Business Student's Handbook
Learning Skills for Study & Employment

By Sheila Cameron
Financial Times / Pearson Education
July 2002
ISBN: 0-273-65527-2
381 Pages, Illustrated, 7 " x 9 "
$72.50 paper original

Usually first-year modules in study/learning/transferable skills on all undergraduate business and management and related programmes at FE/HE level; also postgraduate/post-experience programmes. The focus of this book is on developing key, transferable skills, learning to use these skills more effectively, and developing a portfolio of skills so that a potential employer has a way of measuring these skills. By applying a management approach to the whole process of being a student, the reader will get real practice in applying the management concepts they learn, and in making these demonstrable to a future employer.

Addresses a broad range of key learning skills including: communication, writing and basic number skills, IT skills, and issues such as problem solving, creativity, working with case studies, project management and group working. Provides students with a broad introduction to the wide range of skills they will use throughout their student careers, and beyond. Focus on the need to manage learning, and offers guidance on developing skills required to do so. Students develop a valuable skill that will promote the significant improvement of grades on other courses. Management theory used to underpin the skills teaching Introduces and reinforces the basic theories that students will encounter on other management courses.

Specific attention is paid to improving results in course assessment and exams, and the final chapter deals with finding, and successfully applying for, work Provides students with practical information and advice that they can apply to their own academic and professional pursuits. Interactive approach linked to students own learning experience involving a range of exercises, action planning guidelines, and numerous activities to test understanding and skills acquisition Encourages students to test their own understanding of the material and put the theory to practice. Solid pedagogical framework for each chapter with specific learning objectives, summaries, and suggested further reading where appropriate Helps guide student learning and comprehension of the material.

Chapter 1 Learning, skills and employment. Careers within modern organisational structures, what employers look for in graduates, key skills and applications for learning and employment, effective use of the handbook.

Chapter 2 Managing your studies Personal management skills, objective setting, action planning, motivation, time management, stress management

Chapter 3 The learning process Learning theory, learning styles, learning opportunities and how to exploit them, improving learning and performance by managing the learning process

Chapter 4 Reading and note taking Reading skills, selecting reading materials and appropriate reading speeds, annotating and note taking using words and diagrams.
Chapter 5 Basic numbers Diagnostic exercise, the importance of numbers, sources of difficulty, basic mathematical signs, symbols and operations, units, estimating and rounding, fractions, rations and percentages, using equations, using brackets.
Chapter 6 Written communication Writing as a transferable skill, elements of communication, general points on style, plagiarism, memos, letters, report writing. Glossary of spelling and grammar.
Chapter 7 Using communication and information technologies Organisational impacts of CITs, word processing, presentation packages, spreadsheets and databases and statistical packages, the Internet, e-mail, computer conferencing.
Chapter 8 Gaining good marks The aims of assessment, reasons students fail, improving your assessment technique, deconstructing questions and planning answers, doing well in examinations, viva voce examinations, portfolio assessment. Glossary of terms used in assessment.

Chapter 9 Talking and listening Active listening, giving and receiving feedback, talking, assertiveness, networking. Chapter 10 Working in groups Team working in organisations, team skills and group behaviour, discussion groups, formal meetings, task groups, virtual teams, becoming more effective, managing diversity and conflict, groupthink and scapegoating.
Chapter 11 - Presenting to others The risks in presentations, structure, delivery technique, use of visual aids, handling questions, controlling nerves, preparation.

Chapter 12 Exploring complex problems Rational approaches, problem definition, diagnostic diagrams, case study analysis.
Chapter 13 Obtaining data and information Data v. information, primary, secondary and tertiary sources, parameters and key words, Internet searches, interviews and questionnaires.
Chapter 14 Making sense of data Drawing and using graphs, calculus, histograms, bar charts, pie charts, summary measures, levels of significance.
Chapter 15 Increasing your creativity The need for creativity, barriers, techniques for improving creativity, finding opportunities to be creative.

Chapter 16 Managing projects Project teams, group projects, project planning, generating topics, project proposals, data planning, project scheduling, negotiating access, monitoring progress, writing a project report. Chapter 17 Into employment Reassessing your objectives, finding out about opportunities, planning to become attractive to employers, preparing an impressive CV, completing application forms, interviews and assessement centres, lifelong learning.

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