We are in the last week of LRNT 527 and for the last activity, we have been challenged to look in the ‘side-view mirror’ and reflect on our learning journey through this course and on the design thinking process that we engaged to design a digital learning resource in order to solve an identified problem of practice in our work environments. OpenLearn (n.d) suggests that reflection plays a crucial role in our learning and self-development at a Master’s level. It also states that “as with other areas of competence, you need to be actively aware of, to develop, and practice the habit of reflection, until it becomes almost second nature” (OpenLearn, n.d.).
Laurier (n.d.) presented different models of reflection and the one that resonated the most with me was the “What-So What-Now What” model developed by Bruce Borton in 1970. I like to keep things simple and concise in both my personal and professional life, and this model is “a quick and easy way for you to reflect on a situation after it has happened” (Laurier, n.d.). Some questions that came to my mind were What was the goal to create a digital learning resource? What steps did I have to follow to get there? What did I learn from it? So what can be done to make it better? and, now what can I do to improve my digital learning resource? Among many others. I believe that sometimes simple questions help you get the best answers.
Working through this course I also learned a few different things:
- The importance of empathizing with your learners. Developing the ability to understand another person’s thoughts in a situation was of great value to come up with a proposed solution. Following a human-centered design and “putting the people you serve at the center of your design process to come up with new answers to difficult problems” (IDEO, 2015).
- “Design thinking is not a linear process, some of the steps overlap, and in some cases, these steps can even go in an infinite loop” (Hastings, 2018).
- Feedback is effective. Kearney (2012) suggested that students who participated in peer assessment felt that it was challenging, but also helped to develop their critical thinking skills. Feedback comes in different shapes and forms and it helps clarify expectations. I believe that constructive feedback helps you grow and provides you with a sense of engagement and commitment.
Reflective thinking and learning have been consistent elements of each course during the MALAT program, while it continues to be a work in progress for me, I certainly have to admit that reflecting is a powerful tool, and when you learn how to use it, you obtain a greater understanding of yourself and your personal reality, you also give an answer to who you are and what you do in life. I also view reflection as a source of knowledge, as one of many means to learn, help yourself in uncertainty, clear your doubts, find solutions to problems, and grow as people personally, professionally, and socially.
Hastings, P. (2018). Design Thinking & Doing [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpVzgW8TUQ0&t=153s
OpenLearn. (n.d.). Succeeding in post-graduate study: Session 2 – reflective thinking, reflective learning, and academic writing. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=51386
IDEO. (2015). Design Kit Methods. https://www.designkit.org/methods
Kearney, S. (2012). Improving engagement: the use of “Authentic self-and peer-assessment for learning” to enhance the student learning experience. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2012.751963
Wilfrid Laurier University. (n.d.). Reflective writing. Write online. https://writeonline.ca/reflective-essay.php?content=section2