18 September 2006

Citing third party quotes

From Phil Arena, e-tutor at Murdoch.

You NEVER cite the original article unless you have read it.

In other words, lets say I read a good quote by Smith (1720) in a book by Jones (2004).

I would write,

Many colonists believed that the land was "...free to be taken as it's doubtlful that these folks are civilised..." (Smith as cited in Jones, 2004, p.23).


This hypothesis was proven by Smith and Wesson (as cited in Jackson, 1998) In other words, use "as cited by" or "cited in" etc.

So... name the original work in the text and provide a bracketed citation for the secondary source.."

THEN...in your reference list, you only need to list the reference details of the source you actually used. In this case, you list the details of Jones (2004).

Paraphrasing, quotes and references

Another useful tip from Phil Arena, e-tutor.

Well, firstly, quotes should never constitute more than 10% of your total word count. In other words, use quotes sparingly; your aim should be to paraphrase as much as possible (put into your own words WITH a cited reference).

As for paraphrasing, here's what I suggest. Read a piece of writing, for example a chapter, page, paragraph or sentence and then 'close' the book. Then, imagine someone taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hey Joanna, what was that idea that you just read?...by the way, I love your shoes!". You then, write down, in your own words, the idea that you just read and then reference it. Make sure you don't change the intention of the author, but just put it in your own words.

For example,

The world, according to Grapevine (2004) had become much of an entanglement of vines, symbolically representing the bleeding of the earth.

Here, I have paraphrased an entire (fictitious) book, so I don't have to and can't put in page numbers.

Now, if you find a particularly 'juicy' quote or the quote is important in the context of what you want to say then you write the quote EXACTLY as it is written, in quotation marks AND include the citation that NOW INCLUDES a page number wherever possible.

For example,

Dean (2005, p. 1) stated, "Saddam Hussein was never a threat to the United States. He's a terrible person, but I don't think we in America go about the business of kicking every terrible person out of office."

You could do it in other ways such as,

Dean (2005) in an interview on NBC, stated, "Saddam Hussein was never a threat to the United States. He's a terrible person, but I don't think we in America go about the business of kicking every terrible person out of office." (p.1).

Incidentally, it's not the quote that gets you the marks, but rather, how you use it. In other words, the 'bit' you write after or before the quote.

For example,

Dean (2005) in an interview on NBC, stated, "Saddam Hussein was never a threat to the United States. He's a terrible person, but I don't think we in America go about the business of kicking every terrible person out of office." (p.1). Dean was adamant that it was now clear the people of the US have "figured out" that their president made a huge mistake, intentional or not, in invading Iraq and will have to face the consequences of his actions. I believe that this 'chipping away' of the lies that have governed the current US federal administration, will ultimately be its downfall.

(that last bit, was my input and thus is what will particularly 'impress' my marker).

OK......now, let's say that you have a quote that has a spelling error or a particularly sexist or discriminatory word or phrase. You MUST quote EXACTLY what you read/hear but you can indicate that it was NOT YOUR error.


Smith (2001) described the contigency as "...bloody smelly wogs [sic] and they should be kept restrained..." (p.34).

Notice here that 'wogs' may be considered racist and so I've inserted [sic] which basically means this was the original author's use of words not mine!

Another example;

As Jeffries and Craig (2003) pointed out "John Allen and his wife [sic] were infected with the illness long before it became public..."(p.2).

Again, 'his wife' in this context, is considered sexist.

Also, notice my use of ellipsis. What's this? the THREE DOTS which indicate I have taken party of a sentence or longer piece of work. You can also use the ellipsis when you want to join two 'bits' from a long quote.

For example,

Jones had desribed Steve Irwin as a "...bloody good bloke...who will be missed..." (2007, p. 23).

An important point is this...the quote should always 'fit' in the structure of the sentence.

You do not write,

Peters (2004, p.3) was, "...it was an extraordinary feat of indurance...".

You should write,

Peters (2004, p.3) noted that "...it was an extraordinary feat of indurance...".

