1. Create a Word document called 'Critical Thinking' and write approximately 400 words (no less than 350 and no more than 450 words) describing why you need to be a critical thinker. Explain why it is important for ICT professionals to be critical thinkers. Note that you should include your definition of the term critical thinking. You need to provide at least four (4) relevant unique points in your discussion. Upload the document to Moodle.
2. Conduct a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis of your presentation skills. An example can be found on page 13 of the prescribed textbook. The SWOT analysis should be presented in a square with four (4) quadrants. In addition to the SWOT analysis, you also need to identify two areas of improvement for your presentation skills and outline some strategies you could use to enhance those areas.
3. Some people love Social Networking through technology (Facebook and Twitter) whilst others loathe it. Write reflectively about your experience with the use of a Social networking technology such as Facebook or Twitter. You will need to provide a brief description of the experience and then write three paragraphs (no less than 350 and no more than 450 words) of reflective writing where you analyse the experience, what you have learnt from the experience and how you would handle it differently in the future. Your reflective writing should cover the three key points on reflective writing (see below). If you do not use Social networking technologies, you should write a reflection on why you do NOT use Social networking technologies. Call your MS Word document ‘Reflective Writing’ and upload that file to Moodle.
The key points to consider when writing reflectively are:
1. You need to demonstrate what you have learned from a particular experience not just describe what happened.
2. There is no right or wrong answer—reflective writing is about what you learned from the experience.
3. Ask yourself the following questions and give your responses in your writing: Why did X happen? What did I do in X situation? What were the positive and negative outcomes in the situation? How might I do things differently next time? What have I learnt and how does this knowledge contribute to my development?
(McCulloch & Reid, 2012, p. 104)
4. In week 9 you learnt about how to develop a personal ethical framework and last week you learnt about work and cultural issues. Understanding who you are and how you relate to others in both your personal and work life can make you aware of the values that are important to you as well as the values that you may need to work on to improve. Create a document called ‘Personal Ethical Framework’ in MS Word and write approximately 500 word account (no less than 450 and no more than 550 words)on how to build a reputation as a good ICT professional and how to work with others from diverse backgrounds. This document should include statements about your work ethic, values that are important to you and how you relate to and communicate with others around you. As you are training to be an ICT professional you should refer to the ACS Code of Ethics and/or ACS Code of Professional Conduct when writing this personal ethical framework. In addition, your response should contain your views on working with diversity in the workplace and how to be sensitive to the people who have been brought up in cultures different to your own. Upload the Personal Ethical Framework document to Moodle.
5. Create a document called ‘Successful Completion’ and write a reflective analysis that demonstrates you have satisfied all eight(8) course learning outcomes that are listed in the course profile for COIT20233 Professional Skills for ICT (they are listed below). In no more than two (2) A4 pages justify how the work you have completed this term has satisfied all eight (8) course learning outcomes. Please note it is important that you JUSTIFY that you have satisfied the course objectives do NOT just summarise the course content and/or assessment items.
Write two things you liked about this course and provide the reason or reasons you liked them. Also describe two suggested improvements to the course and justify why they would improve the course.
Upload the Successful Completion document to Moodle.
1. Critical thinking
According to Fowler (2012) critical thinking is the mode of thinking where the individual is expected to make clear, reasoned and logical statements. The restructuring of the thought is done by the individual in the process of making critical thoughts and to attain this individual implements the thoughts in a self directed, self corrective and self monitored system. The effective critical thinking skills include the ability interpret and verify the thoughts in a logical and reasoned manner. On assessing the importance of critical thinking it may be noted that the rational thinking skill is important in the present knowledge driven economy. Hill and Shaw (2011) opined that following are the major reasons for improving critical thinking skills.
- Critical thinking enhances language and presentation skills. Thinking in a logical manner helps the individuals to express their ideas.
- It promotes creativity by enabling the individual to think creatively and provide solutions to the problems.
- Critical thinking helps to make self reflection an justify the decisions of the individual
Fumoto (2012) stated that use of ICT software like social media, online education system etc can be made secure by usage of critical thinking skills. The following fields within ICT require the individuals to use critical thinking skills. The new International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) has revealed that only 2% of the students use critical thinking in essential ICT skills
- The individuals can use critical thinking skills to encourage children to link experiences from one area to another. For instance the children can make logical thoughts about print off patterns from computer, print photographs and use remote driven toy cars.
- The ICT professionals can use different educational software in creative manner to extend the learning of the children beyond the traditional barriers. For implementing this professionals will need to have high critical thinking skills.
- ICT professionals need to implement logical and reasoned thought behind implementation of technology in practical sense.
- Critical thinking skills and logical analysis is required on the part of the ICT users to fruitfully conduct online information search (Hatva, 2013)
2. SWOT analysis of presentation skills
Voice modulation: Maryska (2012) opined that it is essential for a good presenter to make voice modulations as per changes in delivery of the slides. The voice modulations help to attract and retain the attention of the audience.
Eye contact and engaging audience: My ability to make eye contact with the audience and control their attention is a positive skill of my presentation skills.
Use of visual aids in slides: The use of graphs, charts, diagrams, pictures and videos helps to make the slides attractive and engaging. Moreover it helps me to avoid the excess explanation since the visual aids are expressive in it (Llorens-Garcia et al. 2009).
Stage fear: I face anxiety and persistent fear when required to perform in front of an audience. This results in stammering at times
Fast speech: My weakness of speaking fast in front of public makes it difficult for the listeners to register the content of the presentation (Kniveton, 2012).
Loss of words: The stage fear and the lack of confidence tend to make me forget lines and key words in between the presentation.
