Becoming a Professional
Session 1, 2018
Reflective Journal Outline
Department of Marketing and Management
REFLECTIVE JOURNAL OUTLINE
As part of evaluating the participative process, an individual reflective journal is required to be completed and submitted. There are two requirements to this assignment. The first section, Part A, consists of a pre-activity self-rating of graduate capabilities. The ratings are intended to be your perception of your own capabilities. This perception should draw on your prior experiences, including your university or other studies, paid employment or volunteer work, and from sport, hobbies and other interests. The self-assessment Part A will not be graded, nor will it be shared with others in your class. Part A serves the purpose of allowing the student to focus on graduate capabilities and reflective points to be considered while collecting material and writing up the final reflective journal. Part A is due on iLearn by no later than 11.55pm on Friday 16th March in Week 3.
Part B, consists of the self assessment post activity audit of graduate capabilities and a 2,000 word reflective journal report. The self assessment post activity audit will not be marked, but will act as support for your findings in the final report. The final report provides your analysis and reflections about the process of self-assessment that you have undertaken and analyse the evidence you have gathered. Part B is due in Week 12. A hard copy is to be submitted in your Seminar class in the week commencing May 28th, as well as a soft copy uploaded via iLearn by midnight the same day (note that your marked copy will be the hard copy so any subsequent changes to the version you submit in the tutorial will not be considered).
For many aspects of life, accurate self-assessment is an important and valuable skill. This applies to your own personal and professional development, where self-assessment is often needed to diagnose where you might need additional assistance or training. Similarly, it is useful to be able to use this skill to highlight your talents to gain employment. Accuracy in this skill might also be necessary for you to keep and maintain employment. The “Skills and Capabilities Audit Tool” has been designed to help refine your self-assessment skills. It can also be used to help you identify what kinds of evidence you can present and use as evidence of your level of attainment of skills and capabilities to employers or any other party.
Many such auditing tools and checklists focus on a narrow range of “employability” or “work readiness” skills. These are, of course, important, but many employers are looking for a broader range of capabilities in their new recruits. Analysis of such capabilities might also be useful in your own appraisal of your personal and professional development needs. The list of skills and capabilities is based on the Macquarie University Graduate Capabilities, which cover not only work readiness such as “effective communication” and “critical thinking” but also capabilities related to life-long learning such as “capable of professional and personal judgement” and “commitment to continuous learning”. There are also statements related to the broader community such as “socially and environmentally active and responsible”.
reflective journal theory: kolb’s experiential learning model
As a PACE subject the participative aspect of this course allows the students to experience an aspect of working for an organisation and to develop a range of work skills that will be able to be transferred to many aspects of the student’s work and social life. Research into experiential learning has found many benefits to periods of reflection during the process of learning as well as at the end.
An experiential model highlighting and integrating the role of reflection has been put forward by Kolb. The experiential learning model is taken from the following two pieces of work:
Kolb DA (1984) Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs NJ.
Kolb DA and Kolb AY (2005) Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education, Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(2), 193-212.
Kolb (1984: p21) defines experiential learning as a “holistic integrative perspective on learning that combines experience, cognition and behaviour”. Without reflection on experiences, students may not identify a range of capabilities and skills or changes in behaviour that are taking place. Furthermore, they are in danger of repeating the same errors or not identifying incorrect assumptions and biases applied to a particular situation. Reflection enables making sense of a situation, comprehending, understanding and answering questions, making necessary personal and social connections thereby increasing knowledge and the overall learning effectiveness.
A brief description of the stages follows:
- (i) Concrete experience (CE): provides the basis for the learning process. Lessons are learnt by individuals through adaptability and open mindedness rather than a systematic approach to the situation or problem. This is where the student is actively experiencing an activity.
- (ii) Reflective observation (RO): students during this stage learn from their experiences and by articulating why and how they occurred. They reflect, observe and critically examine their experiences from all perspectives. This is where the student is consciously reflecting back on that experience.
- (iii) Abstract conceptualization (AC): relates the observations and reflections made during RO stage to the theory or subjective concept. Students use logic and ideas as opposed to feelings to understand situations and problems. This is where the student is presented with/or trying to conceptualize a theory or model of what is to be observed.
