Managerial and Professional Development Assignment
This module is assessed by coursework alone. You are required to submit a portfolio containing three elements that are weighted equally and together count for 100% of the module assessment.
The portfolio should be typed or word-processed and should not exceed 2,000 words in length, not including appendices. The assignment will be assessed and graded and you will receive formal feedback on your submission following the completion of this process.
The purpose of the assignment is for you to explore and reflect upon your own (and potentially your organisationâ€™s) approach to learning and development. This includes the opportunity to apply some of the key principles of managerial and professional development that the module seeks to address.
For guidance on successfully completing assignments see the Assessment section of the module Blackboard site. You will find further help and advice on the Effective Learning Service (www.bradford.ac.uk/management/els).
You are required to submit a single â€˜portfolioâ€™ assignment (i.e. one document). This should contain three elements as detailed below.
An evaluation of EITHER your own OR your organisationâ€™s approach to learning, focusing on critical consideration of existing approaches.
A reflective account considering the experiences of studying the MBA, with consideration and reference to this module in particular.
These two elements will form the main body of the assignment and should total no more than the 2,000 word limit. A typical allocation would be around 1,200 words for part one, and around 800 words for part two.
The third element is as follows.
A development action plan including commentary on the challenges you will face in undertaking it. Your development action plan should focus on a specific area of development that you want to address.
This part of your portfolio should be submitted in a table format within the appendices and will therefore not contribute towards the 2,000-word limit. Please remember, however, that this element carries equal weighting to the first and second element.
More details for each of the three elements are provided below.
1. An evaluation of EITHER your own OR your organisationâ€™s approach to learning, focusing on critical consideration of existing approaches.
If evaluating at the personal level, you should focus on exploring your own approach to learning, and the strengths and weaknesses of your learning preferences and practices. You should include reference to literature and theory on learning at the individual level. If you chose to evaluate at an organisational level, then you should focus on evaluation of the organisationâ€™s policy, practices and approaches to learning and development. Again, you are expected to make critical reference to literature and theory on organisational approaches to learning and development.
This is the most academic piece of the three elements of the portfolio and is most appropriately written in an essay style. The use of
sub-headings is up to you.
2. A reflective account considering the experience of studying the MBA, with consideration and reference to this module in particular.
The reflective account is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to learn from experience through analysis and look ahead to consider how it may be useful to you in the future. The intention is to consider your experiences of engaging in this developmental activity. This should be a personal account and therefore written in the first person (â€˜Iâ€™). This will most likely take the form of a discursive narrative, drawing on your experiences and activities of learning. You may want to make reference to relevant theory and literature, and if so, this should be referenced appropriately.
3. A development action plan and commentary on the challenges you will face in undertaking it. Your development action plan should focus on a specific skill that you want to address. (To be submitted in a table format within the appendices)
You are responsible for identifying the skill that is relevant to you as a focus for your action plan. Your chosen skill should fall into one of the following three broad areas for development, according to your own individual circumstances.
Personal skills aimed at improving self-awareness, self-reliance and personal effectiveness; for example, managing time or stress, creativity, emotional intelligence, presentation skills, foreign language skills.
People skills focused on building effective working relationships; for example, handling conflict, leadership, coaching, cross-cultural skills, team working, negotiation, feedback.
Career management skills for maximising opportunities arising from the changing environment and job market place, taking responsibility for your career and managing the relationship with work and learning throughout your career; for example, CV development, interviews, networking, assessment centre preparation.
Your development action plan and commentary should be presented in a table format, perhaps outlining and detailing your development action plan and provide relevant commentary.
Within the commentary, explain:
the rationale for your choice of skill area
the challenges (both professionally and personally) that you will potentially face in achieving your plan
how you will aim to overcome these challenges.
This may draw on theory and where it does referencing must be appropriately provided.
The action plan itself should include the following features.
Express your purpose and intended outcomes; there is a strong link between your motivation and the likelihood of success.
Include both progress goals, which act as milestones, and outcome goals, to achieve your ultimate purpose. Progress goals may be
sub-skills within the overall outcome goal. For example, you could identify voice projection as a skill that contributes to the overall goal of improved presentation skills.
Indicate how you will monitor each development activity or progress goal, and ensure it contributes to the final outcome goal stated.
Your development action plan should not rely upon only one course of action. If you have a range of options available, you will be less likely to be deterred by unexpected challenges or obstacles.
Write your plan in specific and precise terms, following a rigorous and systematic analysis.
All these areas of learning will be directly addressed during this module. If you fully engage with all aspects of the learning opportunities provided, then you should have no significant challenges in meeting the demands of this assessment.
A single portfolio should be submitted containing all three elements. The first and second element will be within the main body of your portfolio and these should be clearly separated from each other with clear and appropriate titles, and each starting on a new page. These two sections should total the 2,000-word limit. The third element (your development action plan) should be included within the appendices of your work, and although it is weighted equally to elements one and two, it will not contribute towards to the total word limit.
It is NOT necessary to include an overall introduction and conclusion for your portfolio; however, each element should be properly and appropriately structured and the logic and structure of each element should be clear to the reader. It is a key skill of effective learning and development to be able to order and structure your thinking and learning. This is an implicit skill being tested here as well.
Further guidance on the assessment and effective completion of your portfolio will be provided in Blackboard as this module progresses, and more details are also provided in Unit 9.