Unit 3, Activity 1, The Value of Reflection

For this unit’s reflection, several questions were posed, I have selected two to structure my thoughts.

What was the most surprising thing that you learned by participating in the design thinking process and designing and developing your digital learning resource?

One of the most surprising things that I learned about participating in the design thinking process is that this way of systems thinking is something that resonates very strongly for me. As it helps me to break down the bigger picture into smaller pieces, thereby understanding the context of the system and its individual components. It has therefore been very helpful for me to engage in the structured approach to develop my digital learning resource (DLR). It’s something that I will call upon in the future to utilize the same approach in the work that I do as a learning designer.

What reflection channels and processes do you prefer (in addition to, or instead of blog posts) to support your lifelong learning?

With regard to reflection channels and processes it has become quite apparent to me that although I appreciate the purpose of a blog and its potential value for me, there are other avenues that are more beneficial. Typically, I like to engage in conversation with my peers about the readings in order to confirm my understanding and perception as well as hearing theirs for comparison. It enables me to clarify my understanding and also offers a lot more exploration and depth because of their shared experience.

The OpenLearn (n.d.) resource provided in this unit’s readings proved to be an excellent source of information. Especially if it were included in the program earlier on. Of particular interest to me was the inclusion of Atkins and Murphy’s (1993) cyclical model (Figure 1). I think this model sums up the factors of perception, particularly with the inclusion of challenging assumptions because without that step, our final outcome(s) to any thinking process are inherently biased.

Figure 1

My experience in LRNT527 has been an enlightening one that has illuminated blind spots in my current design approach as well as pointing out areas for future exploration. For example, I naturally seek out feedback from my subject matter expert(s) (SME) and colleagues on a regular basis. However, it has tended to be a rather unstructured approach, and moving forward, as a result of this course, I can see the value of incorporating more rigour to further enhance these collaborative partnerships.

Ultimately, the process of exploring our DLRs throughout the duration of LRNT527 has proven to be very valuable as it has given me the opportunity to explore an initial concept through a series of activities, which in of itself is an iterative process.  As a result, in my opinion, this has created an environment that has fostered design thinking that has continually undergoing further focus and refinement with regard to its execution, while simultaneously the DLR itself has taken shape. For me this realization is an important one as it illustrates how effective, and efficient a design thinking approach is.


OpenLearn. (n.d.) Succeeding in post-graduate study: Session 2: reflective thinking, reflective learning and academic writing. Retrieved from https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=51386

Photo by Faye Cornish on Unsplash