- (iv) Active experimentation (AE): during this stage students test the theories to make predictions about reality and then act on those predictions. This is where the student is trying to plan how to test a model or theory or plan for a forthcoming experience.
reflective journal – part a
This section Part A is to be completed as a precursor to the final Part B submission. It is based on a table of skills and capabilities for you to use in undertaking a self-rating exercise before you do your participation activity. You will choose six (6) aspects of the graduate capabilities to concentrate on during the marketing report process.
- Read each of the statements in the table provided and rate yourself in the ”pre-activity self-rating” column as to how well you think you exhibit these capabilities. Use the rating scale provided below:
Rating scale : A (Excellent), B (Highly Effective), C (Effective), D (Needs improvement or Inconsistent), E (Unsatisfactory or untested).
The ratings are intended to be your perception of your own capabilities. This perception should draw on your prior experiences, including your university or other studies, paid employment or volunteer work, and from sport, hobbies and other interests.
The self-assessment will not be graded, nor will it be shared with others in your class, though you will need to submit it as a record of the pre-activity self-assessment. It is anticipated that everyone will have some areas that “need improvement” or are “unsatisfactory”. When you revisit this list again after your participation activity, you may wish to revise some of these original ratings, either up or down – this is to be expected as you measure yourself against the requirements of the activity, supervisor’s expectations and remarks, and capabilities of co-workers. Self-assessment is an ongoing process and we are all revising our view of ourselves as we try new things.
It is certainly possible to rate yourself low or very low so as to show improvement whatever you learn from your activity. This approach will not, however, help you develop accurate self-assessment skills. Moreover, no marks are attached to the actual self-assessment, but will be given for your analysis and reflection at the end of the process.
- Choose six aspects of capabilities that you would like to target for your activity. These might be ones where you have rated yourself poorly, or that are particularly relevant to your future career aspirations, or ones that are related to your activity. Highlight these with an X in the column, labelled “target capability”.
- Save one copy for yourself (you will need it again after your activity) and submit one copy to your lecturer via Turnitin in Week 5. Please save the file in the following format before submitting:
SURNAME_FIRST NAME_STUDENT ID_PART A.
e.g. SMITH_JOHN_20101234_PART A
reflective journal: collecting a portfolio of evidence during the report process
The activity you undertake as part of this unit will provide you with an opportunity to develop or improve at least six aspects of capabilities identified in the table you filled in for Part A. While undertaking the activity you will be required to collect ‘evidence’ of your ability regarding these capabilities (and any others that you would like to show).
For the purposes of this exercise, acceptable evidence is considered to be any sample of your work from the activity that verifies the capability you say you have developed or improved. For evidence to be useful to both you, and potential employers, it must provide confirmation of what it is you say you can do. Types of evidence you may use for this exercise include: podcasts; videos; photos; PowerPoint presentations; press announcements; business reports; wikis; blogs; project management documentation; SWOT analysis; a set of interview questions; a set of alternative strategies for responding to a crisis; fictional stories; changes of behaviour that indicate a determined effort to increase skills in a particular graduate capability etc. It is recommended you gather as many samples of your work as possible throughout your activity. At the end you will need to select two which best illustrate your capabilities.
Below are examples of what is considered acceptable evidence for the development of particular capabilities or aspects of capabilities:
- 1) professional/technical competence could be demonstrated via a project management plan for your activity
- 2) risk assessment and/or problem solving capabilities could be demonstrated via a set of alternate strategies for managing a crisis within the context of your activity
- 3) effective speaking and/or the use of communication technologies could be demonstrated via a podcast you have produced for your activity.
Evidence that is not useful includes where the sample of work does not demonstrate the capability you claim to have developed in a clear and obvious way. Unacceptable evidence also includes evidence where matters of confidentiality and privacy are in breech. This could involve work that includes sensitive or a company’s ‘competitive’ information; the personal details of clients and/or customers; and, the unauthorised use of photographic images, which are particularly problematic if they involve children under 18 or Indigenous Australians.
Before selecting your ‘best’ evidence consider the following:
- Does the sample of work clearly demonstrate the capability I claim to have developed?
- Will a potential employer gain a good understanding of my capabilities from this evidence?
- Does this evidence breech any confidentiality or privacy agreements with the organisation/people I have been undertaking my activity with?
