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Having finished the applied management project, it will be good to put together in writing the various experiences, both personal and with group members. Therefore the main aim of this reflective analysis is to gather all experience and put them into writing.
The whole master degree program was though intense and demanding but a worthwhile experience, at the end of the program a thesis is required in which a reflective analysis is combined with it. The webmaster new world dictionary defines reflection to be a serious thought or contemplation. Boud et al (1985) defines reflection as the reasoning process of carefully considering intellectual activities in which one personally engaged or participated in. This process involves careful thoughts, reasoning and consideration of past event(s) or activities in which individual participates in. Obviously reflection requires good analysis and a high level of reasoning and thinking. In a more literal and understanding way Reid (1993) defines reflection as the "process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice" (p.3).
The main focus of a reflection analysis is to put together and reminisce on all activities engaged in while carrying out a project. The consideration on these activities includes considering a range of factors both physical and psychological. Therefore in a reflection analysis, a broad range of experience needs to be analysed including the environments, influence of third parties if applicable, means of gathering information and various process of learning. Boyd and Fales (1983) concluded that the analysis of a reflection on past event occurs in different stages on how the participant react and adapt to changes in his/her learning environment, which involves evaluation of the participants behaviour and how it changes as the environment changes considering every external factor that may affect the process of changes
Reflection analysis therefore is all about putting back into writing ones past experience and engagement during a particular event. Further more in this reflective paper, a complete description and evaluation all activities engaged in while carrying out my Applied Managements Project.
Importance of Reflective Analysis
It is usually a common action for a student not to be interested in reflecting on their past school test of assignment. While some show a little interest in it, a large number of student care less about reflecting on their past assignment or school work and not of course their final project.
According to Boud and Reid, they explain further in their book by shedding more light to the reason and purpose of reflective analysis. They concluded that reflection is about shedding more light on a student's past experience and the process of gaining the experience to show how much has been invested and how much has been learnt from the past event. Kemmis (1985) supported Boud and Reid, and added that reflection of precious or just completed project would stand as a good layout and plan for future projects. Deway (1933) also concluded that "reflective analysis involves active reflective thinking which provides ground for future action."
From all this once can accretion that, reflective analysis is not about identifying previous mistakes conducted during the last project but it stands as a guideline, play and layout for coming projects.
Also reflective analysis makes one to realise his/her previous loop worms in the previous project to create a better chance for more accurate work in the coming work
In summary the period of reflective is a time in which a student draw back his mind to think about activities which he/she has been engaged in during the process of learning and making use of the useful learning that are relevant for future purpose.
Recollection of Experiences
Among the requirements of a Masters degree holder is the writing of the thesis which is called Applies Management Project. This a very important aspect of the Masters course for myself and several students. It involves the student writing a comprehensive project on a particular topic. This project is carries about 60% of the entire Master programme grade. The AMP is a course set aside to be completed by the student which combines an exclusive evaluation of all has been taught and learnt in the first and second semester of the Master programme and therefore it has a powerful grasp on the taught elements of the program. The AMP is designed to integrate real managerial circumstances giving the students the chance of demonstrating all knowledge, theories and skills that has been learnt during the taught units. The main essence of the AMP is to allow a student after undergoing all taught courses, to reinforce and implement all theory learnt into to practical situation, and also allow them to shift from the basic understanding of the theories, synthesising and exploring some other area of knowledge in more details. In a short form the AMP builds the relationship between taught theories and the real business world by allowing the application of the taught theories in a complex and multifunctional business situation.
Have understood the purpose of AMP and the grade attached to it, in my heart it drives a very significant attention as a project in which I have to be serious about and put in my best. All students including myself await our topic and couldn't wait to get on with the project. But before the start of the AMP, an induction was conducted and compulsory for all students to attend. The aim of the induction is to make the students know all necessary instructions and guidelines concerning the AMP, some important aspect that attention need to be paid to and also a very good means of how to go about writing the thesis.
