As Masters students you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines. Two specific requirements need to be considered. Students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice, and demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning”.
Each unit in your course has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF. In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals and publications, and as Masters students, indicate a willingness to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research.
Requirements for Masters Students According to Australia Quality Framework
The process of reflection and reflective writing has gained a significant amount of prominence in the present times and provides an opportunity to the students and other individuals to reflect on the things that had been taught to them over the entire course work (Cottrell, 2015).
The process of reflective writing, at the same time, provides the opportunity to the students to not only understand the concepts or the things that had been taught to them over the course of the entire course work but also provides them with the opportunity to understand in an effective manner that the key concepts which have been understood by them and the ones which have not been (Tattum & Tattum, 2017). This is important since by gaining a knowledge about the areas that they have understood and the ones which they have not the student get the chance to work on their weaknesses and fortify their strengths areas.
The effective usage of this particular process requires the students to undertake the process of personal development since recent researches have shown that two processes are directly related. For example, the machinery of personal development helps the students to undertake personal development in the areas which are their weak points and also to further improve their key areas of strength (Cottrell, 2015). This reflective report will discuss about the strengths and the weaknesses of mine and also the process of personal development that I undertook. Furthermore, the report will also take the help of the weekly blogs which were provided by me by my professor during the course of our classes.
Critical self-analysis and reflection on personal development
The modern era is much more competitive than the societies of the earlier times and this competition is being reflected not only in the educational sphere but in the other walks of life as well (Liedtka, 2014). The net result of this is the fact that the individuals of the present times are not only required to have level of skill sets but at the same time are required to display the kind of intelligence as well as understanding level which are not displayed by the majority of the people (Bennett, Agostinho & Lockyer, 2017). I am personally of the viewpoint that it is precisely here that the entity of personal development gains prominence.
The machinery of personal development provides a plethora of benefits to the individuals who undertake or embark on such a process. The first major benefit which entices the majority of the individuals to undertake this particular process is the opportunity of personal growth as well as the development that the effective use of this particular process renders to the concerned individuals (Cottrell, 2015). For example, recent studies have shown that the individuals who undertake this particular process have a much enhanced chance of improving their character or personality in comparison to the individuals who do not undertake such a process (Tattum & Tattum, 2017).
The process of personal development, at the same time, helps the individuals to gain the kind of skill sets which helps them to distinguish themselves from the other individuals and thereby afford them a higher chance of gaining success (Tattum & Tattum, 2017). I am of the viewpoint that the tool of personal development by helping an individual to overcome the weaknesses of their character and fortifying their key strengths helps them to achieve this particular end.
Importance of Reading Academic Texts, Journals and Business Publications
The course which I undertook at our educational institution really helped me a lot in the process of my own personal development. For example, I would like to say that before the commencement of this particular I was not really familiar with the concepts of designing, design thinking and its various related aspects. Furthermore, I would comment in this regard that the concepts of designing and others appealed to me yet I had a very vague idea about the same before the commencement of this particular course work.
However, it was during the course work and also through the numerous lectures that the professors provided in the class that I gained a concrete idea about the various important aspects of the process of designing and its related entities. This particular aspect when viewed through the specific lens of the machinery of personal development is likely to reveal insightful details. The primary idea behind the process of personal development is help the individuals to gain a significant amount of development over the other individuals and thereby help them to succeed in life.
In this regard I would like to say that at the beginning of the course work I did not have any substantial competitive leverage or advantage over my peers and we all were in the same boat or situation. However, through the course work and also the process of personal development that I was required to undertake for the successful completion I gained the kind of knowledge as well as personal skills that are likely to give me a competitive leverage or advantage over my peers and other individuals.
