Research and Professional Practice

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Introduction: Good afternoon all.  In my Personal development plan (PDP Podcast 1) I will be talking about my life experience in the university and entering higher education.  I will also be talking about the specific education needs I have identified as well as the principal challenges that I have faced in entering higher education.  Furthermore, I will also talk about my areas of development including what I am planning to do in the second Semester to develop my skills and competencies as a student of Health and Social Care and then offer a brief conclusion to my PDP1.
Entering Higher Education and Challenges
After successfully gained admission to study for my undergraduate programme at London met, the first hours of the first week was filled with many questions and most of which are nearly impossible to be answered immediately, questions like “Will I meet new friends? And how are people going to react to me?  Given my life experience you would think that these sorts of questions will not provide any level of anxiety but human nature dictates that it is only natural to feel this way as everybody wants to be liked and respected.  Also while trying to be familiar with the university building and surroundings, I was going to the student Hub every day to inquire about different things concerning my studies and where to go if I need one help and the other and I was very grateful with the help and support I got from the student Hub as this was very helpful to me.
I will like to say that starting University is like starting a new life as I was not fully prepared for the challenges ahead of me as the first year is always extra hard when it comes to adjustment to University life thus making me end up being overwhelmed.
Time management was my principal challenges when I newly started couple with my work and long-distance travel from my home to the University every lecture day.  I also find it difficult to locate my lecture rooms in the university for couple of weeks. Also understanding my modules was also another big challenge to me but thanks to my lecturers who have been working hard recording the lectures to enable the students and myself reflect on the recordings for clear understanding of the Modules.  In addition, referencing is another major challenge I am facing even till now but thanks to the SH4004 week 3 lectures on Research and Professional and Practice year 2018-2019 with Denis who lecture us on Harvard referencing and she was kind enough to book a one to one appointment with me to educate me more on Harvard referencing. Another challenges I will talk about is that I have always been very shy to talk to people in the public and this has been difficult for me at the beginning to address the class ask questions and participate in the group work assignments and Role Play.  But now I am overcoming this gradually.
Specific Learning Needs
I have identified my specific learning needs to be lack of concentration in my studies due to my long-term health condition as I don’t simply grasp information quickly. However, I have been accessed by the Student Finance, Contact Associate as well as the University and have been given the necessary support and equipment to support me with my studies.  I have also undergone Dyslexia screening by the University and the process is still ongoing. As someone with mild learning difficulties, I hope to get extra time to submit my assessments and assignments and I will also prefer to learn with colours, pictures a visual learner.
In other to address this need in my First Semester, I have been attending regular classes and lectures to help me understand my Modules as well as participating in group learning in order to learn with others and attending group and One to One referencing training session at University Library like the Harvard referencing with Denis and the Zotero referencing with Lynn Crothall.   There are also plans on going to offer me One to One Study Skills Support and this will enable me to address my specific learning needs.  Furthermore, meeting with my Mentors schemes on 1-2-1 basis with the mentor providing ongoing support, encouragement, advice and feedback on my work and studies.  This approach will help me actively asses my learning and development while also helping me to obtain knowledge and skills needed.
Development Areas
In Semester 2, I plan to learn and practice communicating effectively with individuals, groups and organisation.  I must improve on my time management and learn independently.  I also need to have new ways of thinking including creative and critical thinking as we have been thought in the SH4004 week 3 lectures on Research and Professional Practice Year 2018-2019.  More so, I will need to work as a team and take on responsibility, write concisely, clearly and accurately and improve in my note taking skills as well as relating knowledge gained to situations in Health and Social Care. It is also important to improve on my reading skills by reading as often as possible as this will improve my vocabulary words while taking emphasis on academic planning to accommodate the Four Modules in Health and Social Care. I will also plan to do the following in Semester 2 to develop my skills and competencies as a student of Health and Social Care:  Taking notes in class develop study group as this can quiz each other and learn things from each other.  I will also have to make study plans, develop study habits, develop effective memorization techniques, develop critical reading skills, improve on test-taking strategist, creating an appropriate study environment, getting enough sleep, develop a schedule by keeping a schedule of classes, assignments, study and project work.  By doing this, I will less likely to find myself scrambling to complete a project at the last minutes or cramming the night before a big test. I will also consider in developing my reflective skills as this skill will be useful to me in developing my level of thinking and reflecting on my studies and learning. And I will also not relent my efforts in asking my lecturers questions in class in any difficulties I may encounter with any Modules. Presently, asking questions has help me a lot in understanding and know how to work on my Four Modules to enable me achieve my target and goals.
Conclusion
In order to achieve my goals, I will have to be motivated and adapting to change quickly and effectively.  Also, I am quite confident that I am on the right path and confident that I can overcome the weaknesses I have in some specific fields as mentioned above and would also try to use my strong points to dominate over my weaknesses.  I want to be on the right track and would want to see myself as a role model for people who wants to succeed in Health and Social Care sector as I want to reach the managerial level.  Thank you for listening.
Personal Development Plan (PDP) Podcast 1
Referencing
Cottrell, S. (2012) The study skills handbook: 4thed.Basingstoke, Hampshire (England): Palgrave Macbillan.
Denis, (2018) “Harvard Referencing” (PowerPoint Presentation). SH4004
Research and Professional Practice. Available at: http://weblearn.londonmet.ac.uk (Assed: 03 December 2018)
Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (Student journey learning centre) 236-250 Holloway Road, London N7 6PP
Health and Social Care Skills and careers (30 July 2018) Sarrah, RMIT studying and learning centre

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