Discuss about the Developing Reflective Practice in Legal Education.
Challenges and Solutions Faced in Reflective Writing
Reflective writing is by far one of the most potential tools for assessing an individual’s progress during a project, assignment or a research. It also helps in reflecting oneself from a personal perspective to reflect upon one’s own progress and flow of work. A reflective assignment allows one to make sense of the learning, rather than just memorizing. It enables a person, be it a student, researcher or an individual at work, to ask questions, clear confusions, and develop rational logic towards the work they are engaged in. It creates everlasting interest for the knowledge and work and inculcates interest in their learning processes for their life time.
Reflection is a vital perspective necessary for in depth analysis of a research or an project. Without the reflective analysis of the self there can be no amount of the creativity and originality in the learning process and a complete sense would not develop which build the basis of any task or assignment that is being done. According to Boud (2001) reflection are the intellectual and effective processes which engage an individual to explore their experiences in evaluating and making apprehensions about a particular domain of work (Robbins, 2007).
This reflective journal was written during the consumer behaviour analysis of Dominoes, the pizza joint. During the market research of the company, me and my team formulated a plan to initiate, execute and conclude the survey and associated interviews to gather information and data required for the research. This reflective journal is my account of the whole arrangement and describes the challenges that I faced, the way I overcame them and the challenges that were most demanding and exhausted my mental resources to the greatest extent. This journal therefore also keeps an account of the task that we undertook and the way it was executed over the time frame.
Among the several challenges that were faced by me, the most excruciating was the self doubt. This was also the one that exhausted me to the greatest extent. Apart from that coordination among team members were initially an issue, intercommunication between us and the customers was also a challenge. The fourth challenge that I faced was completing the assignment in stipulated time. I have tried my best to record my personal experiences in an unbiased manner to retain the originality of the situations. Thereafter I have also provided the way I handled them and successfully ended the assignment.
Interaction with the Samples
The first hurdle in the journey was definitely my self-doubt, and was the strongest of all. Prior to the initiation of the project, I was in a dilemma to initiate the processes due to certain self constraints. My team members had informed me their limitations and I was quite confused to figure out the process of the whole assignment. Along with I was pretty confused to choose the resources and the way to adequately us them. Simultaneously the scale of our project was quite enormous with lot of field surveys and interviews. Wrapping that up in time was a challenge which initiated the self doubt within me.
Being the team leader I had responsibilities and commitment to guide my team properly and adequately. The arrangement of the team was initially loose and I decided to have short interactions with my team members at the personal level. After the initial background study of the company I called for short sessions with my team to brief them about the plan. This boosted my self confidence and kept the ball rolling till the end. The success of the project was initially bothering me but with the initiation of the ground task, I gained confidence about the work and focused in the qualitative aspect rather worrying about the success of the project. The most important decision that I feel changed the way I perceived the project were the field meetings that I initiated at the end of our days work. The field meetings provided an update about the progress of the work and the immediate plans were unfolded regularly by sorting out the priorities. This created a lot of difference in the work environment among us. The other challenges of coordination and intercommunication were also managed effectively through the field meeting exercise. Thus once my-self doubt was relieved, a major portion of the task was eventually done, since self confidence removes major obstacles in the way of an endeavour.
The second challenge that was faced by me was building coordination among the team. This was a very critical issue that I faced while introduction with my team. The team members had personal issues that created obstacles in the way of coordination among them. The team members not able to gel with themselves and the meetings had to be extended to coincide the schedule for everyone for a single discussion. This posed a serious barrier in the progress of the work and needed to be promptly sorted out to avoid failure in achieving our targeted output. I handled this issue with competence. After the introductory meet, I called up the volunteers for a official meeting wherein I briefed them about the basic rules and regulations that would be followed by all the team members to complete the task. I created a hierarchy of communication where by every individual was assigned a responsibility according to their capabilities and were given a time frame to revert back to me. I initiated cooperation among the team to foster greater bonding and unity among the team members and to inculcate a sense of collectiveness with the team. The greater bonding of the team was initially developed after few sessions. It was a constant challenge for me to motivate myself and my team regularly to keep up the spirit and make the errand a success. The most critical challenge was creating the coordination
Timely Completion of the Assignment
among the team members which when achieved paves the way for fulfillment of any errand. The coordination bonding became interdependent which made every individual member responsible for completion of the task.