The process of gathering useful and ‘valid’ evidence about your own capabilities will promote your self-assessment skills and help you identify your strengths and those areas needing improvement. Such evidence might also be used when applying for jobs.
reflective journal self assessment post activity – Part B
- Retrieve your copy of the table that you completed in Part A.
- Read the statements for the aspects of capabilities and rate yourself as to how well you think you exhibit these aspects now that you have completed your participation activity. Fill in the final column that is highlighted in grey, labelled “Post activity self-rating”.
Rating scale : A (Excellent), B (Highly Effective), C (Effective), D (Needs improvement or Inconsistent), E (Unsatisfactory).
You may wish to revise some of your original ratings, either up or down – this is to be expected as you measure yourself against the requirements of the activity, supervisor’s expectations and remarks, and capabilities of co-workers. Self-assessment is an ongoing process.
Some examples demonstrating the reasons why ratings may change are below;
I never saw myself as a leader so in the pre activity self-assessment I gave myself a low rating for this capability. During the report process I had the opportunity to provide guidance to other students and I realised that I had better leadership skills than I had thought, so my rating needed to be revised upwards.
I always received high marks for my essays so I thought I had excellent written communication skills. During the project I had difficulty writing a particular type of report, and realised that while my essay writing skills were good, I wasn’t so effective across other forms of writing, particularly reports. As a result, my rating needed to be revised downwards.
I got on well with people so I thought I had good interpersonal skills, but during the group interaction I was involved in a conflict situation and I realised my interpersonal skills were not as good as I originally thought they were, so my rating after the activity was lower than my pre activity rating.
Note that while no marks are attached to the self-assessment, you must submit the document entitled Skills and Capabilities audit tool, both the pre-activity and post activity versions. Marks will be given for some evidence you select as your best examples, and the reflection piece you write in Part B of this activity and, which will be based on the completed Skills and Capabilities Audit tool and the evidence you collected.
reflective journal part b
This part of the task will be marked and graded based on the following three sections of work. The total reflective journal is 2,000 words.
- Select the 2 best pieces of evidence you have gathered, write about them in your journal, label which aspects of capability/capabilities each exemplifies and describe why this is a good piece of evidence (500 words).
- Write and submit a 750 word section that provides your analysis and reflections about the process of self-assessment that you have undertaken and analyse the evidence you have gathered. This section relates to the pre and post skills and capabilities audit students completed as well as an overall view of the evidence collected. You are also encouraged to review your overall experience and personal change over your time at University to this stage. How have you changed?
- Write and submit a 750 word section on your goals for both short term (12 months) and medium term (2-3 years). You are required to list the goals and give reasons why they are important to you. These goals may relate to your studies, career aspirations or other personal goals.
Part B is due in Week 12. A hard copy is to be submitted in your seminar class in the week commencing May 28th, as well as a soft copy uploaded via iLearn by midnight the same day (note that your marked copy will be the hard copy so any subsequent changes to the version you submit in the tutorial will not be considered).
reflective journal: graduate capabilities table
|Step 1||Step 2|
|Graduate Capabilities||Description||Pre activity self -rating||Target Capability||Post activity self- rating|
|Discipline specific knowledge and skills|
|Professional/ technical competence||Exhibits relevant professional/technical skills and competencies. Meets professional standards.|
|Uses disciplinary knowledge appropriately||Effectively applies disciplinary knowledge to practice.|
|Adapts knowledge to novel situations||Applies and adapts theoretical knowledge and technical expertise to novel situations.|
|Critical, analytical and integrative thinking|
|Critical thinking||Identifies contestable issues and evaluates alternative theories, arguments and options. Forms, expresses and defends own point of view, but also recognises the limitations, weaknesses or potential objections to this point of view.|
|Analytical thinking||Critically examines and evaluates a range of complex and conflicting data relevant to a particular issue. Analyses problems and issues demonstrating logic and reasoning.|
|Integrative thinking||Understands the tensions of opposing models and ideas. Identifies relevant variables and factors, seeking to understand the causal relationships. Keeps the ‘big picture’ in mind while working on a problem. Examples might include cross-disciplinary approaches and applying theory to practice.|
|Information literacy and effective use of IT||Effectively uses search tools and gathers information from a range of sources. Critically evaluates information for authority, validity, bias and accuracy.|
|Problem solving and research capability|
|Finds and reviews appropriate evidence from a range of sources, extracts relevant information, and selects most the appropriate techniques/tools for collecting and analysing data. Explores and evaluates different research methods. Demonstrates effective research design.|
|Research protocols||Understands ethical requirements for research and appreciates intellectual property and confidentiality.|