In this regard, I would like to comment that the undertaking of the process of personal development is not an easy one and requires the individuals to make various kinds of changes that are not easily accepted by the concerned individual. For example, the process of personal development that I was required to undertake during the entire course work was not an easy one to make. I was firstly required to analyze the key strengths as well as the weaknesses of my own character. For example, I found out that the areas of studies of design thinking, the ability to use the concept of innovation as well as creativity were not my strength points and thus I was required to work on these key areas so as to excel in the course work that I have undertaken.
On the other hand, I found out that the theoretical aspects as well as the frameworks of designing came naturally to come and I did not have to spend a considerable amount of energy or effort to understand these concepts. Thus, for the process of personal development I was required to gain a thorough knowledge about the concept of design thinking and its related aspects and at the same time to train my mind in an effective manner so as to inculcate this particular skill. Furthermore, it needs to be said at this particular juncture that I really needed to exert myself so as to acquire this particular skill.
Benefits of Reflective Writing and Personal Development
Critical self-analysis and reflection on knowledge development
Bennett, Agostinho and Lockyer (2017) have stated that the primary idea behind the various kinds of course works or for that matter of the acquisition of knowledge is to gain the kind of skill sets which will not only help the concerned individuals to gain a competitive advantage over their peers but also in the later part of their lives. Needless to say that it was with this particular objective that I undertook the course work under discussion here. My primary concern at the time of enrolling into this particular course work was to find out the manner in which “subject of designing will help me regarding my future and how it will play a role in my life regarding the way of thinking” (Appendix 1).
Thus, it can be said that just the other students of our class I was not much sure about the kind of knowledge that I would be gaining from this particular course. However, with the scant knowledge that I had of the subject matter at the time of enrolling into the course work under discussion here I formed a brief idea that the course work is related to the concept of designing and design thinking.
Design thinking forms an integral part of the entire concept of designing and is mainly concerned with the five processes of “Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test” (Stephens & Boland, 2015). The weekly workshops and also the lectures helped me in a significant manner to grasp the idea of design thinking. For example, during the second week of the workshop that I attended “I observed how my thinking differs from designers. Designer sees the problem (or any issue) and thinks it in different way (how it caused, whats the reason behind it, how to sort out)” (Appendix 2). In this regard, I would also like to say that the various weekly workshops that we were required to attend also help in the process of my knowledge acquisition process in a significant manner.
These workshops not only helped me to gain the important information regarding the concept of designing and design thinking but at the same time provided me an idea about the way in which these information or ideas can be used in an effective manner. In this regard the third weekly workshop wherein “various answers have been given from our friends in an interesting manner such as (Improve, intensity, analysis, explore, imagination, etc). I have learnt different types of learning, they are ‘Single loop learning (actions and results), Double loop learning (thinking, actions, results) and Triple loop learning” becomes very significant (Appendix 3).
The concept of design problem or the problem statement which dictates the entire process of designing itself is an important one in the domain of engineering (Carlgren, Rauth & Elmquist, 2016). Furthermore, the design problem needs to be in synchronicity with the process of design which is being undertaken and also the purpose with which the designing had been undertaken (Fischer, 2015). The concerned workshop raised important questions like “Do we see problems or Do we see solutions?”, “A problem is only a problem if someone’s interest to see as a problem” and others (Appendix 4).
Undertaking the Process of Personal Development
In addition to this, the workshop at the same time discussed the fact that “Design Thinking Process involves the steps ‘empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test’, for finding a solution to a problem” (Appendix 4). I would like to say that I was able to gain significant amount of information during these weekly workshops which contributed in a substantial manner towards the process of my knowledge development.
The fifth weekly workshop, which started after our mid-term break, required us to dwell on questions like “What are research skills for design thinking, what does mean by value chain analysis?”, “why do we analyse the chain?" and others (Appendix 5). In addition to this, the workshop at the same time also required us to understand the “primary activities involved in a business are Research and Development, Production, Marketing and Sales, Customer Service and where the secondary activities are HR, Infrastructure, Technology and Procurement” (Appendix 5).
