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In this last writing reflection I think it is appropriate to reflect upon the concerns I had risen from the beginning of the paper. I am fully aware that part of the content covered in this last entry will overlap with my final summative learn journal, however rather than trying to keep the details to myself, I think it would be quite productive to treat it as a rough draft for what I plan to write down and gather any last insight from my peers and perhaps help provide some ideas for my fellow reviewers. After all, isn’t that one of the fundamental objectives of this paper?

While on the subject of course objectives; I was very sceptical of the objectives at the beginning of this semester and exactly how we were expected to meet them through such a non-traditional teaching method. I had stated that I came to the university to learn from someone far more experienced than I, and wondered how exactly is it possible for me to reach these goals essentially without a ‘lecturer’. Throughout the course, I became more and more disillusioned with this dilemma and was entirely convinced that this paper was a huge waste of time. This was due to the fact I was on a fundamental disagreement with such a rigid structure of learning provided by either Daudelin (1996) or Klob (1976) because I personally believe, these methods of reflection are too restrictive in their application and the fallacy behind a ‘catch all’ model of ‘good’ learning. This went on all the way into week 6/7 when Peter commented on my journal and addressed my concerns directly. At the same time, Argyris’ (1991) article on learning has shed light in my own inability to take on-board new concepts and really made me reflect upon my own thought processes which hindered my ability to fully capitalize on the course.

This was essentially my turning point. Rather than sticking with what I have traditionally been associated with the academic institution, I actively tried to engage with the weekly readings. Rather than viewing the weekly reflection as another assessment to be done or else fear the repercussions, I believe this was an opportunity rarely offered in my 4 years of university to allow such freedom of expression and develop myself through my own efforts. As Christensen (2010) mentioned in his Intel example; it is non-beneficial to anyone if the solutions are given, but rather teaching the process so people can come to their own solutions is the ultimate goal. A quote comes to mind by astronomer Phil Plait – “Teach a man to reason, and he’ll think for a lifetime”. This is what Daudelin is trying to do. Trying to create a process which provides individuals with the ability to reflect upon their actions and truly learn from them. The longer I spent on these reading reflections the more I understood the purpose of them. Before I knew it, I was writing lengthy entries and had to limit myself in order to make them readable to my reviewers. While I may not follow the exact steps of Klob or Daudeline, I believe I have taken on-board the fundamentals of reflection and have already started applying them in all aspects of my life.

The criticism for this course largely revolves around the weighting of activities. Although I do not have a problem with the actual simulation itself, I believe a 20% weighting for this is rather insignificant considering the sheer amount of time and effort that is dedicated to this one activity. As Christensen (2010) mentions the proper allocation of resources into things that matter; I cannot help but wonder if the poor results gathered are a reflection of this. While I understand increasing the weighting may increase stress associated with mikes bikes, but perhaps it would also serve as greater motivation for teams to strive for success? At the same time, 80% dedicated to a single final report seems a little extreme. Many times in the real world, important decisions are indeed made on the biases of a final report and perhaps this course is trying to reflect that, but we must remember, one of the reasons why we have a diverse range of assessment is to compensate for the effects of luck and circumstance. Therefore it would be more beneficial to either reduce the overall number of reading journals and have each of them assessed or split the final report evenly into a ‘half year report’ and an ‘end of year’ report.

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

Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46-51.

Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflectionOrganizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36—48.

Kolb, D. A. (1976). Management and the learning processCalifornia Management Review, 8(3), 21--31

4 Comments

  1. Once again you've come through with an excellent journal William.

    You've successfully reached the synthesis stage of Bloom's taxonomy. This is shown by your ability to use theory from multiple weeks to describe what you have learnt from the course. This is what Peter is looking for in the final summative learning journal so you've done a great job of writing your "rough draft". Good luck for the double rollover and your final learning journal (smile)

  2.  

    part of the content covered in this last entry will overlap with my final summative learn journal,

    I wonder why?

     

    I had stated that I came to the university to learn from someone far more experienced than I, and wondered how exactly is it possible for me to reach these goals essentially without a ‘lecturer’.

    The name Perry springs to mind. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_G._Perry

    While I may not follow the exact steps of Klob or Daudeline,

    Novices and experts have different needs.

    I was writing lengthy entries and had to limit myself in order to make them readable to my reviewers

    I wonder why? If they are well written, a long journal can be easier to read and evaluate than the short ones.

    The criticism for this course largely revolves around the weighting of activities. Although I do not have a problem with the actual simulation itself,

    But what's your learning? Is this off topic? I would hope that you (in particular) could think this through more thoroughly ... I'm not convinced you need me to explain my rationale. See if you can work it out yourself. Can you get an Aha moment as you did with the reflective component of the course?

     

    1. In regards to the point you have risen in regards to the weighting rationale, I think I understand your justification. This is purely an assumption so correct me if I'm wrong but I feel like one of the most important objectives of this course is the concept of rewarding those who have consistently put in the effort and take initiative in their own learning. Not only does this create a series of 'good' habits that hopefully will carry over to the 'real world' but it also reflects standard professional expectations that I have covered in past journals. While I believe I personally have learned from this process I can't help but see that there are others who are not as lucky.

      What comes into mind is the fact that each individual lead independent lives; each with their personalized problems and situations. As you have stated, what may benefit some may not benefit others. While some may excel in an activity, I feel like having such a weight structure will polarize people's ability take on board the resources. While this makes sense in conjunction with course objectives, I can't help but shake the underlying purpose of education as a process is to be inclusive and not exclusive.

      While in every course there is a bell curve of grade distributions, I feel like having such a strong weighting on a single piece of work might not give fair representation of achievement for everyone. However, in hindsight, I just remembered that the markings format for the summative contains holistic elements, but I think my concerns are still valid in the points I have risen.

  3. William, this journal was extremely well written, as you say you dont follow the structures of Daudelin or Kolb perfectly but over the 3 journals that i have marked you for i think i can see an unintentional alignment with the theory. Thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your journals well done.