14 September 2006

Transferring learning strengths into university study

This exercise made me look at my existing knowledge and skills that I have taken for granted for years! It was useful to draw a connection between my experience at work and the study I am now undertaking.

Activity 1: Previous learning experience

An early project I undertook in my first job as a web designer was the creation of a functional web page contact form. To be functional it had to process information submitted by a user, and direct the user to a 'thank you' page.

During the project I learned how to prepare a web page form with the correct variables using HTML, how to install and configure a Perl form mailer script. I gained an understanding of how a web server processes information using CGI.

The skills I acquired during this project remain useful to me in my work today and were a solid foundation for my professional development.

Activity 2: Conditions that enhance your learning

Most of my learning was conducted through my own research on the internet, and trial and error on a test server. This was under the supervision of a helpful senior programmer who was happy to fill any gaps in my knowledge. As he was busy with his own projects I preferred to teach myself as much as possible, however having him nearby gave me the confidence to test my skills and put my knowledge into practice.

Self-guided learning, making use of resources and consulting with my colleagues are the skills that can be transferred to my study at university.

Activity 3: Your learning strengths

*Self guided learningThroughout my working life where I have been required to learn new skills I have felt compelled to discover information for myself first, before asking a busy colleague. If I felt I needed to know more about a particular subject I would dig up as much information as I could about it. When I was working in a bank I would examine systems, procedure manuals and help screens. Working for an ISP, I made use of information published on the internet, and took part in industry discussion forums.
Use of search engines, researchSearch engines have been extremely useful for my work in the internet industry. They've helped me locate resources where I could learn new skills, or answer technical support questions posed to me by customers.
Attention to detailIn my job at the bank, attention to detail was paramount to ensure my cash drawer balanced at the end of the day! As a web developer this was a particularly useful attribute for helping to ensure my code was compatible with different web browsers, and tracking down programming bugs.
*JournallingI have enjoyed reading and writing since my childhood, and have kept a private journal on and off for many years. I have always had more confidence in my writing ability than my verbal skills. For the last 12 months I have kept a web log or 'blog' and this has provided useful practise in reflective thinking and self-expression.

*I believe self-guided learning and journalling are the skills that will transfer well and be most useful to my studies. With internet research I will need to pay closer attention to the credibility of the information. Attention to detail is good, but I need to work on time management skills so I am not wasting too much time on study tasks with less priority than others.

Activity 4: Gaps in your learning experience

As a shy person I have always felt uncomfortable talking to people I don't know well. In public speaking situations, my mind tends to enter a self-contained 'zone' where I am not fully engaged in what is happening. Although I feel far more confident with writing, I waste a lot of time reviewing and refining my content. This has led to situations of 'false efficiency' at work where I have taken projects home to complete in my own leisure time.

I think the biggest gap in my learning experience is a poor ability in 'thinking on my feet' which will probably have its greatest impact in exam situations. Another issue is ineffective time management which inevitably leads to stress and loss of a balance between my work, study and leisure time.

In discussing this with a study partner I mentioned the length of time I am spending on learning log exercises (too long). I need to discipline myself on identifying priorities so I can stick to an appropriate time frame. I should also make use of the student forum to engage in more public discussions.

Activity 5: Lifelong learning

A lifelong learner has the ability to research, study and evaluate facts and concepts. They are self-motivated and enjoy learning, and keep an open mind to ways they can improve their knowledge.

I have a knowledge of various learning techniques but I need to increase my skill in these areas to become more effective and meet my study goals. I like having an open mind and learning new things.

Activity 6: Transferring reading skills

Reading skills I have that are appropriate for university study.

  • Scanning news articles for items of interest

  • Enjoyment and engagement of reading

  • Good vocabulary and access to dictionary

Reading skills I need to refine or develop.

  • Summarising in a meaningful way

  • Analysing and retaining information

  • Checking for source credibility

Activity 7: Evaluating your learning

10 September 2006

Essay 1 - Advice

Hello all,

I thought you may appreciate some advice on Essay 1, which I have broken up into several emails beginning with this one.

