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 learn. Reflections, 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 reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36—48.
Kolb, D. A. (1976). Management and the learning process. California Management Review, 8(3), 21--31