This essay is aimed at reflecting my personal process of learning, and experience in a specific learning situation that I experienced while preparing for my group presentation for my coursework assessment for the M129LON module, this work will show that I had to learn and relearn certain skill in other to be able to meet up with the course requirements for my assignment.
Helyer, R. (2015), stated that
People consciously reflect in order to understand events in their lives and thus improve meaning
I decided to work with Kolbs reflection theory because of the learning styles it outlines. This is because with it, allows me to identify the learning methods or styles easiest to enable me achieve learning.individuals are able to identify which of the learning styles resonates with them and therefore take charge of their learning process and pace (Mcleod, S. 2017).
Using Kolbs reflection model
1. Experience: I joined the class in the fifth week, and I was meeting my tutor, course mates and the members of my group for the first time, my lecturer Dr Sumara Khan, was very understanding of my situation and she immediately put me in a group for the Coursework1 assignments which was due in a few weeks time. I met the members of my group that day and we after introduction assigned task to each member of the group to ensure equal participation in the group presentation due on the 30th of October 2019. My task was to write the PESTEL about Rwanda and I struggled hard as I did not understand how to go about it, and I had never been to Rwanda. I was able to put a draft together but still I knew that my best effort was not up to standards and I was getting nervous. I emailed my lecturer and enquired if it was okay for me to pursue my line of thoughts and she was fine with it. This embolden me and gave my writing a lift. Most of the members of my group do not speak English as their first language (Chinese, Indians, Pakistani and myself a Nigerian) and they often resort to their local dialect which makes me feel excluded, uncomfortable and invisible but I understood the need to be patient and try to develop ways of communicating, we broke the language barrier by setting principles, one of which was that we only spoke English and where expression became difficult, we wrote on notes and in our WhatsApp group, in the end we managed to put together the presentation, we got there in the end.
2. Reflection: I was quick to realise the need to perform in this group in orther to performance, I did not really know or have an understanding of how far the lecturer had gone with the as I had missed some of my lectures alongside some class activities this meant I needed to work extra hard to be able to achieve the course learning outcomes. Communication between myself and other course mates within and outside the school environment is non-existing. I was therefore at a loss and disorganised, I had also approached some course mates for clarification on the coursework, but their explanations didnt do much at the time (majorly due to language barriers). At this point, I realized that I needed a one-on-one intervention. I also decided to interact with my group members more an in a more relaxed atmosphere, we went to Nandos for a meal and we bonded like old friends this helped to make-up for my lack of communication with them.
3. Development of ideas: I met with my course lecturer, she pointed out how I was to go about applying the concepts. She noted that my writeup had to demonstrate that I had a clear understanding of the topic before going ahead to make decisions. She was also of the opinion that I get together with my group members and brainstorm on some of the class activities together, I took her advise and i got in touch with them and we had a productive meeting.
At the group meeting, I apologised for my absence without notice, lack of communication and seeming nonchalant attitude towards group activities even though it was not my fault that I joined the class late. I promised to be more on ground and contribute to all group activities. I explained that I was behind and was finding the course a bit challenging and had therefore not done well in my assigned role as I had no clear grasp of what I needed to look out for or do. It was initially a stiff meeting but as everyone started sharing their experiences with each person present bringing their perspective, it soon became a focused discussion from which I was able to understand and even contribute to the discussion. I could then understand how the use of concepts was necessary to explain some of the issues. It was hands and therefore I found it surprisingly easy to relate and understand what the task was getting at. After the group meet, I did some more reading on my own and would often call one of my group members to bounce off my ideas and understanding of what the task involved.
4. Testing ideas in practice: after all the storming and forming with group members and my own personal intervention, I wrote PESTEL on Rwanda. In writing it, I ensured that the appropriate concepts were in place. I tackled the communication issues with members of my presentation group.I also ensured that my data was presented in clear and logical steps. In terms of not having clear understanding of issues before making judgement, I was able to show that decisions are not one-off events, rather they are a series of events that involves several other steps that must occur in a sound, appropriate and timely manner (Morrin, T. 2008). These decisions were also sound, and ultimately defensible. The progress I made with my work within the short period of time also highlighted the need to be more open and accessible in order to allow creativity bloom.
Experiential learning occurs when learners gain knowledge through their reflections (Cole, M. 2000).
Kolbs theory and ensuing highlight of the learning styles was really insightful as it enabled me to identify the different stages of the cycle and the point of the learning styles I could identify with.
I believe that I am a very practical person and learn best when allowed to dictate my pace and have a go, which according to Mcleod makes me a Converging Pragmatist
In his interpretation of Kolbs reflective model, these group of learners, learn best given an opportunity to thoroughly think the idea through and then practically implement these ideas.
According to Curtis Kelly 1997, understanding ones preferred learning style will help one to understand areas of weakness and strength and thus avail the individual an opportunity to better himself and herself. My action plan is to always work as part of a team, learn more about how best to communicate in order to contribute effectively to the group. I will also aim to improve and develop my assertive skills when interacting in a group to further bind out group bond.
Kolbs cycle was amply demonstrated in my group presentation as the helped to improve my personal and professional developments.
AS Confucius once wrote:
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
This quote encompasses the core of Reflective Theory and all it aims to teach. However, in my view, this great quote more aptly describes Kolbs theory because the experience in Kolbs cycle can be easily interchanged with Confuciuss doing and we would be looking at experiential learning. This is alighted in my initial language difficulty with my group members but by a willingness to work and be productive me achieved our goal.