The time table for the induction was out, it was for five day covering from Monday to Friday. The whole faculty was grouped into three according to the specialization, there are two days for seminar and the remaining three days includes group meetings and assistant by research tutors on how to go about the topic which has been given. The whole preparation procedure seems frightening and demanding, but it envisage how serious the AMP is both to the school and the students, unlike normal class assignments or test, when we r allowed to just carry on and write it the way we like, this time around a whole week was set aside to educate us on how to go about the project, this induce a bit of fear coupled with testimonies from some pervious student on how hectic and demanding writing the AMP can be, though some encouraged that it only involves concentration and hard work.
DURING THE INDCUTION PERIOD, the whole faculty was categorised into different section based on their specialization to attend seminars to be conducted by familiar tutors, each tutor was to talk about a particular and crucial aspect of the AMP. The tutors took it as a responsibility to explain some confusing delicate issues that are common to encounter while writing a project. Most of these issues most students don't consider while writing class assignments or test, but to show how important the AMP is time was took to make students understand this basic issues so that students can avoid been penalised as a result of committing these errors. Some of the topic discussed about includes referencing; explanation was gaven on different types of referencing and how to go about referencing a direct quotation and a reported quotation, also light was shed on the type of referencing format that is expected of us which is the Harvard referencing. How to source for information is also an important issue that was explained, unlike most students such as me that prefer the use of Google search engine in looking for information, different other sites and online library that perform more effectively than the Goole was shown to us and it was really helpful. Plagiarism and turnitin seems to be one of the most crucial issues that interest most students including me and an intense explanation was made on it. And of course advice was given on a better guideline of layout that can be suitable when writing the project. Also light was also shed on how to write the reflective analysis, as well as the groups in which students will be categorised into and what is expected of the student while in the group.
As a matter of fact, at the end of the induction more confidents was built, because light has been shed on most area that really seem to be confusing and that deprived students from gaining more marks. It was also good to know that information wasn't has far as it seems because later in the week, will be shown how to make most use of the university library, many of us never knew the library has some good database from which materials and information can be gathered and use, as well as good recent references from in different fields and different source.
It was a good thing to know.
Group dynamics and learning experience
Though working in groups can be a bit of an issue considering different students with different level of seriousness, different orientation and personality, different way of thinking and different altitude to work, yet the university encourages the idea of working in group right from the first semester of the masters program. In most cases students like to make groups with their friends or people in which they have a something in common, such coming from same country or same tribe, same level of seriousness, or some factors. For a multicultural school such as mine, most of the time students make groups based of friendship or similar culture, which in so many cases does not really bring out the real notion behind team work. In my own case probably I wasn't very luck with the group work, because I seems to be the only one of my kind in terms of culture, and though I have my time but this time around I think the disadvantage works on me.
My group was of eight students, and as said earlier I was the only one of my kind. The first interesting thing was that I have never seen four of the students before, not in the class nor parties nor any gathering, as I understood they spent more time working, than coming for classes. The remaining members I know, but also here again is language barrier. English isn't my first language and to make matters worse English wasn't theirs either. This makes it very difficult to for us to understand each other quickly until after much explanation and conversing is done. Sometimes we may have to consult with other member with similar topic to be able to understand what we are saying to each other.
Despite that, excluding the busy members, we available were still able to brain storm in our little way, not considering our language barrier. We all decided to read about the topic and the attached journals individually, and at out next meeting individual will enlighten the whole group about his thought and discoveries about the topic, our major aim was understanding the subject matters in depth we believe understanding the topic will makes it very easy for us to identify the key elements. This we also achieved with the help of the support tutors.
With my understanding about the AMP and despite all odds I realise how much hard work I'll have to put in, having realise that, the best of performance starts right from the group meetings. I took my time to make and extensive evaluation of the topic and also did not hesitate to share with my group members all I have gathered, this encouraged them also to go ahead and read more on the topic. As the group meeting keeps on, we were able to get together, though argue most of the time but I personally was able to make good use of the argument, because I learnt a lot from it and I was able to incorporate so many points in my work, that I wouldn't have thought of, if I was to carry on all by myself.
