Not the end, just the beginning…
Over the last five week’s you have been on a journey: developing skills; working towards becoming a more in(ter)dependent learner. If you were stuck on the escalator I hope that you have managed to find your way off. And while the course is coming to an end, this is really just the beginning…
One of the key features of the course has been self reflection. You have been asked to post weekly, reflecting on your progress and development. For the in(ter)dependent learner this arguably the most important process to enter into. Through self assessment/evaluation it allows you to enter into an internal dialogue not just about what you have learned but how you went about learning it. Given the value that can be placed on such processes, self reflection is the only focus of the final week.
There is a lot to unpack.
Reflecting on and assessing your own progress/learning is not easy. It takes time and practice to develop as a skill, which is one of the reasons behind the weekly blog post. It has to be an active and honest process. Moreover, it is a process that is based on trust; as I have discussed in this blog post:
“…trust is of high importance here. Trusting yourself is difficult. It takes time to reach a point where you can be effectively self-critical, where you can trust your own judgement.”
It requires you to enter into a meta-cognitive process, looking inwardly at the way you approached your learning. As such I thought it would be useful to return to Dweck’s fixed and growth mindsets. It might be useful to conduct a purposeful self-analysis of how you approached the course, considering the following:
- What challenges did you face and how did you respond to them?
- What obstacles got in your way and how did you get around them?
- How much effort did you put into the course and what did you get out of it?
- What feedback (criticism) did you receive and how did you take it?
- What success did other participants have and how did that make you feel?
Were your responses positive or negative? Did you see challenges as opportunities to be embraced or did you avoid them thinking if you did not try then no one could say that you failed? Did you look at your feedback and see it as advice that could help you move forwards or did you choose to ignore it?
As you can see this is a critical process and not an easy one. Once you have taken some time to analyse the way you approached the course, read back over your assignments, blog posts and the feedback you received. Write down your successes and failures. Where do you stand? Then take the learner survey and reflect on your progress. How have your skills and attributes developed. Remember, be honest!
A final part of the reflective process is to consider what you will do next. Although, this course has come to an end your learning has not (and never will). How can you take what you have learned during the course forwards? How is it going to continue to factor into your current and future learning? Is there anything specific that you have learned that wish to develop further?
- Atherton J S (2011) Learning and Teaching; Reflection and Reflective Practice [Webpage]
- Stephen Heppell: ‘Metacognition‘ [Video]
- James Michie: Communicative Relationships: The Purpose of Assessment [Article – see pg. 6 in particular]
- Plymouth University: Reflection [Guide]
- Michael Graham Richard: Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset: Which One Are You? [Article]
Archive – Wednesday 17th April
1. Complete the end of course survey reflecting on and evaluating the progress you have made. This second survey also includes a section for you to evaluate the course. Please take the time to do this as it is important to both the research process, and will help make improvements to the course for future participants.
2. Complete a final blog post reflecting on and evaluating the progress you gave made. Consider:
- your progress as an in(ter)dependent learner
- what you believe you gained out of completing the course (skills, attributes…)
- what you will take away with you and how/where you think you will use it?
3. Read and comment on the blog posts of the 3-4 members of your comment group. (Discuss their responses to the questions and share your learning from the week)