|Diagnose and solve problems||Ability to define problems. Generates a range of possible courses of action, and implements most appropriate approach. Evaluates outcomes.|
|Relate theoretical knowledge to practical situations||Connects theoretical knowledge to real world practice and explores the strengths and limitations of current theory and practice in real world contexts. Appreciates the importance of research and scholarship to inform/improve practice in organisations.|
|Creative and innovative|
|Demonstrates awareness of problems/gaps in knowledge, considers different perspectives, adapts readily to new/uncertain situations, conveys ideas through a variety of mediums, thinks ‘outside the square’ to solve complex issues. Ability to respond to opportunities and challenges.|
|Innovation||Identifies opportunities not obvious to others and finds innovative solutions, where conventional solutions have not worked or are unlikely to work.|
|Open to experience
|Views problems, questions or situations from new and multiple perspectives. Is open to new ideas and displays a willingness to try new things, experiment and take risks.|
|Application of critical, creative thinking||Finds effective alternative/novel solutions to problems. Applies skills and experience to areas other than prime discipline.|
|Convey views to different audiences
|Chooses the most appropriate medium to convey information, views and arguments to different audiences (e.g., colleagues, managers, general public). Takes into account the background and sensitivities of the audience (e.g., religious).|
|Use of visual communication and ICT||Is proficient in using a range of communication technologies (e.g., PowerPoint, podcasts, video, graphics, social media).|
|Effective writing||Communicates effectively in writing, including proofing, editing, using appropriate language, and avoiding jargon (unless the context requires it).|
|Effective oral communication||Demonstrates effective oral communication skills, including asking appropriate questions, maintaining eye contact, using appropriate language. Presents ideas clearly and persuasively.|
|Effective presentation skills||Demonstrates effective presentation skills including adequate preparation, clear structure and organisation of content, confident delivery, the use of appropriate visual aids, and engagement with the audience.|
|Effective listening||Demonstrates active listening skills. Listens to the views of others and responds appropriately.|
Engaged and ethical local and global citizens
|Demonstrates awareness of indigenous perspectives, and is able to analyse social and political issues facing contemporary Indigenous Australians.|
|Respect for diversity
|Appreciates and values diversity. Respects the different needs and values of others, including those from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Capable of working with others from diverse backgrounds.|
|Open-minded and inclusive||Receptive to new or different ideas and the views of others.|
|Recognises the history, contributions and perspectives of different cultural groups and intercultural issues relevant to professional practice. Demonstrates an understanding of cross-cultural communication issues in the community and in a workplace context.|
|Social justice||Appreciates the impacts of social change, and acknowledges social and ethical implications of own actions. Takes into account the influence of social, political and cultural viewpoints of others when deciding a course of action. Recognises social justice issues relevant to own discipline or profession.|
|Global citizenship||Understands the global context of discipline/professional area, and contributes to the community at a range of levels from the local to the global.|
|Socially and environmentally active and responsible|
|Empathy and sensitivity
|Demonstrates empathy and sensitivity to the views, values and culture of others.|
|Leadership||Demonstrates leadership characteristics and effectively manages groups to maximise the attainment of goals in professional, community or other contexts. Capable of persuading others and initiating change.|
|Teamwork||Works collaboratively with different groups e.g., recognises the strengths of other team members. Negotiates solutions and resolves conflict when opinions differ.|
|Appreciates the importance of sustainability. Addresses sustainability issues in own field of study.|
|Capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative|
|Interpersonal skills||Adjusts communication style to meet context requirements. Influences and motivates others. Negotiates effectively.|
|Initiative||Uses initiative and resourcefulness to respond appropriately to challenges.|
|Managing ambiguity,complexity and change||Handles ambiguity and complexity, unexpected findings and situations appropriately, responding to changing and uncertain situations.|
|Risk assessment||Identifies and assesses potential risks and devises appropriate mitigation strategies.|
|Ethical||Applies an ethical approach to practice. Demonstrates honesty and integrity in academic conduct. Displays personal integrity and awareness of ethical principles and issues, including confidentiality and privacy.|
|Time management / project management skills||Demonstrates effective time management and project-management skills (e.g., meets deadlines; organises necessary resources, etc to complete task/project).|
|Commitment to continuous learning|
|Reflection||Uses reflective practice to support professional practice and enrich personal development.|
|Personal, professional and social development||Recognises own need for continuous learning and development. Identifies knowledge gaps and/or skills in need of improvement. Develops strategies to facilitate these needs.|
When submitting Part A, you should mark all of the pre-activity items (all of column 1) and just the six you have chosen of the Target Capability items (column 2).
