Monday, 5 December 2016

Reflections on TLM 1010-Technical Communications

As we bring down the curtain on the TLM 1010 Technical Communications module, a lot of things has happened in a very short 20hour course module. Looking back reflecting on this module, I have discovered that I have so much more room for improvement in the aspects of technical communication. Having scored A’s during my polytechnic days for communication modules or any sorts of presentation, I went in being overconfident of my own skills always thinking how it was going to be an easy ‘A’ for the module. But to my surprise, things were not as easy as compared to polytechnic, report writing, APA style referencing, product summaries were things that I have never touched on and always thought when the time came it would come innately. 

From the very first assignment right till this very reflection assignment, I have learnt many valuable lessons and skills, from something as simple as writing a formal self-introduction e-mail to something as complicated as writing a persuasive product design proposal report but it was from the very first assignment onwards that I realize that I needed to put in a lot more effort.

Throughout the course module, working with different people was the one of the factors that kept the lessons spontaneous. By constantly switching groups, not only did we to learn how to adapt to each other while maintaining quality work, we also got to know each other better as classmates and the insights each of us have from our diverse background. We learnt about our strengths and weaknesses and compensated each other and I have better understood what working style suited me better.
The most challenging assignment would undoubtedly be the report writing. Report writing has always been my Achilles heel as I constantly have issues trying to comprehend it, but thankfully I had amazing teammates Sheryl and Wei Sheng who guided and brought me through this trial. Yet through the very same assignment there was the presentation where I breath a sign of relief as there was finally something of my forte. Coming from a performing arts background, every single presentation is always like a performance to me, a place to enthrall the audience while bringing a point across in a spectacular way. It was the place where I could compensate for my lackluster report writing skills. 

Looking back as we draw a close to the module, I have realized that I have learnt in 20 hours more than any other communications module I have taken during my polytechnic days. As humans, communication is a necessity and I am sure that everything that I have learnt in this module will be put to good use in future and overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time taking this module.

Edit: Commented on Wei Sheng & Marilyn


  1. Dear Ian,

    This reflection was clear and well written. It was enjoyable working with you for our third assignment and I look forward to working with you again in the future.

    Wei Sheng.

    1. Hi Wei Sheng

      Thank you very much for the kind comments. I too look forward to working with you again in future.

      Best Regards
      Ian Tan

  2. Thanks, Ian, for the detailed reflection and the positive review. I'm happy to know that the module gave you an opportunity to gather some useful takeaways (APA style, for example) and also to revisit some well worn skill areas (presenting). One thing I learned in this post is that you have come from a performing arts background. What would that be? Can't be more specific? (Next time you see me, make a point of telling me, okay? Otherwise I won't know whether you were a carnival barker or a local rock star or what.)

    In this reflection you also mention your appreciation of having worked across teams. I'm glad that turned out to be a good experience for you. The interpersonal factor is really what communication is all about.

    There is one last language issue that I feel compelled to mention. See your sentences below:

    Coming from a performing arts background, every single presentation is always like a performance to me... (Does a presentation come from a performing arts background?)

    As humans, communication.... (Is the word "communication" a human?)

    Both are problematic in the same way. Do you see why? Explain that to me next time you see me as well.

    All the best as your learning journey continues!

    1. Hi Brad

      Thank you very much for your generous comments. I am actually a musician playing the traditional Chinese instruments Pipa (Chinese lute) and Guzheng (Zither / Chinese Koto). Let us save this topic for another time as written words will not be sufficient.

      The language issues yet again proves my point that I still have so much more room for improvement which I fully intend to work on. I will edit it in due time to be able to express my thoughts better.

      I sincerely thank you for guiding me through this course and hope to be able to be under your tutelage once again in future communication modules.

      Yours sincerely
      Ian Tan

  3. Thanks, Ian, for the update on your performance. A classical musician, eh? Fantastic! I'm a huge fan of musics from the world (I used to present an Internet radio programme of 'world music'), and I'd like to talk to you about your musical experience. Yes, at a later time...