What is Reflective Learning?
What is Reflective Learning?
For students, the pursuit of learning and knowledge growth demands a methodological approach in order to verify actual understanding of the theory and relevance of the problems being addressed within the context of a specific topic or subject. Knowledge as such is not gained passively but is in essence the combination of both experience and theory, which as a consequence, promotes deeper learning. Importantly, the process necessitates consciously thinking about a question or problem and in turn, analysing and including what you have accomplished or learned previously. Notably, this provides a framework for developing life-long learning and indeed, enhancing your knowledge and commitment to learning. Reflective learning also provides us with a process of being able to internally examine issues of concern. New or different experiences initiate inquiry which result in a changed conceptual perspective, either positively or negatively. The implications of which impact you personally manifestly through change and knowledge growth.
So why use a Reflection Journal? One of the most potent means to learn, reflect and make sense of our learning is by maintaining a journal.
In both academic and professional life Reflection Journals provide an effective vehicle for us to organise, prioritise and record our experiences and expectations in order to foster insight and assist our creative thinking. In simple terms, a reflection journal allows you to write about and reflect on your experiences as they relate to the course content and theoretical concepts and frameworks discussed. Journals are also crucial for developing problem-solving skills, time management and importantly, to facilitate an efficient means of summarizing observations and changes which impact on your current perspectives. Based on questions posed for each topic throughout this course, you will be able to build on and record, what you have learned. This will form the basis of your Reflection Journal (RJ). Importantly, as a discipline, you should copy and paste your online submissions week by week – ready for submission at the end of the course. The Process Rational As alluded to learning is stimulated by the reflective integration of theory with experience; simply reading about various concepts and techniques does not cause learning to occur.
Of reflective learning encourages ‘active learning’ in as much as the documentation of significant issues in a reflection journal are used to formalize and summarize your critical and reflective thinking in a written format. This in turn, demonstrates and cements your knowledge and understanding of the course materials, by documenting the lessons learned. There are generally three major facets of a Reflection Journal, these include:
Why use a Reflection Journal?
You need to be able to demonstrate that you have understood the theoretical elements of the question or problem posed. Notably, you can derive this from the prescribed readings and from the course material (or indeed, from references/text you may have personally sourced).
Based on the theoretical concepts learned from the course, you need to be able to demonstrate how you can apply this theory in a practical work-related sense.
The reflection component is the 'personal insight' part of your response and as such, documents the lessons learned. The following expands upon these three components:
You need to develop a brief summation of what you understand about the theory. And, in addition, draw upon the prescribed readings and other course material. It is crucial that you demonstrate your understanding of the various concepts, frameworks and/or models and be able to concisely present a conclusion - relevant to the topic or problem.
It is essential that you utilize the theory you have learned from the course-work. So you need to consider the application of the theory from a practical perspective. The goal is to meld your experience with your new learning. This demands a different paradigm to in fact look outside your comfort zone and challenge your existing norms, or beliefs. It is necessary to create a justifiable stance that is academically defendable and importantly, includes both your personal experience and newly acquired knowledge.
Much of the academic research suggests that the reflection element is best perceived by taking a step back and reflecting on what you personally believe this issue “means to me' or indeed, 'what I think about this…' and ‘how does this apply in practice’. Your response is personal and can embrace new insights, strategic thinking and even recognize specific limitations with respect to your existing skill set. Alternatively, you may experience some confusion about the topic or the content of an article, or the readings. In short, the reflective learning process helps develop self-awareness, fosters insight and knowledge growth and is invariably an important part of the learning journey.
Understand PMBOK knowledge areas and process groups and their role, relevance and impact on project management best practice and PMI’s Code of Ethics. 2. Critically compare and contrast project management approaches and their appropriateness for managing a variety of project types. 3. Apply appropriate project management tools and techniques, paying particular attention to risk management. 4. Critically reflect on the leadership styles necessary to succeed in a range of project management situations, and their personal capacity to succeed in those situations.
At the beginning of your learning journey on this subject, you were encouraged to reflect on your learning experience and knowledge obtained from the learning modules through discussions and participation. This assessment will provide an opportunity for you to reflect on your learning, document lessons learned, identify global project management practices you hope to adopt in your career. In short, your reflection is a tool for developing knowledge and professionalism in all matters relevant to you as a project manager and leader.
By the first half of Module 6, you will be required to submit a 1500-word reflection of your learning throughout the subject using the given/approved case study. Your reflection should include project management knowledge you have gained throughout the previous learning modules in this subject and appropriate use of additional resources related to this assessment. Based on what you have learnt in this subject, describe project management practices, implementation and competencies of the project team that result in success and/or failure in the given project.
Critically analyse how you could do to enhance or improve success rate of the project.