Category Archives: Tools

Systems Approach

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ABSTRACT A systems approach to investigating what happens when things go wrong puts the emphasis on changing the system and not blaming, punishing and removing individuals. This article introduces Root Cause Analysis as a means of investigating problems in organizations. Group behavior One means of understanding why individuals perform particular behaviors is to apply the  […]

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SMART Objectives

SMART objectives

ABSTRACT Written objectives should be specific, measureable, action-oriented, realistic and time-limited. When formatted in this way they are known as SMART objectives. In addition, the inclusion of a Key Result Area increases their precision by stating the end result of achieving the objective. Be SMART! Remember that all your objectives should be SMART, i.e. Specific […]

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Processes, Participants and Circumstances Exercise

processes participants and circumstances exercise

Task Analyse the following utterances/sentences into processes, participants and processes. See the article What Do We Talk About? for information regarding these functional groups. Before you begin, here is a reminder: Processes are the happenings or states of affairs represented in a clause. They are realised by verb phrases (e.g. went, started crying, will be […]

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SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis

ABSTRACT A SWOT Analysis is used to develop strategies that capitalize on an organization’s strengths, minimize the effects of any weaknesses, exploit available opportunities and defend against threats. Implementing these strategies leads to achieving the organization’s objectives. This article explains how to conduct a SWOT Analysis and provides a worked example in a school environment. Scope of discussion In the […]

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Time Series Analysis

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How am I doing? As we develop our skills in working with people with speech, language and communication needs we will likely need to monitor how well we are doing. This will be particularly important for practitioners who are required to maintain a record of continuous professional development (CPD), i.e. “A range of learning activities through which […]

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X-ray Imaging

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ABSTRACT X-ray imaging is probably the best known and most widely used of medical imaging techniques. Not only are X-rays the longest established means of producing images of the internal structure of the body, but X-ray imaging is also the workhorse technique for all radiology departments. What are X-rays? X-rays are high-energy electromagnetic radiation; those […]

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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ABSTRACT Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the newest techniques available for imaging in hospitals. It is a so-called tomographic technique (i.e. it takes ‘slices’ through the body) based on the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Technically it is a complex technique, but some understanding can be gained using qualitative arguments. Nuclear spin […]

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Unpacking the Question

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ABSTRACT When approaching any written assessment, it is important to be clear about the assessment task and the purpose of the writing. This article outlines a scheme for ensuring all relevant aspects of an assessment task are addressed. The scheme unpacks the question by identifying so-called actions, elements and operationalizations. Written assessments Written assessments form […]

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How to Fail Your Written Assessments

how to fail your written assessments

Overview There are numerous opportunities to throw away one’s grades and many students seize them enthusiastically with little or no instruction. On the basis that most of us will require some form of teaching in this skill area, I present the following guidelines on how to fail. Every student should be aware that failure is […]

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Effective Writing

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Am I making myself clear? A proposed set of rules and conventions for improving writing style for academic and professional reports. Stylistic Rules RULE Rule NOT applied Rule applied 1. Use definite, specific, concrete language. Billy could not talk properly. Billy’s speech sound system appears disordered, as evidenced by the persistence of syllable-initial velar fronting […]

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