Only Pages 9-12 are to be submitted to iLearn as your Part A.
KEEP A COPY OF WHAT YOU SUBMITTED
Reflective Journal Marking Guide – Part B
Student Name ……………………………………… Student ID: …………………………………..
|Structure of document||Document is exceptionally clear with easy to read flow of information||Document is clear with easy to read flow of information||Document is clear but lacks continuity of idea flow||Document is not easy to follow however components are covered||Document is poorly structured with little cohesion from one area to the next||3|
|Depth of reflection||Level and depth of reflection to a very high standard in addressing key questions||Level and depth of reflection to a high standard in addressing key questions||Level and depth of reflection to a good standard in addressing key questions||Level and depth of reflection to a satisfactory standard in addressing key questions||Limited level and depth of reflection in addressing key questions||10|
|Goal Focus||Goals reflect thoughtful, valuable and long term improvement||Goals reflect appropriate importance for long term achievement||Goals are clear and will bring benefit||Goals are stated but not clearly beneficial in longer term||Poor definition and value of listed goals||8|
|Grammar, spelling & presentation||Excellent professional presentation with no errors of spelling or grammar||Good quality professional presentation with maximum of 1 error of spelling or grammar||Good quality professional presentation with maximum of 3 error of spelling or grammar||Average quality presentation with errors of spelling and or grammar||Poor quality presentation with errors of spelling and or grammar||4|
General Standards As Applied To This Assignment
|The student demonstrates the competencies in Distinction standard and in addition demonstrates;
· Insightful and comprehensive identification and discussion of key trends concerning the specialist topic. Advanced understanding of the relevant theory related leading to defensible generalizations.
· Demonstrates capacity to use new insights to critically appraise ideas and arguments, draws well-supported conclusions, and applies relevant theory.
· Uses creative examples, possible extensions, and applications of theory.
· The work has been well written with perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation.
|The student demonstrates the competencies in Credit standard and in addition;
· Demonstrates selectivity and uses judgment in determining the importance of key trends and ideas.
· Shows evidence of wide reading and synthesis of ideas.
· Demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the relevant trends and issues
· The work has been written and presented to a high academic standard,
|The student demonstrates the competencies in Pass standard, and in addition;
· Demonstrates the understanding of key trends, and issues.
· Demonstrates a sound capacity to appraise ideas and arguments, to draw satisfactory conclusions
· May sometimes lapse into description rather than providing analysis and evaluation.
· Provides a satisfactorily structured, work which is clearly written and grammatically accurate in terms of spelling. Some significant improvements needed
|The student demonstrates the following;
· Most of the key concepts and issues in the topic are identified and discussed. Conveys a basic understanding of the relevant trends and issues
· The work demonstrates a satisfactory capacity to appraise ideas and arguments.
· The work provides little or no evidence of critical analysis and may simply restate or describe. The work is not synthesized or integrated and lacks depth of analysis.
· May demonstrate a narrow focus.
· The work is presented with sufficient coherence and clarity for the reader to understand the ideas and arguments being proposed. Improvements to writing such as structure, grammar and referencing are required Argument/discussion has some flaws.
|The student may demonstrate some or all of the following;
· Has not identified key trends concerning the specialist topic. Conveys little evidence of understanding of relevant issues.
· Demonstrates a failure to identify the issues and trends.
· The work demonstrates little understanding or appreciation of standards required for academic writing. Improvements in terms of clarity, grammar, spelling, quotations, referencing or presentation are required to achieve an acceptable standard.
· Argument/discussion is fundamentally flawed.
· Assessment is not handed in on time.
The Skills and Capabilities Audit Tool was developed by Dr Theresa Winchester-Seeto from the Macquarie University Learning and Teaching Centre 2012.