I hope it helps clarify the question.


Phil (E-tutor)

I presume you have looked at the Unit Information Sheet which provides some guidelines to approaching Essay 1.

Essentially, we want you to identify 2-3 key factors that have influenced your world view, whether it is community, gender, family upbringing, cultural etc and then discuss how these have influenced your beliefs and attitudes about learning. Choose the most important points/influences. For example, if you were a non-white, indigenous person coming to study in a white, western European school, do you think that different world views would be an issue? What about your parent's attitude towards study? Do you come from a low socioeconomic group (as does my family?).

Now, then we want you to use any materials in your readings to help explain or support your points.

For example, if you are talking about 'world view' do you think it would be important to define what a world view is? Use Samovar and Porter or Hobson etc.

There is useful material in the first chapter of Marshall and Rowland to help get you thinking about yourself as a learner. Have a look at this and use any ideas (referenced) in your essay as long as they back up something you want to say.

Importantly, this essay is NOT TO BECOME A NARRATIVE or story of your life. Read the question carefully and then see what is required, outlining key words.

So in summary, you are looking at factors that have influenced your learning through how they have shaped your world view.

Here is an example of what may constitute a paragraph within your essay.

My grandparents were fairly complacent when it came to the subject of education. This greatly impacted upon me in terms of my own beliefs and attitudes towards education. If my parents never went to university, why should I even bother to attempt going? As Rogers (1967) states, " Some individuals have absorbed so deeply from their parents the concept 'I ought to be good' or 'I have to be good', that it is only with the greatest of inward struggle that they find themselves moving away from this goal" (p. 163).

Here I am using the reading to back up my experience (note too, how I am referencing).

I hope this helps.

Incidently, break your work into small chunks with clear goals and give yourself a reward every time you achieve one goal.

In addition to the various activities in A Learning Companion that deal with essay writing, there are other resources that you may use that will assist in the production of a good quaility essay.

Firstly, MacquarieĆ¢€™s Gateway to Academic Literacy. This can be accessed via the following link and contains excellent materials and tutorials on writing, including examples:


This Gateway is a resource that is freely available to all students registered with Open Universities Australia.

(in addition, there are numerous websites on how to write an essay which may be helpful).

Secondly, once you have completed your essay, be your own assessor and use the criteria on the Essay 1 Assessment sheet in the back of your study guide to see if you have met each requirement.

This is a very useful activity and is highly recommended.


Phil (E-tutor)

9 September 2006

Previewing a Book

Information about a book does not start in the first chapter! Asking the following questions about the various parts of a book's anatomy will tell you a great deal about the book.


  • What message or meaning is the author trying to convey?


  • What information does the cover of the book give about the contents, the author and the book within its field?

  • How reliable is any information on the cover of the book? (eg. marketing hype?)


  • Is there any information inside the book about the author's (or editor's or translator's) background, other publications, or experience relevant to the subject?

  • Do you know anything else about the author or any other of his/her writings?

Publication details

  • When was the book written?

  • What is the publication date of your copy of the book?

  • Has the book been revised?

  • Which edition is the best book? Has the book been reprinted?

  • If the book is a translation, what is the date of this?

  • Who is the publisher?

  • In which countries has the book been published?

Table of contents

  • Is the table of contents sufficiently detailed to be helpful?

  • Which sections appear to be interesting, familiar or difficult to you?

  • How do the contents relate to your purpose and to other material you are studying?


  • If the book includes a preface, foreword or introudction, have they been written by the author or editor, or by someone else?

  • What information do these sections give you about why the book was written, its place in its field, how to read it?

  • Has the book been written to argue a case or is it an exposition describing or outlining a subject?

  • Is the author's position on the subject explained? Does the position fit within a theoretical paradigm?

Text of the book

  • What do the introduction and conclusion tell you about the book? Are there guides to your reading of the book, such as summaries of chapters, subheadings?

