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This course has been without a doubt one of the most interesting courses I have ever taken - however I wish it had more than just readings to learn from and actually had some lecture based content. From my perception this course feels like a test to ensure each student has two fundamental skills. Firstly a basic knowledge of business terms and the ability to read financial reports. And secondly the ability to work as part of a functional team. The third thing which is very explicit within this course and is visible throughout other third year management courses is the emphasis on 'learning' and adaptability. Which of course is a very important skill however I don't believe that learning how to write a reflective learning journal which engages one to think critically is a new skill for many in the course.


Furthermore, it is not as though those of us who sit the course have not all done group projects where we have had to learn to work with and resolve differing opinions with an entirely new group of people in the past. We are learning how to use a specific programme and adapt to the decisions which other users make in an ever-changing environment. For many this may be a new experience however personally I am struggling to find where the learning will come from in this course. Don't get me wrong I think the course has a brilliant concept and I have a vast amount of respect for Peter who I believe holds a world of wisdom and I would love to learn more from, I just feel as though learning some key skills and maybe methods of analyzing data to make the best decisions possible would be a great compliment to learning in this course.


Im sure this course will continue to surprise though and I hope to look back upon this learning journal in later entries and recognize my own arrogance, at that point I would really be able to consider the course has had some deeply valuable learning for myself beyond theory and group-work skills.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Glen Jeffrey, what a truly refreshing read! I admire your boldness to think critically about the course here.

    I have to admit that I am ... well frankly astonished at the idea that you want more lecture based content and that you feel you would learn more from this than a combination of trying to apply theory in a complex team enivronment and reflecting on the results. For the record by the way, I'm a GTA on this course but I've had no hand in its design whatsoever and I feel no compulsion to defend it in any way. I am really responding to this from the student side of me (I'm in my last few months of PhD, so I've been a student for a pretty long time).

    There's an assumption here that I can't but point out, which is plainly that you seem to view learning is a process of knowledge aquisition. For instance, you note that learning some key skills and methods of analysing data would be useful for you–but from the way I see learning, this is precisely what is on offer in this course since it gives you the opportunity to practice and try out various methods and skills that you have picked up in your degree so far. As you rightly point out, you guys have been around a while now and you've actually already received plenty of theories through countless lectures and readings. Trying them out is a different matter altogether and the ability to creatively synthesise different theories and apply them to a real context is the definition of what it means to truly understand them.

    But of course, it's not my job to try and convince you of this, nor do I particularly care to. What I do want to do though is offer my own frame on this, as I've done above, to suggest ultimately that the very thing you really want from this course (real learning) might land for you in recognising the assumptions you are carrying around what it really means to learn something. Afterall, your cynicism isn't particularly new, it seems. I looked over your other posts so far and, while you talk about wanting to move away from the Daudelin model, you haven't yet moved towards it enough to try it on. So that's my key recommendation then in terms of feedback: have a look back over Peter's posts about what it means to learn something (about which he made an announcement earlier this week) and then actually have a go at the process of using theory to examine your experiences and articulate what it is, as a result of this process, you would like to try out or do differently. If you don't want to confine yourself to the strictures of a model, fine. But what I would recommend you do take seriously are the principles behind that model. Because at the end of the day, sure you might have been around a while and got the hang of this uni thing, but from what you've written above it seems you still have something to learn about about learning.

  2. Glen Jeffrey,it seems that your learning journal has come 'into rotation' for both Josh and me. So, I hope you don't feel we're picking on you ... that's not our intention. Normally, I would mention that, but you might be worried that you've provoked a response from us — which isn't the case.

    So, to your learning journal. I might be sounding a little like a broken record, but I really do think your learning journal would work better if you explicitly followed Daudelin's structure. You wouldn't be over-egging it if you did one paragraph for each of her four steps (of varying sizes, no doubt). 

    As Daudelin says,  "The first stage of reflection, articulation of a problem, defines the issue that the mind will work on during the process of reflection. It is often preceded by what John Dewey calls 'a state of doubt, hesitancy, perplexity, or mental difficulty'"  that creates "a less-than-satisfactory feeling" (1996, p. 40). Looking at your first sentence, my sense is that revolves around wanting lecture-based content. In articulating the problem think about "'what' questions allow one to fully describe the situation: 'What occurred? [or didn't]?' 'What did you see, think, feel?' 'What was the most important thing?” (p. 41).

    Thinking about the next step—analysis—juxtapose lecturing and reading as ways towards learning. Why are your responses to them different? Use 'why questions' to search for possibilities. Doing the analysis "may involve asking and answering a series of questions about the situation, put forth by oneself or others. It may consist of searching the memory for similar situations or imagining how someone else might handle the same issue. It involves reviewing past behavior with intensity, as though under a microscope" (p. 41).

    I'll leave the next steps to you to think about.


    Ultimate, given what seems to be your problem, I suppose I am hoping you'll get some insight into —or learn how to—learn without the need for lectures.


  3. Hi Glen

    As Peter and Josh have both already commented on your journal there doesn't seem to be much more that I can add for formulating your reflections, so i'll give more personal advice for this. It seems like you don't understand why we need to be doing the simulation. To be fair, i thought the same thing starting this course, however i've realised that the simulation is not that important itself, its more of a vehicle to show you how to work with the people you are given. Like you i have already been in plenty of  groups in uni, however none like this course. almost every course lets you puck and choose who you are in a group with, whereas this course drops you in with what is most likely a group of complete strangers as I was, and we have to learn how to work with people we've never met before. I do really recommend looking into he readings more to push yourself to get something from this course.

    Cheers,

    Hunter

  4. Hi!

    I agree with Hunter on this one, a lot has been said here! I do agree with him though, this group experience is so different and I think these reading journals have helped me to see that! I was very nervous and skeptical at first, but after a few sessions with my group, I have come to really enjoy it. Looking at the readings provided have also been great too, even if you just have a skim there are some interesting insights. Best of luck to you in the future!