AN INVESTIGATION ON REFLECTION AND LEARNING STYLES

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When I entered into the module I felt that this module is having the same theoretical concepts and ideas. But I was amazed after getting into the PASS module. This module provides me the opportunity to develop a whole range of management skills that are crucial to any successful modern international management career. And it also gives us the realistic knowledge.

In High School, college seemed to be the scariest thing that I could think of. Whenever I thought about it my stomach would immediately begin to spin in circles. Although I was ready to go off and be by myself and meet new people I was scared to death at the same time. The way in which I grown up, mature, and find out who I really am, is something that can't accomplish without going to college. I remembered my first class; the lecturers have given us the motivational classes. And then we form a group and understand different peoples of the group.

Team management

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It refers to techniques, tools and processes for coordinating and organizing a group of individuals working towards a common goal. We were introduced to two Tuckman's Model and Belbin's

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Theory. There are four (4) phases and they are: forming, storming, norming, performing. In the initial stage we focused on forming. The team meets and learns about the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks. This stage is very important for everyone in the team, because in this stage they get to know about one another and exchanging some information.

In the second stage we focused on storming. In this stage people begin to see themselves as part of a team. However at this stage they may challenge each other, and the team leader, about such things as what the team is doing, and how things should be done.

Now the third stage is norming. This is the stage where team members start to come closer, developing processes, establishing ground rules, clarifying who does what, and how things will be done. This phase is characterized by a growing sense of "togetherness". The team may engage in social activities and fun.

And the last stage is performing. As this word is self described we have seen that after these three processes we come to the last phase. The team knows what they have to do. Team members have increased focus on both the task, and on team relationships, combine to provide synergy. Performance is delivered through people working effectively together.

As every member has its own specialism and we have to clarify that importance. Every team member knows his/her own task. We realized that we have to identify the roles of every team member for a task. We have to divide our work because it is more effective to accomplish our task rapidly and innovatively. To identify these roles we will use Balbin's theory. By using this theory we will be capable of finding an actual role in a team. Balbin's theory specifies some characteristics of the member through which we can identify our roles.

Implementer- implement is that person who implements a certain task in a situation.

Plant- the team members are innovative that they can solve complicated problems.

Investigator- a member who will provide the information's which is necessary.

Shaper- a member wants to take challenge on pressure.

Specialist- who brings specific knowledge to a team.

Team worker- Member who will make an interpersonal relationship with the team.

Finisher- a member who will approach to the end.

Coordinator- coordinators organize the team.

According to this theory we will come to know about our roles in the team. For any team management I feel the Balbin's theory is the best way to find out. When the roles are identified it's very easy to form a group according to the proficiency. As a team, we are strong on Plant and Specialist characteristics, weak in Shaper characteristics and average on the rest. This means that our team is not able to take initiative but we reduced it by taking some motivation. So when we minimize shaper it managed to complete the task in a given period of time. A leader might be able to offer some skill guidance within the organization for the teams that requires these roles to carry out their tasks as most of the time partial wherewithal will cause the team to work in composed as it is.

Communication

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Communication is a process of transferring information from one entity to another. Communication involves the sharing of ideas and information. It is the activity of conveying information. The concept or state of exchanging information between entities; the potential for information exchange; a message; the essential data transferred in an act of communication; the body of all data transferred to one or both parties during an act of communication. Communication always requires a sender, a receiver and an intended recipient. The communication process is supposed to be completed when receiver has fully understood the sender. We make synchronization with each other but we haven't got any chances to work in a team. We haven't encountered any communication failures when we worked as a team and with a sound knowledge of any current topic assigned to us. We planned to sit on a particular place where there is not any kind of synchronization problem will occur. So there is a proper communication between us. And from this we are familiar with other member's thought and ideas. Every team member plays a vital role in any task so therefore we found a proper place to interact with others. Sometimes there is a divergent thinking in or team on certain issues but we managed to change and focused on a specific task. Sometimes our group member shows the autocratic behavior which results in unsuitable activities for the group. Those situations are kind of similar to Aristotle model where sender has the data and he/she transfer it to the receiver who is not considered at all. I believe that the problem can be solved by Berlo's method. In Berlo's Model we will find the commonly used Source - Message -Channel - Receiver and it is the activity which is translated in a way where it is easily understood by the receiver. It is necessary for the sender to know about his/her status and to whom he/she sending the message. Any person must know the proper process of sending the message to any superior related to the office as well as he/she may be informal with their peers and minors too. Some methods must be implemented on our team members where the centre idea is crystal clear and with a touch of politeness.