  • Does the author spell out the argument of the book in the introduction or conclusion? If the whole argument is not made explicit, can you identify the thesis?

  • How does the structure of the book - for example, chapters or sections - develop the argument?


  • How are headings and subheadings used?

  • How is emphasis indicated within the text? For example, are italics used?

Graphics and visuals

  • Does the book contain much graphic or visual material?

  • Is any graphic material easy to follow?

  • How does any visual material seem to relate to the written text?


  • If the book has a glossary, are many words unfamiliar to you?

Bibliography and references

  • How comprehensive are any footnotes, endnotes or a bibliography?

  • Does the author use recently published items?

  • Is the list of works at the end of the text a bibliography (ie all sources consulted) or a list of references (ie those sources cited in the text)?

  • Is the bibliography divided into subject areas?

  • Is it a comprehensive or selected bibliography?

  • Do the references include sources other than written materials?


  • What does an examination of the index add to your understanding of the contents of the book? Which subject areas are given prominence?

  • Does the index list mostly ideas and concepts, or more factual entries such as names of places and people?

  • Has the index sufficient details to enable you to locate your areas of interest easily?

Previewing a Book

In this exercise I learned that discovering what a book is about does not begin by reading from chapter one. By examining elements of the book outside the chapter content, I can obtain an overview which informs me about the relevance and credibility of the material, helps me identify particular areas of interest or relevance to my study. By previewing a book I can plot my reading, which is particularly important when there is a lot of reading to get through!

Activity 1: Finding out what books are about

Marshall, Lorraine, and Frances Rowland 2006. A Guide to Learning Independently. 4th Edition. Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

This book is a practical guide for students, written by university teachers. Focuses on learning as a personal process. Examines the factors which affect our approach to learning. Contains techniques and exercises to help guide the student take responsibility for steering their own learning. The information is presented interestingly with consistent layout.

From the publication details and information provided about the authors, I learned the book is the latest and very recent edition of an educational text written by educators who have significant experience in the field. From the bibliography and references I learned that materials have been drawn from a wide source and the content is well researched. Therefore the credibility of the book is established.

From the table of contents, the introduction and index I learned what subjects are contained within the book, how the subjects correlate, gained an idea of each subjects depth of scope, and identified several areas of particular interest and relevance to me, which greatly increased my enthusiasm and interest in the book.

The books layout is consistent and structured in a way which aids the reader by presenting material in easily digestible blocks. The presentation style of certain content creates points of interest throughout the book - the use of quoted material in bold, indented type, chapter summaries highlighted with a tinted background, reflective questions presented in italics or bullet points.

The most useful sections of the book for me were the table of contents and the introduction. The table of contents provided the overall scope of the book, with descriptive headings and subheadings. The introductory sections provided the books background and basic premise, which was useful in determining its relevance to me as a student.

Missing from the book is a glossary. This might be considered useful for a book of this type, I can only speculate on why it may not have been included. The main idea in the book seems to be that learning is a self-guided and self-motivated exercise, which aims to encourage students to actively steer the course of their own learning. Therefore the inclusion of a glossary would be outside the scope of what this book aims to achieve. Students would no doubt be encouraged to apply the skills from this book towards furthering their understanding themselves, rather than rely on spoonfed information.

Activity 2: Previewing a book

When to preview, Levels of previewing - reading only

Activity 3: Previewing systematically

Author/s: Lorraine Marshall and Frances Rowland
Title: A Guide to Learning Independently
Subtitle: N/A
Questions that the title and subtitle suggest: As a guide, how factual and relevant is this book. Who are independent learners?

Publication date: 2006
Is this information significant? Why? Yes it is significant in evaluating how relevant and up to date the material is.

List important points that the author presents in the preface, foreword or introduction:

  • Material in the book has been updated

  • The book is directed at the individual student and their approach to learning

Read the table of contents and change the chapter headings into questions. List five of these questions.

