Reflection is really a process that begins with looking back on a situation, pondering over it, learning from it and then using the new knowledge to help me in future similar situations. Reflection, which is learning through experience, is not a new concept. As humans, we naturally reflect on our surroundings and experiences. As a student I will be constantly introduced to different theoretical knowledge and new practise experiences. Reflection is one way of helping me to link the theory and practice experience and to integrate my learning.
Reflection as a learning tool
Reflection is the process that we consciously undertake to gain further understanding and add meaning to our daily lives.
Reflection is associated with learning that has occurred through experience and is an activity that helps me make sense of and learn from situations.
Reflection therefore is a means of assisting me to think, to explore my thoughts and feelings and to work through an experience, in an attempt to gain new understandings, fresh insights and self-awareness.
It is the active consideration of, and learning from my thoughts and actions, together with the further use of these thoughts and actions as a means of developing reflective thinking.
The most important aspect of engaging in reflection for my on-going personal and professional learning is that I am able to demonstrate my progression towards achievement.
When we started the course in September and we’ve seen how confusing the assignments are, we have agreed that it would be a great idea to hold study group sessions every Wednesday. The reason of holding a study group was for us to share information, go through the assignments together make sure we understand what we are doing and help each other if any of us are stuck. Having a study group has helped me to understand what is going on in class. Having to rephrase things in my own words and also helped me to engage with the material of learning.
We have a lot of group work in Business law lesson, so study group is ideal thing for us to meet up share our work and work together towards the deadline. Last study group that we’ve had was today and it really made me feel better, knowing that we’re going well with our work, and I know what is left for me to do to have the task completed.
Typically at this time of the year the pressure starts to build for me – from assignments and meeting their deadlines, so as presenting presentations and of course with Christmas coming up all the pressure builds up on me. Coping well with a high workload depends on a structural and methodical approach. What I was supposed to do at the beginning of the year was to plan out my time effectively and don’t leave it too late.
During this year I have faced a multiplicity of problems – health, personal and family problems. And any time off that I had, it has affected my studies, I missed important lessons and couldn’t catch up as quickly.
In week 8 in PDP lesson we have talked about assignment writing. It was useful going through the slide show, but it didn’t really clicked on in my mind, as all we did was just read through the slides, there wasn’t much discussion and the understanding of it all. All thought I did learned something: to complete the assignment first of all I needed to know the purpose of the assignment, plan the assignment, structure the assignment and then write the assignment.
Best thing is that I have experience in writing an assignment from college, so I know the basic stuff like the front page, content page, the assignment body and structure of it, conclusion and bibliography.
During week 6 in PDP lesson, we have gone through citations, referencing and bibliography. During college years I have only used bibliography. Citations and referencing was something new to me and I can’t get my way round it.
Right where do I start? When it comes down to referencing I always think, where shall I put the reference bit? What shall I include in the reference? Am I doing right? What if my work gets scanned through a software and it still comes out as plagiarism? When I first heard about it, I told myself not to worry, because by the time deadlines come, I will learn the referencing guides, but it turned out to be much harder than that. All I know is that referencing is used to acknowledge of someone else, to demonstrate the body of knowledge on which I have based my work and to enable my lecturers to trace my source and lead them to the further information. All I know about citation is that I need to put someone else words in direct or non-direct quotes and mention the author. I need to develop this skill ASAP as this is essential to my work, and obviously affects my work grading.
Doing presentations is probably the thing that I fear most. I have to create two presentations, one of them is for Business law and the other one is for PDP, the worst thing is that I haven’t made a start on them yet, this is because I have lost my USB drive which had my work stored and it wasn’t backed up. This has caused me to fall behind on coursework. Because of this, I have started stressing about failing the module. Though, I have learned, how important it is to stick to “Standard ways of working” rules and backing my work up. I am now trying to work as much as I can on my assignments to get them completed on time and to the level I know I am capable of.
I am totally petrified for the next two coming weeks as this is when I will have to meet my deadlines and present the presentations.
I have a really low self-esteem when it comes down to talking in front of the group, and I know this because, I have done a presentation before in the college and it all went wrong, the presentation was supposed to be 10 minutes long but I have rushed it all through it and did it in 5, all I did was read my notes, couldn’t properly move was all tensed up, didn’t use good body language and of course thought negative of my self.
Presenting in front of people is an acquired skill, and i feel afraid of standing up and talking to a group. I am scared of being judged on my appearance, quality and delivery of presentation or even on my voice and accent. But of course presenting is a skill that can be learned by anyone, including me (at least I hope so). It takes practice and courage to get over the first few hurdles. I will research my topic of discussion thoroughly which will give me the confidence to present accurate information even if I be nervous. – I am going to put a lot of effort into researching my topic, looking at different sources of information. This should then give me confidence and allow me to deliver interesting and accurate presentation, while also bringing the nervousness down. I will try and keep my presentations simple and easy to understand and focus on a few main points. I will try my best at staying calm and focused, and hope that this will help me with my fear of speaking against a group of people.