Skills Resource Bank

SkillsBankColumn

What is the Skills Resource Bank?

The University of Sheffield Skills Resource Bank has been developed by the Skills Forum to provide a portal for students to customise their personal skills pathway drawing on resources and activities available across the University. The Skills Resource Bank includes a Skills Audit, Feedback Portal and Activity Dashboard to allow students to filter, access and record skills development activity throughout their programme of study.

The Skills Resource Bank is a tool that can be used independently by students or by personal tutors to introduce students to the range of co-curricular opportunities available and to evaluate progress against targets. The linked session plans (see below and side bar) can be used as templates to embed the Skills Resource Bank into individual or group tutorials across an academic year.

Why Use the Skills Resource Bank?

While many of the skills and much of the knowledge that students gain at university are embedded within their programme of study, there are a wide range of additional opportunities to gain additional skills and experience through co- and extra-curricular activities delivered by services across the institution. The Sheffield Graduate Attributes provide a framework for students to consider their learning within a wider context of personal and professional development.

The Skills Resource Bank provides a way for students to find the opportunities that are appropriate and timely and to record progress. The Skills Resource bank is designed to complement a student’s core programme of study as a tool for independent learning that allows them to identify and address development needs across three main categories: Everyday, Academic and Professional.

Suggestions for Embedding

The Skills Resource Bank can be used independently by students, but there are also a number of ways that personal tutors or module tutors may wish to consider using it with students as a way to facilitate action-oriented discussions around skills development, reflection and use of feedback. The linked session plans are ideas that can be used or adapted in a variety of contexts to encourage students to engage with and make the most of the range of opportunities that exist beyond their programme of study.


Session Plan 1: Skills Audit and Self-Evaluation

Duration: 10 minutes
Resources: Skills Audit and template
Suggested timing: Year 1, Semester 2

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify priority skills for development across personal, academic and professional boundaries
  • Assess the range of opportunities available and
  • Develop a personal skills action plan to address identified skills gaps

A skills audit is a widely-used tool in education and employment for assessing learning needs in order to plan, develop and improve the skills you will need in your degree and beyond. The University of Sheffield Skills Audit will help students to identify strengths and priorities for further development by responding to a series of short statements. The Skills Audit should take no more than five minutes to complete (using a smartphone or similar) and it will generate a personalised action plan including recommendations of resources and opportunities that are available around the university to help students to narrow their skills gaps.

The Skills Audit can be taken as many times as you like and it will be saved in a student’s personal skills record. A student’s priorities might change over the course of their degree so it can be used as part of an ongoing process of skills reflection to keep track of progress against goals.

Suggested workflow for a personal tutorial meeting:

Skills Audit Flow

Session Plan 2: Skills Audit and Self-Evaluation

Duration: 10 minutes
Resources: Activity Dashboard and Skills Resource Bank; template
Suggested timing: Year 1, Semester 2

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify key skills developed across a year/semester of study
  • Articulate experience gained towards main goals and priorities
  • Reflect on experience and identify implications for future development needs

The Activity Dashboard allows students to record activities undertaken and to reflect on their experience. This logbook of activity can be used to track progress towards the Sheffield Graduate Award and/or to use as a record of development activity undertaken for future job applications. Students can export their Activity Log as a PDF to share or bring along to a personal tutorial meeting, or they can access it via their smartphone to draw on evidence of activity undertaken during a discussion.

The Activity Log can be used with the Skills Reflection template to encourage students to draw out the key learning and development points from their co- and extra-curricular activity and to consider the implications for ongoing engagement with skills development opportunities.

Suggested workflow for a personal tutorial meeting:

Resource Bank Flow