  1. What is your background and situation and how does it impact you as a student?

  2. What adjustments must you make to become an independent student?

  3. When and how do we remember what we are learning?

  4. How should you conduct research?

  5. How can you make your reading more effective for study?

If there are appendices in the book, list each one and explain how it might be useful.

One appendix: Discrimination - sexist language and attitudes. Useful in outlining particular expectations of which I need to be aware.
Skim through the book and look at the graphs, pictures, maps or charts; read the captions under them. List three that seem most interesting/useful, and state the reasons for your choices.


Skim through several chapters to discover which study aids have been included. Indicate those that you find on the list below.

  • Chapter outline

  • Headings

  • Chapter summaries

  • Italics

  • Footnotes

  • References

  • Bibliography

  • Questions for study or review

  • Other study aids?

Use the index to survey what you know or don't know about the contents of the book. Read each column to see how many terms, names and places are familiar to you. From the entire index, select ten items that are familiar to you and ten items that you know little about. If you cannot find ten items that are unfamiliar, you probably have a basic knowledge of the subject.

  1. ...

  2. ...

  3. ...

  4. ...

  5. ...

  6. ...

  7. ...

  8. ...

  9. ...

  10. ...

List some authors and titles of books from the bibliography or references that you would like to read or that might challenge you to expand your knowledge of the subject.

Activity 4: Reflection of the process

In your learning log, discuss any changes you need to make to preview books more effectively.

6 September 2006

QSK140 Scheduling Tasks and Time

By scheduling tasks and managing the time required to complete them you remain in control and avoid the stress of working to deadlines. Furthermore, working to a schedule can increase your enjoyment of study as you are working to a plan and not worrying that you should be doing something else.

Identifying Tasks and Activities

Study tasks are pieces of work that are either assessable; or required to build knowledge and understanding of subject matter and develop skills. Activities are the actions that are required to complete the task.

Breaking tasks into activities focusses the mind on what is required and assists with management and scheduling.

An example of breaking down an essay task into manageable activities:

  • Find out what is expected of you

  • Choose a topic

  • Analyse the topic

  • Read and make notes

  • Research the topic

  • Think about your research

  • Analyse the topic

  • Plan your essay

  • Write the first draft

  • Edit the first draft

  • Further research and reading as required

  • Re-write as a result of further research

  • Reader to comment on the final draft and discuss comments

  • Edit final draft following comments

  • Proofread the essay

  • Submit the essay

Estimating Time for Tasks
Only through experience do you become more adept at estimating how long study tasks and activities take to complete. It is important to review the process of completing a task so you can learn from your experience.

There are several factors to consider when estimating the time required to complete a task:

  • The variables and your skill in estimating (ie. skill levels and experience)

  • Learning objectives for the unit

  • Learning objectives for the task

  • How much time you are expected to spend on a unit


A spreadsheet to help students schedule ongoing activities, assessment deadlines and other non-study commitments.

How to Tackle a Difficult Reading

Some student tips on how to get the most out of study material.

Reading 1: read just read, forget the words you don't know; just read to get an overall impression of the document is about.

Reading 2: read to find what you don't know - circle or highlight unknown words; make a list of them on a separate piece of paper. Forget about sense and understanding, just note the words you don't know.

Reading 3: for each paragraph pick one word or very short phrase to sum it up. Some documents, particularly legal documents, will have a short phrase to the side of the paragraph which gives you a hint as to its contents. It's usually so you can skim those side words and find the paragraph of information that you really want. That's the sort of words/phrases you're going to put to the side.

You can go a step further list the chapter / section headings (assuming there are any) and under each one list your paragraph words. This will help you see the flow of the document.

Reading 4: if you have any study questions relating to this reading, keep them right next to you, and then read the document looking specifically for the answers.

By reading 5 - you should almost know this document off by heart :-)

I did professional theatre for 5 years, and I used to recommend a similar process to my actors whenever they were issued a new script. I know it seems like a lengthy process - reading the document four or five times. But believe me - you will have a solid handle on it by the end.

