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This week I spent a lot of time prioritising all the major pieces of work I am yet to complete in order to finish this semester. In this process I realised that I was placing too much importance on the MikesBikes simulation and not enough of these weekly reflective journals. We all know that eventually the journal will be worth a ridiculously huge percentage of our finally grade and that passing and succeeding in the course is completely dependent on the journal… not only this, but also, the MikesBikes simulation forces us to learn narrow problem solving skills by pushing us to solve the issues we witness in our companies so that they may perform better in the imaginary world. This is what Argyris (1991) describes as single-loop learning and considering that success in the real world depends more and more on our ability to learn, we must engage in double-loop learning. By my understanding, the easiest way for us to do this is to reflect introspectively. the weekly journal is a platform where we can make connections between the theory and our experiences and so true learning happens here. Why have I been so naïve as to neglect the importance of the journal and focus majority of my time on MikesBikes? Argyris (1991) gave me the answer again. My education has conditioned me into thinking this way. I have spent four years applying theory to solving problem, either in assignments, case studies or simulations similar to this course. Again, the journal helps here; usually it is easier to take criticisms and ignore them but here the critiques are regular and make us think about why we go about learning in the way that we do, how and why we make assumptions in the way that we do.

In the past I have made the mistake of prioritising haphazardly without thinking about the true worth of the projects I am placing into a hierarchy. In the future, I will try to assess both the grade weighting of each assignment as well as how valuable it will be for my own development. We are at university to learn after all.

 

Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4-15

2 Comments

  1. You like it straight up, so here it is:

    In terms of Daudelin's fraework: I can see a problem, which is the fact that you haven't given your learning journal the time it deserves, and I can see your action, but everything in between seems to be missing. There is no real analysis of why this problem exists or formulation or testing of hypothesis. You do mention that the previous 4 years have caused it, but I don't really see the link as to how it is the reason for the problem. what is it about the last four years? you mention it is the applying of theory to solving problems, but that still doesn't explain it. Why have the last four years lead you to focus on mikes bikes over learning journals? I feel there is a lot more discussion and analysis that can go on here.

    In terms of the actual content, (which I'm not sure I'm supposed to provide feedback on, but feel it will help): You say that Mikes Bikes teaches narrow minded problem solving skills, which is single loop learning. However do you think there may be a bit more to mikes bikes than just entering numbers into a computer and doing simple problem solving. You could say that the fact that you think mikes bikes is single-loop learning, is single loop thinking in itself. I think if you reflected on the mikes bikes experience as a whole, there is a lot more to learn than simply which numbers to put where.  For example, if a team member was consistently rude to other members, the mikes bikes team would have to use problem solving to bring this member into 'line'. This is a learning opportunity that you can use in future (e.g. in a job when you have a team meeting and someone is doing the same thing, you will know how to deal with it as you have learned how to do it in the past). 

    Also, I feel as though if you are going to use theory, you need to explain it a bit better, what is double loop learning and how does it fit with what you are are explaining? If i read you journal without knowing what they are, I would be very confused and wouldn't know what you were on about. I feel like you just stuffed some theory in there because you had to (felt like name dropping). Try to work it in and apply it a bit better in future journals.

    I know you have potential to write a great journal, so I would recommend going back to Daudelin's reading and going over it (not the whole thing, just the section on the process of reflection). You write very well, so if you do this and follow the framework you will be able to write a better reflection. 

    Hope this feedback helps, sorry if its harsh, but you said you preferred it to be said straight than fluffy, I'm the same, so that's what I've done.

     

  2. Its always difficult to follow a comment from Jennifer as she is very thorough, whilst I agree with some of what she has said, I do have some further comments I would like to make.

    Firstly I do think you have followed Daudelin's framework but very loosely,

    Articulation: You're placing to much focus on the simulation and are leaving the journals as an afterthought (You're not alone here)

    Analysis: You analyse the problem by discussing why the journals are important to our learning. You also determine that the problem has been caused by the way you have been taught to think (whether or not this is true or not/in depth or not) it is still an analysis.

    Formulation of a solution: You clearly understand that introspective reflection can be a basis for learning and go on to determine that you will analyse coursework to determine its importance to you more so in its ability to aid your learning.

    Action (or decision to act): This follows from your solution formulation however as is the problem with week by week reflections we cannot know whether or not you will follow through with this or be successful unless we (hopefully) read it from you next week.

    Overall it was a good journal but it could use a bit more explanation around the finer points that Jennifer mentioned.

    Cheers for the opportunity to read it,

    J-Sizzle