feedback on your work (see assessment).
Designed to provide learners with feedback on progress and inform development. A draft of your work that does not contribute to the overall assessment outcome (see assessment and summative assessment).
Involves study at university or college and work-based learning. A foundation degree is completed at level 5 of the academic framework, that is, at the equivalent level to the second year of a Bachelor's degree.
Student in the first few weeks of study.
A week of events and activities for new students before their studies; organised by the Students’ Union.
Student who has completed his or her studies and who is awaiting graduation.
Someone who has successfully completed a degree programme and who has completed graduation at the university.
Takes place at the end of your studies; degrees are awarded. You will be able to invite a small number of guests.
Halls of residence or accommodation for students.
Post compulsory education. Higher education courses are usually studied at universities, university colleges and higher education institutions. They can also be studied at specialist colleges, for example, art and music, and some further education colleges.
Honours (Hons) degree
A full British undergraduate degree that usually requires completion of a final-year dissertation or research project and the achievement of 360 credits.
Information and communication technology.
Your ability to recognise why information is needed, what information is needed, how to access this information and how to evaluate it (see Table 3.1 highlighting the SCONUL model).
The process whereby students can have a break in their studies, usually due to unforeseen circumstances.
IT help desk
An important resource when dealing with your ICT needs; located in your university/college.
At higher education level, deep approaches to learning are encouraged. Learning is about understanding the subject material and promotes long-term retention of the information that can be applied in the ‘real world’. It represents an active approach to managing your learning coupled with a motivation to understand the subject. In contrast, surface or superficial learning concentrates more on the ‘here and now’. This approach to learning tends to promote rote learning or the memorisation of key facts or information, but fails to link the new material to the wider picture.
What a student is expected to know and demonstrate at the end of a particular module. Learning outcomes should then be assessed by the summative assessment associated with the module of study.
A presentation on a particular subject or topic given by a member of the academic staff to a large number of students. Generally, students listen and take notes.
Lecturers (or tutors)
Lecturers and tutors are members of the university academic staff and are responsible for teaching and learning and helping students with their studying.
Level 4 refers to the first year of a university course, level 5 to the second year and level 6 to the third year. Part-time students will take longer to complete each level than full-time students. Postgraduate courses begin at level 7.
The vocabulary necessary to communicate in any context. The wider your lexicon, the better the potential outcomes for your studies and practice.
A mnemonic for motivate, acquire, search, trigger, exhibit, reflect. A useful strategy to help you develop your thinking skills.
A postgraduate academic degree awarded by a university upon completion of at least one year of prescribed study beyond the Bachelor's degree.
A student who is 21 years of age or over.
A procedure where students can ask for particular circumstances that may have affected their studies to be taken into account, particularly in relation to assessment (see extenuating circumstances).
A unit of study that is worth a number of credits, for example, 10, 15, 20 or 30 credits. Typically students undertake 120 credits in a year so the number of modules you study depends on the credit value, for example, six modules of 20 credits each equals 120 credits.
A meeting of the academic staff and the external examiners to agree the marks for each student.
The lecturer responsible for the delivery, assessment and review of a module of study.
Details of the module or unit of study which is provided by the module leader outlining what will be covered during the course of study; the learning [Page 103]outcomes associated with the module; how students will be assessed in their learning; and further reading/reading lists.
National occupational standards (NOS)
A set of requirements for which you are required to demonstrate competence in relation to your practice placements over the duration of your studies.
Anything other than words or utterances that are used to convey a message or meaning. This involves body language, including posture, gestures and expressions and even how you dress (see verbal communication).
National Union of Students. On enrolment you will be issued with an identity card that acts as your student union card.
Off-site practice assessor/tutor/mentor
Someone who supports you on work placement but who is not based in the same agency. This person works with another member of staff within your placement to offer support and guidance and to assess your competence against the national occupational standards (see practice teacher).
Course unit that is chosen by the student from a number of alternatives.
A Bachelor's degree awarded for the achievement of approximately 300 credits.
A period of relevant work experience designed to give students an opportunity to meet the requirements for the programme and the national occupational standards.