Susan Korrel
Murdoch External Studies Community Site
2 Sept 2006


Some great advice there. Thanks for your input.

You actually hit on a key concept from the SSK12 unit. Knowledge is something we create within ourselves. We cannot get knowledge by just listening to someone give it to us. It takes action on our part to understand it. That action is not just a physical action but a cognitive action too. Andresen talks about knowledge on page 16 of the reader - "knowledge is something we each construct for ourselves". Kolb also on page 124 - His theory on Experiential Learning.

Just thought I would practice a bit for the exam guys. Sorry for being so heavy.

Tracy Maurer
Murdoch External Studies Community Site
September 3, 2006

5 September 2006

QSK130 Getting to Know Your Study Materials

Unit Information

  • An introduction to the unit.

  • The unit aims and objectives.

  • A unit outline or schedule of topics to be presented in written material, lectures, discussions, laboratories etc.

  • The learning activities in which you will participate and how they are organised; for example, lectures, online discussions, tutorials, workshops, laboratories etc.

  • The assessment requirements.

  • Administrative information, such as relevant University policies and regulations, and details about the unit organisation.

  • A list of texts and/or resources (those that are required and further reading and/or resources).

Unit information can be categorised as above. Use the above categories to help organise the information. Record assessment/exam dates on calendar (milestones). Write unit aims/objectives down, co-relate these with own study objectives. Keep in prominent place as reminder to help remain focussed.

Unit learning or study guide

Scan the unit content and consider these aspects:

  • Areas of interest to me

  • How the unit is organised into sections and blocks

  • Main topics and sub-topics

  • Main theories, concepts or ideas

  • What is the focus and perspective

  • Any study or discussion questions

  • How the topics, theories, concepts or ideas integrate

  • Skills required or to be developed

Consider the following aspects of unit texts and reading:

  • How required texts are to be used (eg background study, central study)

  • Context of required readings, specific questions/pointers

  • Any further reading requirements

  • Other resources, skills to use these resources

  • Library use, research requirements

Mapping the Unit Structure

Mind or concept maps are visual aids to examining unit structure and the relationship of its topics.

Using Objectives to Direct Your Learning

Identify unit objectives/outcomes, locate content, activities and assessments that relate to these objectives. This aids in providing context for assessment tasks and serves as a reminder of the unit focus.

4 September 2006

Learning at a Distance - Worksheet

This worksheet presents a brief discussion of the differences between classroom and external learning.

With classroom learning, a teacher is there to provide guidance and direction to a students learning. Most of the learning material is presented orally by teacher, although many different forms of media may be used.

My experience of classroom learning has been at highschool and TAFE. With a teacher to guide the student, every step of the learning process was clearly defined and linear in its approach to meeting final objectives.

External learning relies on the judgement of the student to assess their learning materials and distinguish between "guidance" and "source materials". Perseverance is required, and if required draw on other resources such as the student/tutor discussion forums.

When I commenced my reading last week I could not help feeling a little overwhelmed at the quantity of materials available, both in the supplied texts and online resources. I feel that I have barely scraped the surface and there is a huge amount of material to get through. I find myself reading from several books at the same time, as the material is cross-referenced, as well as beginning to explore the resources available online in the WebCT facility.

Study tips from another OUA student are proving to be tremendously useful in setting my objectives through the course. He recommended focussing on the material required to complete the assessment tasks first and foremost, with wider reading in the final weeks before exam.

I shall attempt to keep this objective at the forefront of my mind whilst scanning the materials and focussing on the parts that are most useful for the task at hand.

A link mentioned in the LITE exercise reading might become useful - Evaluation of information sources

SSK12 and Me - Worksheet

This exercise prompts me to describe the three most important areas of concern in my study and how this unit might help me to address these.

I think the largest area of concern for me is time management. Initially as I was familiarising myself with the study materials, time management seemed the least of my concerns. I've come to realise that time management will help keep me focussed and motivated, and reduce stress.