Learning and Development

Learning is the process of increasing knowledge and skills and developing our attitudes or beliefs so that we have the opportunity for increased choice (Thorpe and Clifford, 2000). According to Alan Mumford learning has happened when people can demonstrate that they know something that they didn't before. In different companies they are providing some fresh knowledge to their employers through different styles. It helps the employers to learn some new strategies and skills. We were introduced to the Honey Mumford learning style and essential to aware of ourselves and determine which category are we in. after this model I felt that in my team all have a reflective style of learning. Reflectors actually stand back and observe and analyze slow to make a conclusion about anything.

Development is the process of growth and learning, resulting in change or progression. After learning and training the stage which comes into the action is development. In our group we create some development needs. Development needs are- imposed change, performance review, personal motivation. And after implementing these changes our group looked more developed.

Time Management

Time is needed for a group to perform well because "…time for people to become better acquainted with each other, to assess each other's strengths and weaknesses and to reflect whether they can identify with the values, beliefs, attitudes and general style of their colleagues, individuals or whole group." (Sheard and Kakabadse, 2004). In order to manage our time in a beneficial way we must know what are our goals and onto which we have to prioritize our activities. Time management in our group provides the opportunity to create a schedule that actually works for us not for others. Team time management is somewhat different from individual time management. It highlights the organizational tempo which centres on group of people working jointly instead of performing as individuals. This is not to reduce the significance of the entity, but rather to expand the individual observation. Its try is to use everyone's time to the best benefit. And in our group we are following the same thing as it is given. Our group is concerned about time management and we always completed our task in a proper time.

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According to our module we learned a lot about the professional skills and development. It gives a practical knowledge and to manage our task.

Assignment 2: LEARNING STYLES

Learning styles are various aspects or methods of learning. They involve ways of learning related to any particular person. I think that my learning style has changed a bit as a proceeding gaining experience from my day to day assignment or life. Although Honey and Mumford pointed out that, learning styles can be modified by relying on a particular situation. I believe that there must be a basic learning style which inclines to stay with us on an intuitive level. I am sure about this because I know that whether i select to take initiative or should I take some guidance. I always try to see how others do the task and then analyze it. I always want to take a calculated risk to accomplish my task. After the completion of any task i analyzed to change or improve the methods. Learning styles are important because it shows the character of a person. But to know these characters we should cover the different learning styles.

David kolb model :

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It gives the four different styles of learning

Assimilators- who learn better when offered with sound valid theories to believe.

Convergers- who learn better when provided with realistic idea of concepts and theories

Accommodators- who learn better when provided with "hands-on" experiences

Divergers- who learn better when permissible to monitor and collect a wide range of data.

In a group I started to realize my mistakes and attempted to learn the better way of doing things. We need to recognize the work and provide praises and recognition at the correct time, and to know when to apply. In our group i feel that we all are convergent towards our task.

Honey and Mumford model:

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It gives four different styles of learning

1. Activist: This person likes the challenges brought by new knowledge. They're easy in problem solving and enjoy small group consideration. They dislike sitting still for long periods and will therefore not respond well to lectures or highly reflective activity

2. Reflector: Reflectors favor to be trained by thinking, watching about what they've pragmatised and reviewing it. They're very "extrovert" people that like to write in brainstorm and journals. When asked a question, they tend to sit back and think about the answer before responding

3. Theorist: These learners favor to think things through step-by-step. They usually prefer attention to reading, making models and lectures. They do not cope well when they are asked to do something without being told why and without underpinning evidence or theory.