Citing someone else's work in your written work and failing to acknowledge it through proper referencing or acknowledgment. Academically, this is cheating and even committed inadvertently is still an offence. In the most serious of cases, this can result in a student's studies being terminated.
Study that is beyond first degree level or Bachelor's level, and leads to a higher qualification such as a Master's degree or Doctorate.
A qualified practitioner within your placement to offer support and guidance and to assess your competence against the national occupational standards.
Set of units that lead to an award. Sometimes referred to as a course.
Member of academic staff responsible for managing the programme or course you are studying.
Public Statutory Regulatory Body, a quasi governmental agency with responsibilities for regulating professionals and their practice, including registration of professionals.
A structured approach to thinking that looks back on an experience or event that has occurred. It is a cognitive activity that involves the mental process of selection, attention and analysis in order to develop or deepen our understanding of something and therefore enhance our capacity to know or do something (action) differently in the future.
Being able to demonstrate your learning about professional practice during your placements in health, social welfare or educational settings. To be reflective in your [Page 104]placement settings is, therefore, about how you demonstrate your learning from this experience - it transforms an experience into knowledge because your experience has been of benefit to you and as a result you can show evidence of learning from it.
You may be required to register with the PSRB. Registration is also the term used by the university at enrolment. You will need to register for your course at the beginning of each academic year.
Small-group teaching, led by a tutor/module leader where students are expected to come prepared to participate and share their learning and understanding, following private study and reading which has been set by the tutor.
Service user or user of service
Those members of the public with whom you will work when on placement or in employment.
An approach to reading and study that involves the process of survey, question, read, recall and review.
Assessment designed to be used to determine grades or marks (see assessment and formative assessment).
Provides a vital role in supporting and managing your practice while you are on placement. It should be an educative and supportive process, supporting you in your learning and understanding of your professional development.
Teaching and learning strategies
The range of teaching and learning activities that are used in your programme to help engage you in your learning and support your understanding of the subject matter, for instance, case studies, group work, lectures and seminars.
A period of study in the academic year, for example, from October to December.
Money paid each year by students to enrol or attend a course.
Tutor or lecturer
A member of staff who is responsible for teaching and learning and helping students with their studying.
A study session during which an individual, or small group, meets with a tutor in order to discuss work, progress or general course issues.
A student who is studying for a Bachelor's degree. Someone who has already been awarded a degree from a university is known as a graduate.
A course of study or programme of research leading to a Bachelor's degree.
A shortened name for the Students’ Union.
Representative of general preferences and which shape our beliefs and attitudes. They tend to represent what can be described as good and desirable or worthwhile. They influence behaviour and have an affective quality as well; that is, they have an impact on our emotions. Professional bodies also tend to have a set of professional values to which members are expected to practise (see ethics).
This includes words and utterances. We convey meaning through pitch, tone of voice, volume and speed of speech, or noises (see non-verbal communication).
