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Benefits of Critical Thinking

Question:

Discuss about the Portfolio for Improving Skill Development.

Critical Thinking is the aptitude to examine how you reason and produce proof of your concepts, rather than merely recognizing your individual rationalizing as adequate evidence. You can acquire several profits from understanding critical thinking abilities, such as more command of your education and compassion for other perspectives (Browne, & Freeman,2000). It is simply the use of rational reason deficient predilections towards certain results. It necessitates an aim, fair evaluation of information and data and the verbalization of a conclusion based solidly on that assessment. It requires an eagerness and capability to "reason outside the box." Additionally, it is a higher-order reasoning skill that is essential to learners, preparing them to react to a selection of complicated difficulties that are sure to occur in their professional and personal lives(Fu,2013). The cognitive abilities at the basis of critical thinking are analysis, interpretation, assessment, clarification, deduction, and self- control. Critical Thinking is, in brief, self- guided, self- restricted, self- scrutinized, and self- educative thinking. It presumes agreement to severe criteria of brilliance and wary expertise of their usage. It involves effectual interaction and problem resolving skills and a pledge to conquer our natural sociocentrism and egocentrism (Harlen,Crick,Black,Broadfoot, Daugherty, Gardner,& Wiliam,2003).

Some examples of critical thinking that is applied in ICT include the following first, an ICT expert correctly and confidently enlightening exactly to his or her colleagues the procedure used to reach a particular deduction on an ICT problem like when there is a breach in a company’s network (McMahon,2009). Also why and how a specific approach or standard of evidence was utilized when they were solving this particular violation and if it was effective, hence this will help the expert and peers to have a basis when they are solving similar problems in future (Ng'ambi,& Johnston,2006). The next example is, when developing software to be used in any field, ICT experts should always think ahead of any problems that may arise and solutions of these problems. Also, they should develop one’s that solve problems that face the field of specialty and help everyone and not just a few. Hence they should evaluate a problem and provide a solution (Rumpagaporn,2007).

For this task, I will be assessing my academic writing skills and pinpointing my strengths and weaknesses using a SWOT evaluation method. Once these matters have been recognized any insufficiencies will be tackled using coming up with strategies to solve them (Jackson, Joshi,& Erhardt,2003).

Strengths

Weaknesses

Punctuality

Possess excellent researching skills

Good at reading and writing

Have excellent IT skills

Motivation

Procrastination

Time management

concentration

Opportunities

Threats

Help from peers

Chances for personal growth

Job shadowing

Involve tutors in providing comments

Slow internet speeds can affect my research skills for assignments

Power outages can affect the time set to do the assignments

Strategies to address time management weakness. First I would create a chance to do special jobs for a given interval of time, this will help me develop an action plan (Kim,2005). It will aid me in identifying the most important task and then set a deadline for when it is to be completed; it should be done on a regular basis (Dyson, 2004). The next strategy is once you have set what you want to do, you should schedule your time so as to remain focused and on track with the assignments given. Hence if you efficiently plan your time, you will be able to use your time well (Yüksel, & Dagdeviren,2007).

Examples of Critical Thinking in ICT

I received feedback for my assignment, and it was not good. I had waited for the response on the task for quite long as I had done the assignment fully and expected full marks for it. I was waiting for an email from my lecturer early so that I could see if my skills in handling the task I was assigned were on point (Boud, Keogh,  & Walker, 1996). The professor sent feedback with comments that I had some grammatical errors in the assignments and also that some of my answers to the questions were out of the concept. He also mentioned that I needed to add more information on the job I was given as I was a little vague on it and thus needed to explain myself further (Pavlovich, Collins,& Jones, 2009). I contributed to getting this feedback by not researching in depth on the topic of the assignment that I was given and thus when I tackled the question I could not go into depth on it, hence my answer appeared to be vague (Bolton,2010). Also as I did not understand some of the assignment questions, I was out of concept in solving it in some parts. I also did not thoroughly proofread the assignment on completion hence there were some errors in the grammar in the replies. On the other hand, I handled the question as best I could, and other than the few grammatical errors I had, the paper was perfectly no other errors. Also in the journal on the questions, I handled well I proved my research skills were on point as I handled them well. I answered the lecturer and thanked him for his feedback and asked for further assistance (Falchikov,1996).

From this experience, I learned that I should always understand the question and research deeply on any topic I have been given to tackle. I should ensure that when I handle matters and that when I research on the question it is the right one and that I have grasped the concept completely, thus I will be able to remain on topic and avoid being vague with my answers. Also, I should make sure that once I complete answering the assignment, I have been given that I go through it with a fine-tooth comb to correct any errors present (Lai,& Calandra,2007). I would have asked the lecturer to clarify the question clearly when he gave it out when I did not understand thus I would have answered it well also I should have gone through the paper to correct all the errors it had. From this situation I learned a lot on how I should handle my future assignments hence It gave me the opportunity to improve my skills and better them. The negative from this situation is that I learned that I lack comprehension skills on jobs and that I am afraid of asking clarification, I should also improve my skills for attention to details (Hammersley?Fletcher,& Orsmond,2005).

