Every degree in any institution should aim to build specific technical knowledge and skills in students. For example, you complete systems analysis, design and implementation as well as project management. These are areas often specific to the information technology area and are often called technical competencies.
In addition, all institutions have what are called Graduate Attributes. The final two Capstone Experience subjects aim to make you professionally ready, that is, to re-inforce the following four (4) graduate attributes:
The academic skills and attributes necessary to undertake research, comprehend and evaluate new information, concepts and evidence from a range of sources
- the ability to review, consolidate, extend and apply the knowledge and techniques learnt, including in a professional context
- communication and problem-solving skills
- a foundation for self-directed and lifelong learning
- the interpersonal and teamwork skills appropriate to employment and/or further study
You are to write a reflective piece of approximately 800 - 1000 words. Specifically, you are to cover the two broad areas in the subject:
Professional Ready Skills
Firstly, make sure to read through and understand the specific subject outcomes and graduate attribute from a completed degree as outlined above before you write your self reflection. Remember, the aim of this assessment if for you to reflect on these outcomes and attributes and to outline what you have done.
Finally, you are then to outline what you would do differently and how you could improve next semester in each of these two broad areas. This may also include suggestions for changes to the content and/or teaching of this current subject.
In summary, your self reflection should have three (3) sub headings:
Professional Ready Skills (Graduate Attributes) and Suggested Improvements to Content/Teaching The structure of your submission Using the following headings complete the following Technical Competency
Reflect back on your knowledge (competency) of the technical area you are studying including your understanding of project management [which is also a technical competency]. How would you assess your skills and understanding of the technical competencies at the beginning of the subject and at the end of the subject? You should outline how you believe you have progressed.
Your response should provide reasoned and convincing evidences. Specifically you should outline examples and experiences in the subject/group that have impacted on your knowledge of IT and project management. In other words I am expecting you to demonstrate how it is that you have progressed in these competency not just that you believe you have progressed.
Reflect back on the core Graduate Attributes. If in any doubt read them again in the Subject Guide on the web site. How would you assess your professional skills at the beginning of the subject and at the end of the subject? Have they changed? You should outline how you believe you have changed or progressed.
You should examine issues such as leadership, working in groups, your written and verbal skills, attendance, listening skills and so on.
Your response should provide reasoned and convincing evidences. Specifically you should outline examples and experiences in the subject that have improved your professionally ready skills. In other words I am expecting you to demonstrate how it is that you have progressed not just that you believe you have progressed.
Reflect on the learning that has taken place and how this has been done in the subject. Ask yourself, “If I could start over again this semester, what would I do differently”. Thinking about this, how do you think your learning could have been improved in the subject? In what ways could you have done things differently? How could things have been done differently in the subject that could have improved your learning? What is, say, one thing you liked in the subject and one thing you disliked in the subject? If you could change.
Reflecting on my experience in this subject I have learned many things which have helped me to develop technical competency. At the beginning of the subject, I had some knowledge on project management. We worked collaboratively within a problem-solving framework to give suggestions for solving complex business problems. For example, we identified one of the common complex problem organizations faces as the ability to shift and respond to change. We applied problem-solving strategies and adopted the following steps: identifying a problem, listing possible options, assessing the options and alternatives, choosing a solution and documenting agreements. From the experience, I gained knowledge on how to handle real-world problems.
I believe I have progressed as at the beginning of the subject I did not have any knowledge of project management techniques and tools. However, after completion, I can use the tools appropriately to effectively manage complex business problems. For example, some of the project management techniques I have learned are classic technique, agile project management, waterfall technique, critical chain and path technique. I have also used SWOT analysis, stakeholder matrix, risk map, and cause and effect diagrams as tools to manage complex business problems. Reflecting on an experience where I used the SWOT analysis tool I was able to manage a case where a certain company was declining due to stiff competition. I proposed ways it can use its strengths and opportunities to gain a competitive advantage after identifying its threat as competition and weakness as unable to respond to changes.
From an evaluation of my technical skills, I believe they have made me able to perform tracking, schedule projects, solve complex business problems and use technology to get and propose solutions. I believe that the generic skills I have developed such as working in teams, problem solving and communication will make me suitable to my profession. When working in groups we identified the financial crisis as a complex business problem. I used the technical skills to come up with the solution to financial crisis that organization should plan, create a budget, communicate, set financial priorities and track progress.
At the end of the subject, I could identify how economic, political, social, legal and cultural dimensions have impacts on businesses. For instance, I identified economic factors that can make an organization succeed or decline such as inflation, foreign exchange rates, consumer purchasing power, demand, and supply. I also reflected on legal factors such as laws, social factors like how people live and demographic changes. In groups, we discussed the political factors like how the government imposes tax and tariffs on business and cultural factors such as values and beliefs on what people consume.
Professional ready skills
I have improved my leadership skills, listening skills, working in groups, attendance and written and verbal skills. At the beginning of the subject, I had never been a leader but after we formed groups I was selected as a group leader. The experience I gained as a group leader helped me improve my leadership skills such as courage, trustworthy, empathy, relationship building, strategic thinking and problem solving which I will require in my profession. I also developed listening skills after trying several ways to keep attentive. During the class and discussions, I practiced the following to improve my listening and attentive skills. I maintained eye contact with the speaker, stayed relaxed and attentive, pictured what the speaker was saying and did not interrupt. At the beginning of the subject, I used to interrupt others while speaking but in the end, I had learned to listen then bring my suggestions afterward.
From my experience in the group, I developed competency in working with groups where I learned conflict resolution skills, risk-taking, building trust and it fostered my creativity and understanding of the technical skills. I gained interpersonal skills appropriate to employment as I have learned to foster strong working relationships and contribute to increasing productivity. I practiced building rapport, speaking with confidence being clear and focusing on my body language which improved my verbal skills.
I undertook research, evaluated and comprehended concepts, information, and evidence from the library, online and engaged in real-world research. The research facilitated my learning, increased my awareness, and understanding of project management. I learned that researching from various sources increases the reliability, relevance, and credibility of the information. I engaged in a professional context when presenting group work. I was able to review the knowledge I had learned and summarized what I understood in verbal.
During class time and group discussions, I engaged my listeners, developed my listening skills, responded in turns, focused on body language, maintained eye contact and stayed on the message to boost my communication skills. From that experience, I discovered that good communication prevents misunderstanding, eases problem solving and saves time. I developed problem-solving skills which help me as an employee to develop creative and practical solutions. The subject improved my self-directed and lifelong learning. For instance, I can now control my learning, set goals to guide my learning, decide on appropriate resources and learning methods and monitor and evaluate the progress.
Most of my learning in this subject has taken place in class, group discussions and individual learning. I used to vary my studying materials, taking notes during class time or individual study and reviewing them, taking short breaks while studying, contribute ideas during class or discussion work and to practice and discuss questions with peers. I need to improve my learning by using self-testing, space my study time, vary my routine, change the learning environment, make it personal by relating the subject to my circumstances and life, picture what I learn in terms of real world situation, understand its relevance to my career and write short notes as I study.
One thing I liked with the subject is that I can apply what I learned in the real world like solving complex business problems is something which organizations need to know. This motivates me as I know I will apply what I am learning to bring positive change in my future profession. One thing I disliked with the subject is that there we no field trips which could help engage with the organizations directly to identify their problems and propose a solution for them to implement. It could improve my understanding if I could engage with the organizations.
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