References[Page 105]2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman., and (eds) (1977) Social Learning Theory. London: Prentice-Hall.(2008) Ethics in Professional Life: Virtues for health and social care. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan., and (1994) Principles of Biomedical Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press., and (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: Longmans, Green., , , , and (2005) Reflective Practice: Writing and professional development. London: Sage.(1970) Reach, Teach and Touch. London: McGraw Hill.(2006) Critical Thinking for Social Work. Exeter: Learning Matters., and (2006) Six Frames for Information literacy Education: a conceptual framework for interpreting the relationships between theory and practice., , and (1997) Effective Communication Skills for Health Professionals ((2nd edition). Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.2003) Essential Study Skills (, and (2nd edition). London: Sage.2006) The Mind Map Book-Full illustrated edition. London: BBC Books., and (2011) Critical Thinking Skills ((2nd edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave.1999) The Feeling of What Happens: Body, emotion and the making of consciousness. London: Heinemann.(2002) Reading skills and reading habits: a study of new Open University undergraduate reservees. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 17 (1): 69–88., and (2006) Panning for gold: understanding students’ information searching experiences, in , , , , and (eds) Transforming IT Education: Promoting a culture of excellence. Santa Rosa, California: Informing Science., and ([Page 106], , and (2001) Understanding student learning, in , , and (eds) A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. London: Kogan Page.General Social Care Council (2010) Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers. London: GSCC.1988) Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Oxford Further Education Unit.(1998) Working with Emotional Intelligence. London: Bloomsbury.(1999) Teaching and learning in small groups, in , , and (eds) A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. London: Kogan Page.(2009) Communication skills in social work, in , , and (eds) Social Work, Themes, Issues and Critical Debates ((3rd edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave.2008) Surviving Your Placement in Health and Social Care: A student handbook. Berkshire: OU Press., and (HM Government (2005) Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children's Workforce. Nottingham: DCSF.2007) Not Written for Us? Keynote speaker, 7th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Teesside.(2010) See the practitioner, see the child: the framework for the assessment of children in need and their families ten years on. British Journal of Social Work, 41: 1070–1087.(2009) A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory. Basingstoke: Palgrave.(2007) Reflective Practice in Social Work. Exeter: Learning Matters., and (2005) Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work. Exeter: Learning Matters.(1994) Communication in Social Work. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.(2004) The Learning Connection: Information literacy and the student experience. Adelaide: Auslib Press.(1997) Approaches to learning, in , , and (eds) The Experience of Learning. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press., and (2002) Presentation Skills: The essential guide for students. London: Sage., and (1997). What is emotional intelligence?, in , and (eds) Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Educational implications. New York: Basic Books., and (1991) Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.(2006) The framework for the assessment of children in need and their families - a basis for a ‘therapeutic’ encounter? British Journal of Social Work, 36: 887–899., and (2003) Contemporary Issues in Childhood: Approaches to teaching and learning. Newcastle: Northumbria University Press., and (eds) (1999) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. Abingdon, Oxon: RoutledgeFalmer.(National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (The Dearing Report) (1998) Higher Education in the Learning Society. Available online: www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/.National Youth Agency (NYA) (2008) Professional and National Occupational Standards for Youth Work. Leicester: NYA.Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) The Code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives. London: NMC.2011) Understanding and Using Theory in Social Work ((2nd edition). Exeter: Learning Matters.[Page 107]Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2008) The Framework for Higher Education Qualification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Mansfield: QAA.2003) Learning to Teach in Higher Education ((2nd edition). London: Routledge.1967) On Becoming a Person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy. London: Constable.(1998) Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell., and (1998) From the Front Lines: Student cases in social work ethics. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.(SCONUL Advisory Committee on Information Literacy (1999) Briefing Paper: Information skills in higher education. London: Society of College, National and University Libraries. Available online: http://www.sconul.ac.uk/groups/information_literacy/papers/Seven_pillars2.pdf2007) Assessment: from reflexivity to process knowledge, in (ed) Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care. London: Jessica Kingsley.(2006) Anti-discriminatory Practice ((4th edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave.2009) People Skills ((3rd edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave.2008) Studying for Your Social Work Degree. Exeter: Learning Matters.(1997) Communications Skills in Practice: A practical guide for health professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley.(2004) Employability in higher education: what it is - what it is not, in Learning and Employability. Series One. York: Enhancing Student Employability Co-Ordination Team/ Higher Education Academy.(
Useful websiteswww.hpc-uk.org Health Professions Council: regulates social work in England and many of the professions allied to medicine in the UK.The following bodies regulate social work in the devolved countries:www.ccwales.org.uk Care Council for Wales.www.niscc.info Northern Ireland Social Care Council.www.sssc.uk.com Scottish Social Services Council.www.collegeofsocialwork.org College of Social Work.www.nmc-uk.org Nursing and Midwifery Council: the nursing and midwifery regulator for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the islands.www.nya.org.uk National Youth Agency: works in partnership with government, private and voluntary sector organisations to support and improve services for young people.www.rcn.org.uk Royal College of Nursing: represents nurses and nursing, promotes excellence in practice and shapes health policies.