In this situation, I would go and talk with my friend and indirectly find out about the situation. I would ask about her wellbeing and that of her family’s. When she opens up about her husband’s health status, I would ask her to clarify it further, on the details of his terminal illness if she is comfortable sharing that sort of information with me. Once she tells me everything about the situation and how long her husband has been given, I would then assess the situation with the new information I have learned. With the conclusion, I would then talk to her and present my views on the part where she wants to take the loan. I would tell her of my fears on her taking the credit and ensure that she knows all the consequences that may arise when her husband passes on. I would guarantee that I would go into depth with her discussing the situation from all sides and ensuring that she is content and can make her decision with a clear head. This intervention would be done outside office hours. I would do this because as she is my friend, I would always feel guilty when she gets stressed in future because she made the decision. I would feel guilty since I knew about the situation, even though through the wrong means, and did nothing about it. I would tell her that I learned about it when I went through the information of workers in the company and was worried about her, even if she gets angry with me.

SWOT Analysis of Academic Writing Skills

In the ACS Code of Ethics, the value that is represented by this dilemma is one on honesty. Here I would truthfully inform my peer that I accessed her information while doing my job and as a friend, I wanted to help her out. Hence this will ensure that I represent my knowledge of the situation correctly (Van den Bergh, & Deschoolmeester,2010). Also, the enhancement of quality of life is another value that is applicable here, whereas she is working with me I would ensure that she has the best life possible and that if it’s a solvable problem I offer my help (Zigon, 2007).

It is important for an ICT professional to be ethical as they are expected to be professional as the carry out the tasks they are given. Also so that they are considerate of their actions and how it impacts their clients, workers, and other people (Valentine, & Barnett, 2007). Also as more people are utilizing ICT in their daily lives, they will be subject to more scrutiny from everyone hence should act as professionally as possible based on principles from their professional code of conduct (Sonenshein,2007). 

During group work where we had to handle a given assignment, we were paired off to deal with different tasks. With my partner, I listened to any contributions he had to make on the questions and made comments on this. I also gave my point of view after hearing his. Hence we were able to solve the task we were assigned with ease (Kenning,2007).

I used my reading skills in different ways to complete my academic assignment. I did this by deeply and keenly reading the articles that were provided for this unit of study and ensuring that I comprehended all the points mentioned in the article. I also utilized it by researching the topic further and making sure that I got all the information necessary that would answer the question well (Coiro,2011).

When as a group we were given the assignment to do, we chose a group leader who gave out tasks to the members to complete the job. Afterward, we met up with the group and consolidated our ideas and ensured that everyone answered the questions well. We utilized communication skills, interpersonal skills, and reading skills (Parmelee,& Michaelsen,2010).

One example is where a network administrator had to decide on whether or not to monitor the workers at his office as he was asked to by his boss even if the employees had not signed a contract to that effect. He came to the decision to inform his boss of his worries (Al-Saggaf,& Burmeister,2012). Also, another example is where an ICT head had to find a company to supply them with ICT hardware and one of the company offering is a friend’s company. He made the decision based on his company’s best interest. With these two examples, I understood that as people we are faced with trouble, and we should critically think about problems before we come to a decision as it affects people’s lives. Also that we should always consider all implications of our decision if they are also legally, ethically and socially accepted (Bynum,2008).

Strategies to Address Time Management Weaknesses

I learned how to work with people in a diverse work environment and staff by learning about everyone and their cultures. It helped me to appreciate people more and also to be able to respect everyone and avoid any friction. An example is that I learned about the prayer patterns of my colleagues and appreciated the time that was allocated to that(Phelps,Graham,& Watts,2011).

I learned how to evaluate ICT technologies importance in organizations by carrying out research on its use in different businesses and comparing the results. An example of how it is when I observed in several companies that the used technology like mobile phones and laptops to complete tasks hence increasing productivity and efficiency of the business (Mohamed, Murray, & Mohamed,2010).

Conferencing is an example where people in a company can hold a meeting from anywhere and at any time with ease. Another one is coordination software where it used to assign tasks that when solved well will amount in achieving the goal of the company. It was beneficial as it improved communication and reduced costs incurred in traveling and also saved on time for people (Bélanger,& Allport,2008).

I liked this unit as I was able to improve a lot of my skills like my interpersonal, reading communication and listening skills. I also learned how to work in teams and learned about the importance of diversity in the workplace. All these contributed to making a better ICT professional in future.