At the end of the group meetings I think I can confidently say it worth it. For my group that had to stumble with some difficulties at the beginning, such the language barrier, some member not showing much interest rather were busy with work, while the remaining available once find it difficult agreeing on a fact, but yet we were able to gain much from each other. We were able to share ideas, and knowledge, formats, personal views, correct one another in certain issues, we could conclude on important issues that need to be discussed, issues to be given high priorities and those that need not much. After the scheduled time allocated by the school to meet with group members, we went ahead and meet with each other thereafter, to still brain storm together share ideas and materials and it was a fun experience for every available member because we found a way of building confidents in ourselves.
Personal Feelings and Learning from Experience
Sometimes we never tends to realise how time runs so fast, it all feels like yesterday when I work into the school for my registration, just the same way am working into the school to write my final project. This project we have been told of from the first day in school, and according to tutors and former students, we were told everything we will be learning in the class room revolves around the AMP. And ever since then I look forward to when I'm going to write this AMP and fortunately here I have facing the AMP, looking right into my eyes an telling how are you going to handle me. So far the school has been very helpful, they know the importance and significance of the AMP, guess that us why all the pre programs were set up, to guide students into writing the AMP.
Sincerely, to get started was very difficult for me. The Topic seems very literal and easy to write on, but in actual fact it is deep in meaning and involves a lot. The broadness of the Topic was one main source of difficulty because that instigates so many reasoning from different angle and at point one seems confused and those not know where exactly to start form. At this point just as I did in a group meeting, I encouraged myself to read and understand the topic more and figure out what exactly is expected of us to write about. This was the first step I took and I'm happy I did that, I took my time in reading many journals and write up concerning the subject matter, both online and in the library as I aim at understand the approach by which I will format my work. As I read through the journals and write up I make note of some important and Key points that was mentioned in the journals, from reading I was also able to gather many references that supports and oppose the arguments. While doing this I was able to arrive at my argument as already I have a good idea of what I want to argue on and enough reference to back up my arguments.
Having arrived at this, to get on with writing wasn't difficult, but before writing I drew out my content, chapter by chapter, topic by topic even to the sub topics that I will me writing about, this is to avoid forgetting any point or error of omissions and allow easy linkage from one topic to the other and one chapter to the other.
As I write, I try to pay attention to references, grammatical error and composition of my statements as I have in mind that I shouldn't bored any person trying to read my work.
I also consult with my group members, some old students, and few friends in the professional field; they all help by explaining some difficult term and enlighten me about some confusing issues.
The whole process of the AMP starting from the induction weeks to group meetings made it easy for me to get well along with writing my project.
Problems and Limitations
The first limitation I knew I will encounter and which I did encounter was time constrain, well I believe time can never be enough to do anything but I tried to plan my time, though it wasn't easy but at least I finished in due date.
The broadness of the topic pushed me into looking for much information which eventually leads to information redundancy
Before I conclude this write up, it will be good I highlight few lessons learnt from the whole process of writing the AMP.
The first lesson is, it is good to have passion for everything one do because at a time, it may feel like running out of it due to the challenges that may come on the way but the passion one has for it will sure push one forward till the end.
Also it is important for one to start anything he/she wants to do early enough because time waits for no body and there will never be enough time unless one manages its time very well.
It is good one should understand any project he/she is willing to undertake because understanding the project or the topic make the work more easy to undertake.
Team work is a very good way of achieving an excellent performance
Finally, one needs to follow every instruction and guideline laid out in carrying out any project or work.
In conclusion, at the end of the dissertation, I am pleased with the achievement, I can boldly stand anywhere and declare I had a Masters degree where I wrote e dissertation of fifteen thousand words. It worth's it.