In short, the weekly workshop essentially dealt with the entity of Value chain and the manner in which its efficiency can be enhanced. This knowledge is very important since it helps an individual to gain the kind of information that would really help in the latter part of my professional career in the business world (Cahyadi & Prananto, 2015). The seventh weekly workshop was a mixed one for me since I felt happy as well as miserable because of the choice of career that I have made. For example, in this week I “learnt many things, changed my way of thinking and mindset” (Appendix 6).
The eight weekly workshop introduced us to the topic of “Prototyping and Visualization of Ideas” (Appendix 7). This workshop was important since it helped me to understand the manner in which effective designs are supposed to be created. The ninth weekly material helped me to understand in an effective manner the way in which the concept of design can be used for the launch of new ideas as well as products. Finally, the last weekly material introduced us to the concept of the presenting the designs which have been formulated in an effective manner before the audiences. Thus, it can be said that the knowledge that I gained through these workshops and from the entire course work itself helped me in a significant manner for the process of my knowledge development.
The various weekly workshops and also the course work that I have undertaken helped me to understand the strengths and also the weaknesses of my own character. The concept of design thinking is something that is really very important for an engineer and helps him or her during the latter part of their professional career (Stimmel, 2015). In addition to these, the effective utilisation of this particular concept is likely to help a particular individual to design as well as create the kind of events and activities that can further the prospects of their career (Geissdoerfer, Bocken & Hultink, 2016). In this regard, I would like to say in the next six months I intend to undertake various kinds of events and activities that are likely to help me to further the prospects of my professional career. Thus, in this regard the concept of design thinking becomes very important for me.
Gaining Competitive Leverage and Advantage
The specific goal which I have undertaken to achieve is the acquisition of a working knowledge of the concept of design thinking which can really help in the next six months for the events and the activities that I intend to undertake. Thus, for the effective development of this particular skill I would like to take the help of workshops like the ones that were provided to us by our educational institution. In addition to this, I would also like to take the help of various kinds of online videos and also reading materials for the acquisition of this particular skill.
The extent to which I have been able to grasp this particular concept or for that matter have been able to gain a working as well as effective knowledge about this particular will become clear from the efficiency with which I will be able to design the various events and activities that I intend to undertake in the next six months. In addition to this, I would also undertake various kinds of learning assessments in the mean time which would provide me an idea regarding the progress that I am making.
The goal which I have set out to attain, that is, the acquisition of the knowledge regarding the concept of design thing, is completely attainable. However, at the same time I would like to mention that this is likely to take an effort on my part since I would have to work really hard for the attainment of this particular goal.
The goal which I have set out to attain is a completely relevant one and is likely to help to organise the events and also the activities that I intend to organise in the coming six months. This will in turn help me to attain the broader goal which I am trying to attain, that is, becoming an efficient engineer.
I have given myself a time period of three months for the attainment of this particular goal. I would like to mention at this particular juncture that I already have some basic knowledge about the concept of design thinking and thus I am hoping that I will be able t quickly learn about the different aspects of the process.
To conclude, the concepts of designing, design thinking and others form an important part of the knowledge that the students gain in the engineering colleges. The students are expected to have these basic skills so that they are being able to effectively design the various events and other kind of activities that they would be required to in the latter of their professional career. It is precisely with this particular objective that the various educational institutions try to provide a concrete idea about these concepts to the students. Furthermore, the students, at the same time, are required to indulge in the process of personal development and also knowledge development in an effective manner so that they are not only being able to identify the strengths and the weaknesses of their character but also to learn the things that they are being taught to them in an effective manner.
Bennett, S., Agostinho, S., & Lockyer, L. (2017). The process of designing for learning: understanding university teachers’ design work. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(1), 125-145.
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Carlgren, L., Rauth, I., & Elmquist, M. (2016). Framing design thinking: The concept in idea and enactment. Creativity and Innovation Management, 25(1), 38-57.
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