I would suggest that you add more class time as I felt that it is beneficial in improving someone’s life we should be taught more in this topic. Also, I would like that we could have had a practical class where we observed all the things we learned in action in an office setting.

References

Al-Saggaf, Y., & Burmeister, O. K. (2012). Improving skill development: an exploratory study comparing a philosophical and an applied ethical analysis technique. Computer Science Education, 22(3), 237-255.

Bélanger, F., & Allport, C. D. (2008). Collaborative technologies in knowledge telework: an exploratory study. Information Systems Journal, 18(1), 101-121.

Bolton, G. (2010). Reflective practice: Writing and professional development. Sage publications.

Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (1996). Promoting reflection in learning: A model. Boundaries of adult learning, 1, 32-56.

Browne, M. N., & Freeman, K. (2000). Distinguishing features of critical thinking classrooms. Teaching in higher education, 5(3), 301-309.

Bynum, T. (2008). Computer and information ethics.

Coiro, J. (2011). Predicting reading comprehension on the Internet: Contributions of offline reading skills, online reading skills, and prior knowledge. Journal of Literacy Research, 43(4), 352-392.

Dyson, R. G. (2004). Strategic development and SWOT analysis at the University of Warwick. European journal of operational research, 152(3), 631-640.

Falchikov, N. (1996). Improving learning through critical peer feedback and reflection. In Different Approaches: Theory and Practice in Higher Education. Proceedings of HERDSA Conference.

Fu, J. S. (2013). ICT in education: A critical literature review and its implications. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 9(1), 112.

Hammersley?Fletcher, L., & Orsmond, P. (2005). Reflecting on reflective practices within peer observation. Studies in Higher Education, 30(2), 213-224.

Harlen, W., Crick, R. D., Black, P., Broadfoot, P., Daugherty, R., Gardner, J., ... & Wiliam, D. (2003). A systematic review of the impact on students and teachers of the use of ICT for assessment of creative and critical thinking skills.

Jackson, S. E., Joshi, A., & Erhardt, N. L. (2003). Recent research on team and organizational diversity: SWOT analysis and implications. Journal of management, 29(6), 801-830.

Kenning, M. M. (2007). ICT and language learning. In ICT and Language Learning (pp. 135-170). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Kim, G. J. (2005). A SWOT analysis of the field of virtual reality rehabilitation and therapy. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 14(2), 119-146.

Lai, G., & Calandra, B. (2007). Using online scaffolds to enhance preservice teachers’ reflective journal writing: A qualitative analysis. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 3(3), 66-81.

McMahon, G. (2009). Critical thinking and ICT integration in a Western Australian secondary school. Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 269-281.

Mohamed, M., Murray, A., & Mohamed, M. (2010). The role of information and communication technology (ICT) in mobilization of sustainable development knowledge: a quantitative evaluation. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(5), 744-758.

Ng'ambi, D., & Johnston, K. (2006). An ICT-mediated Constructivist Approach for increasing academic support and teaching critical thinking skills.Educational Technology & Society, 9(3), 244-253.

Parmelee, D. X., & Michaelsen, L. K. (2010). Twelve tips for doing effective Team-Based Learning (TBL). Medical teacher, 32(2), 118-122.

Pavlovich, K., Collins, E., & Jones, G. (2009). Developing students' skills in reflective practice: Design and assessment. Journal of Management Education, 33(1), 37-58.

Phelps, R., Graham, A., & Watts, T. (2011). Acknowledging the complexity and diversity of historical and cultural ICT professional learning practices in schools. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1), 47-63.

Rumpagaporn, M. W. (2007). Students’critical Thinking Skills, Attitudes To Ict And Perceptions Of Ict Classroom Learning Environments Under The Ict Schools Pilot Project In Thailand  (Doctoral dissertation, School of Education, University of Adelaide).

Sonenshein, S. (2007). The role of construction, intuition, and justification in responding to ethical issues at work: The sensemaking-intuition model.Academy of Management Review, 32(4), 1022-1040.

Valentine, S., & Barnett, T. (2007). Perceived organizational ethics and the ethical decisions of sales and marketing personnel. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 27(4), 373-388.

Van den Bergh, J., & Deschoolmeester, D. (2010). Ethical Decision Making in ICT: Discussing the Impact of an Ethical Code of Conduct. Communications of the IBIMA.

Yüksel, ?., & Dagdeviren, M. (2007). Using the analytic network process (ANP) in a SWOT analysis–A case study for a textile firm. Information Sciences, 177(16), 3364-3382.

Zigon, J. (2007). Moral breakdown and the ethical demand: A theoretical framework for an anthropology of moralities. Anthropological Theory, 7(2), 131-150.

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