The next challenge that posed a serious challenge was collection of field data from survey and interviews that were to be conducted. The initiation of the task seemed easy after addressing the first two challenges, but with the initiation of field data collection, we faced several issues that were typical to the field and we were not ready to face them initially. Persuading customers for the survey was not always an easy task. Scheduling the interviews with the managers was also one of the issues due to non availability of comfortable time frame. There were certain other issues like the time required for completion of a single survey exceeded than estimated during the plan. The number of samples surveyed was also reduced due to the time constraint. These issues were posing a challenge to the whole team and for the project. We settled this concern by managing time effectively and started surveying samples on the extra time apart from surveying with the team. This point of the project brought out the best of the team members and fostered the bonding of the team members. The team members took out extra time from the schedule and conducted surveys. The interview schedules were also distributed among the team members based on the voluntary responsibilities. The regular motivation sessions those were conducted also helped in boosting the exhausting surveying schedules.
With changing challenges every day during the course of the project, the time frame got extended with time. Certain exercises and tasks needed to be rescheduled everyday which prolonged the ground tasks. This eventually led to the extension of the following works. The tabulation and analysis of the data obtained had to be completed in a very tight frame. Several processes got eventually delayed with the delay in the work due to unpredictable challenges. However, this was sorted out by chalking out a work plan within the stipulated time. The final phase of the work was planned collectively and the project was framed under a common roof which allowed the ease of work and increased efficiency. The collective effort and management of time eventually managed the work in time but at a great personal dedication from every individual member of the team. This was not possible without a collective effort and personal commitment.
The Overcome Methods
1. Self low esteem prior to initiation of the project due to lack of clarity about the process.
2. Fear of being unsuccessful with the task.
· Initiated introductory meets.
· Planned the whole project in a project plan and briefed the team which boosted the initial confidence.
Lack of coordination
1. Lack of communication among the team members.
2. Lack of timely participation in the introductory meet.
· Initiated basic regulatory measures for all members.
· Started field meetings and interactive sessions prior to the initiation of the project and during the project.
Interaction with the samples.
1. The difference in time schedules with the store managers and the interviewers.
2. The lack of interest among the samples for the survey.
3. Collecting adequate no. of samples for the survey.
· Distributed the interview schedule with voluntary responsibility and in accordance with the managers.
· The survey was conducted collectively and individually to gather as much samples as possible.
· Working out of the schedule to meet the required data sets.
Timely completion of the assignment.
1. Extension of the interviews and the surveys due to unavailability of samples.
2. Tight time frame to complete post production of the field survey.
· Divided the team into groups to conduct different responsibilities.
· Collective effort was initiated to complete the task in the stipulated time.
Table 1: A summation of the challenges.
The most critical and challenging issues I feel was the self-doubt, that I had within me and it required the greatest effort from my inner self to motivate myself to take responsibility and initiate the task. This was the first step towards commencing the assignment. This assignment allowed me to retrospect and the first activities of the introductory meet helped me to the muster my self confidence and boost the courage. The clarity of thought was generated with the substantial progress and subsequent meets that were conducted. This initiated the courage and self esteem within myself. The second challenge that I faced was on field, while on conduction of the surveys and the interviews. Managing the schedules and rescheduling the plan according to the daily challenges that cropped up was excruciating and exhaustive. The culmination of the challenge occurred with interaction with the samples. According to Hinett & Varnava, (2002). The lack of interest for participation, the shortage of proper samples according age groups and the management of the schedule with the team members was a major challenge that required exhaustive effort of the self and the team.
The reflective journal has not only allowed me to reconcile about my experiences but has also allowed me to reflect and the ponder the way a project should be planned, implemented and concluded to bring out effective results. The self reflection also points out my personal drawbacks and the areas which I need to develop in order to conduct a similar project in the future. The benefit of writing a reflective journal is that it keeps an account of the course of action and allows for critical evaluation of the self even after the task is over. Reflection based on the earlier experiences help to find the loopholes and thereby propose or plan adequately for future actions. The reflective journal of any activity enriches the personal competence and creates chances of self development and effective management.
Cisero, C. A. (2006). Does reflective journal writing improve course performance?. College Teaching, 54(2), 231-236.
Boud, D. (2001). Using journal writing to enhance reflective practice. New directions for adult and continuing education, 2001(90), 9-18.
Hinett, K., & Varnava, T. (2002). Developing reflective practice in legal education: Citeseer.
Robbins, T. (2007). Awaken the giant within: How to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial: Simon and Schuster.
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