Several of the early learning skill exercises in SSK12 look at managing your study and time effectively. I think if I make the effort to complete these exercises and adopt a method to suit the benefits will outweigh any extra time I spend.

Secondly, critical thinking is another of my week areas. I am very used to accepting things at face value, without questioning.

Most of the work required in SSK12 seems to be designed to help the student apply critical thinking, from keeping a learning log to the essay assessment tasks.

The final area of concern is essay writing; a lot of this stems from my experiences at highschool. I think SSK12 will teach me useful techniques in planning and writing an essay. The critical thinking will also be of value here.

Questions? None that I can think of at the moment. I have been reading posts on the discussion forums and learned about learning log requirements, not having to complete every single exercise, making the course content "my own".

QSK110 Setting Study Goals and Objectives

There are worksheets for this module but putting them here will help to keep the module outcomes at the forefront of my mind where they will remain useful and can be refined or updated as required.

Identifying Goals

Life goals for the next five years:

  • complete my university degree

  • live a healthy lifestyle

  • happy marriage

  • be in a stimulating line of work

  • be out of debt

  • have plenty of interests, remain occupied

  • be mentally active and happy

Study goals:

  • personal development - improve my mind, become a better writer

  • personal achievement - attain satisfactory pass in all units, meet requirements for award of degree

  • academic reasons - formalise my knowledge and learn more about my field of study (Internet Studies)

  • vocational reasons - get a suitable qualification, improve my work prospects

Unit goals for SSK12 Introduction to University Learning:

  • submit all assessment tasks on time and sit for final exam

  • complete the unit with a respectable pass

  • acquire new and valuable skills and knowledge which will help me throughout my other study units

Evaluating Study Goals

I think my goals are realistic, although they seem a little boring: it is possible they will not prove sufficiently challenging. I have a history of not sticking to things; although part of the issue might have been the lack of thought and planning.

So a likely struggle will be my commitment to completing my course of studies. Will I be able to make sacrifices and push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve my goals?

From Study Goals to Study Objectives

Re-think my goals by converting to objectives using S.M.A.R.T:
Specific: can I make this goal more specific?
Measurable: how will I measure my progress?
Actionable: how will I act on this goal?
Realistic: is this goal realistic?
Time-related: how much time do I have to complete this?

Focusing on Goals

This entry in my learning log will serve as a reminder of my goals and help me keep my resolve. I could also print out a statement of my goals and stick it on the wall at my desk so it stays in my face!


"You will be effective if your goals and objectives are realistic and if they guide how you manage and approach your study, and you will be efficient if you remain focused on and stick to your goals." (Lorraine Marshall QSK110, 2006)

Useful Links

QSK120 Managing Risks and Optimising Potential

Study SWOT Analysis

A personal profile of my strengths and weaknesses, and any opportunities or threats to my study.

My Weaknesses

  • No previous university experience/preparation

  • Insufficient drive and self-motivation

  • Lack of strategies to achieve study objectives

  • Poor critical thinking

  • Social anxiety, lack of public speaking skills

My Strengths

  • Knowledge and experience of my subject

  • Confidence, working with others, seeking help if I need it, learning from mistakes, dealing with stress

  • Having clearly defined goals

  • Time management skills

  • Literacy (reading, writing) and research skills

  • Problem solving skills

  • Using the computer and the internet

Threats to my Study

  • financial - if I lose my income and/or need to find full time work

Opportunities for my Study

  • my current part time job - provides internet connection, work in my field

  • online communities - provides a support network of people in similar situation


I am undertaking the SSK12 course to help me prepare for university study, and practise critical thinking. As an external student I expect my lack of speaking prowess will not be a great issue. Remaining focussed and committed to my study goals will be the major challenge; maintaining control over my progress by defining achievable objectives will make this easier.

The financial threat - if I lose my part-time job, is something I should keep at the back of my mind and I should remain informed and aware of alternate job opportunities.