Losing focus during presentation: The audience movements and distractions within the audience make me lose focus from the main presentation and I tend to forget the lines or framed sentences.
Constant practice: Maryska (2012) opined that practice makes a man perfect. Hence stage rehearsals before the presentation will be useful for improvement of the main event.
Presentation trainings: Majority of the institutes are providing trainings on development of presentation skills. Availing of those training courses will be useful (Jacobs, 2009).
Intense competition: The intense competitions from the upcoming trained and good presenters are posing as a threat for me.
Areas of improvement
- Improvement in reduction of stage fear and increase confidence level in public speaking
- Improvement in presentation speaking skills (Moulic, 2012).
Strategies to enhance the weaknesses
- Self assessment and self encouragement to increase the confidence level and reduce the stage fear
- Structure the presentation and prepare and blueprint for the delivery process along with the content and timing for each slide
- Use simple, unambiguous and communicable language to deliver the presentation (Papadopoulos, 2013).
3. Reflective writing
The increased use of social media technologies like Face Book and Twitter has affected the private life of the individuals (Miller and Briscoe, 2012). The social media apps enables the individuals to spend majority of their time in liking posts, tweeting and conveying their opinions, playing games and interacting with total strangers. Although it increases the social network and exposes the individuals to a huge group of people with diverse culture and thoughts however the use of these apps also tends to expose the personal life of an individual.
Using Face book I encountered various experiences of which I would like to state a negative experience which provoked me to deactivate the account in future. While engaging in Face book activities I felt that excess Face book usage was increasing my communication rates which consisted of no significant communication rather consisted of noise in the communication structure. Moreover the use of Face book made it compulsory for me to make impulse haring of each and every moment of my life which made me lose my individuality and become a part of collective online friends group (Pinkowska and Lent, 2011).
From the experience I have learnt to reduce the usage rate of Face book. Although Face book is the easiest mode of connecting to the friends, relatives and familiar persons however the excess use of the same reduces the importance and value of the friends. Moreover I realized that using Face book helps to make an individual extrovert (Seri and Zanfei, 2013). The technology forces the individuals to develop the social skills. However the social interactions with the unknown online friends are computer interaction and not human interaction.
From my personal experience I would handle the situation in stricter manner in future. I would opt for socializing personally with my friends and relatives rather than spending my majority time chatting and interacting with virtual online friends. I would also avoid posting about my personal life over the Face book. Treating Face book as a leisure time option will enable me to keep a track of my personal life. Face book doesn’t help to create long term friendship hence I will also avoid sharing my personal emotions and private stories with my Face book friends.
4. Personal ethical framework
As per the ACS code of ethics and ICT professional should abide by the following ethical codes namely
- Primary public interest: The ICT professionals should place the interest of the public above the personal or business interest. Cox (2012) opined that in this respect the ICT professionals should try to identify the stakeholders who will be impacted by the work of the professionals and try to preserve security, continuity, utility and integrity of the ICT system. The professionals also require considering the public interest and safety in matters of delivering ICT services to customers (Seri and Zanfei, 2013).
- The enhancement of the quality of life: The roles of the ICT professionals will b to enhance the quality of the life of the customers by using reasonable ICT skills. The use of critical thinking skills by the ICT professionals will help them to devise ways to enhance the quality of life of the people. For instance the use of ICT tools like Braille in health and social care has helped the visually impaired people (www.acs.org.au , 2015).
- Maintaining of honesty: The maintenance of workplace honesty and integrity in presenting services and products is an integral part of the ICT professional ethics. The rejection of bribery, not engaging in misleading of the client and keeping a bar between the professional and personal advice helps the professionals to maintain the honest reputation.
- Showing work competence: The services provided by the ICT professionals should showcase their high level of competence and diligence towards the concerned stakeholders (Trajkovik and Mishev, 2014). In this respect the professionals should accept the work which they feel they are competent to perform. Consequently this will help to enhance the quality of the performance of the ICT professionals.
- Professional development: The professionals are also expected to increase their professional skills as well as contribute to the increment of the professional skills of team members and other staffs (Siraj, 2013). This involves the professionals to keep themselves updated with the new technologies and practices and standards. The continuous up gradation of the knowledge and skills will help the ICT professionals to deliver better services.
- Maintain respect for the other members: the guideline of ACS also states the legislations or the maintenance of equal respect and workplace integrity for each member within the workplace in spite of any cultural discrimination (Vaghari and Shuib, 2013). The code of ethics and professional behavior states that the professionals should be treated with dignity, respect and should avoid any form of harassment and unethical behavior. The workplace will be made up of employees with diverse cultural background hence this code protects the rights and the moral values of the employees of diverse culture. The code attempts to limit diversity in workplace, ensure that opportunities for employment, advancement, remuneration and other working conditions are based on actual skills and competencies rather than based on some cultural biasness.
5. Successful completion
The course module has helped me in successfully understand the 8 learning outcomes through the implementation of project course work. The knowledge on the ASC code of ethics has helped me to gain an understanding of the importance of ethics, code of behavior, societal, privacy and legal issues within ICT industry. The swot analysis of my personal skills has helped me to analyze the weakness and strategies that I should use in order to improve my presentation skills. This part of the module has helped me to gain knowledge on the creation and delivery of effective oral presentation skills. The creative thinking technique and the importance of creative thinking has helped me to realize the ideas though which I can effectively communicate both verbally and non verbally using the appropriate logical thoughts.
However there is a scope of improvement in the module. The module should try to relate to more practical applications of the communication process and ICT technologies. Finally the module should also include some coursework in relation to the application of ICT software in different branches of industry.
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