4. Pragmatist: This type likes to take what they've learned and apply it to see if it works. They welcomed coaching and reaction. You might find them in observing things, laboratories and doing field work. They seek out new ideas and want to try them out, drawing links between the subject and their current job.

In a group I found myself as a reflector because I didn't work instantly, need some time to think, analyze it and then initiate my work. In my group I feel that all my team members having the same learning style as I have.

Belbin's theory:

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There are 9 roles in Belbin's team roles model.

Implementer, shaper, completer, co-coordinator team worker, investigator, planter, evaluator and specialist.

Through this theory we were able to know that under what action oriented role we incorporate. Our team members were able to know that which role they play in their team. Somebody was shaper someone was coordinator and so on. I found in my team I play a role of implementer and somewhat shaper and team worker. This theory simply states that based on certain statements, which role we play. All the team members will answer for a certain statement or situation based on what they think, what they feel. They have to answer in their own.

Vark model:

VARK theory is based on 4 main learning preferences we have.

Visual- Visual are those ones who wants to concentrate on projectors, whiteboard and they like making interpretation very carefully, present their work with charts. These are the ingenious students. This is a preference for considering and envisaged. Learners who have a visual penchant will like pictures and diagrams.

Auditory- They doesn't make any much notes, they just sit quietly and listen. This is a preference for words and hearing.

Read /write - These are the book lovers who loves to read more and more on a certain topic.

Kinesthetic - These learners cannot concentrate for long. They just cannot sit quietly, they fiddle while learning. This preference appreciates behavior and the chances to move about because they tend to communicate best through doing, feeling and touching.

On studying the above theory I was able to judge that I am an auditory learner. As an auditory learner I like learning when we are taught in a buoyant way. When we are taught by giving certain funny examples we can understand better and will be in our mind for longer period. Simply teaching from text books, delivering the lectures is quite boring.

Theory of Competence: This includes four learning styles of different stages, which starts from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

Unconscious incompetence- it is a stage where a person do not know something as well as cannot do it. The person might not understand the importance of the new skills or he might deny.

Conscious incompetence- This is where people become aware of their lacking of competence in a certain area.

Conscious competence- In this stage we will do things in exactly the way you have been shown how to do them.

Unconscious competence- People who are very capable at a task or skill are often unable to explain what and how they do it.

In our group I feel that we had started our journey from unconscious incompetence where we don't know each other as well as our aim but we communicated in a group. After a while we have concentrated to achieve our goal. And now I feel that we are in a stage of conscious competence and it actually comes from practice and coaching. We are trying to become unconsciously competence which comes from observation, experience and practice.

VARK model proved that I m a auditory learner. I can sit long for concentrating on a particular topic. But other than auditory i am a weak learner. And I feel that this is my weak point and I want to resolve it. Now i am trying to concentrate on a particular topic by sitting actively like a visual learner. Now i am concentrating on the reading/writing part by reading more and more books and different journals or assignments. But I feel that kinesthetic is not an actual style which should be learned because I am a auditory person and kinesthetic is a person who cannot concentrate much more so I did not belong to it. I strongly believe that i should expand that particular learning theory along with the rest that I already practice. As a group member we should create some new ideas all the time and these ideas can be practical or theoretical. From Honey Mumford theory I came to know that I m a reflector so I decided to learn the other learning styles that the VARK assessment showed as I do not see any harm in learning new theoretical modules.

I actually feel that with this module we will develop our skills, knowledge, training and many more. We know our value and importance in a group. This module also helps us to understand the team management, different communication skills, and time management and captures the different styles of learning.