Professional development refers to the knowledge and skills that can equip individual to acquire personal development. Essentially, the professional development provides the comprehensive development in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and understanding during life long learning. Essentially, the experience and knowledge gained during learning are beneficial for personal development, which helps in the development of individual's skills. It should be noted that personal development is very important in career development because it reflects the opportunities gained from formal and informal learning that assists individual to attain professional development in life. Meanwhile, reflection of personal development is the process of creating and interpreting new knowledge that has been acquired from the learning experience that will be useful to form a constructive new knowledge as well as forming new behaviours. (Stein, 2001).
During the Developing Professional Practice Unit in Term 1, there were several knowledge and skills that l and my team member were able to acquire, which serves as reflection to my personal development. The workshop that was carried out during Term 1 in the Developing Professional Practice Unit had provided the opportunity of forming the study group, which enhanced the group's ability to acquire the writing skills. The most important writing skills acquired was the ability to write clearly without muddling or confuse idea when providing an idea in academic or non-academic community. Typically, in the professional Practice Unit in Term 1, my team member had been able to develop writing skills that enhanced my ability to express ideas to the large group of people without confusing or muddling words together. Essentially, l and my team member have been able to develop different vocabularies in academic writing that enhanced my ability to use group of words that offer similar meaning and ideas interchangeably. (University of Portsmouth, 2009).
It should be noted with group activities, there had been increased in the interaction of daily events about the business of academic activities. The Professional Practice Unit is a type of whole learning process that also enhanced the group's development in the writing skills. (Fletcher).
Essentially, the increase in the writing skills have been noted to be synonymous to personal development, which have been important in the enhancement of self direction. The education is very essential to increase individual skills and knowledge, which can enhance investment and provide personal rewards in learning. Further advantages derived from the writing partnership are the increase in deeper knowledge in exchanging the ideas as well as enriching learning experiencing of the group members. The increase in the enhancement of writing skills is able to prepare my team member for future professional development. It should be noted that the increase in the networking provides the collaborating skills that can be implemented when writing thesis, dissertation, or articles for published papers. This has enhanced the group members to be less dependent on instructors, or advisors and this has encouraged the team members to become their own teachers, and this has boosted their confidence in the academic writing. (Greek, 1997).
While there are some benefits that my team member was able to achieve from professional practice, there were some obstacles that the group faced. The professional Practice unit required a building timetable that the entire group must follow, and the timetable was structured in a manner that built comprehensive assessment of each member of the group. Typically, there were some team member who found the professional practice rewarding, and this had reflected from the level of their attendance, and some group member found the practice challenging. (Taylor, 1998). The member who encountered challenges during workshop recorded lower attendance compared to other who found workshop rewarding.
However, with the help of the other group who have found the practice rewarding, they have been able to aid the other group in achieving the benefits to increase their writing skills during the Professional Practice Unit.
In addition, member of my team were able to form group discussions to increase excellent learning opportunity among my team members, which the goals were to prepare my member with the skills in the group discussion, and this improved the oral presentation of the member of my team. Essentially, the group discussion within my team members boosted the spoken English skills of the group because everybody in the group was allowed to participate in the discussion. In addition, the participation of the group members enhanced the listen capabilities of my team members. Typically, all these critical advantages enhanced my team members to overcome shyness, and this enables them to build confidence in-group discussion. (University of Portsmouth, 2009)
The essential qualities achieved during the group partnership have enhanced my team members to achieve their potentials to achieve their personal development. Typically, the advantage contributed from writing skills and spoken skills which have been the advantages derived from the workshop has enhanced the Developing Professional Practice (DPP) Business Project. Presently, virtually all business organizations constantly look for graduate with sound writing skills to develop memo, business plan, marketing plan, report etc. Thus, combination of writing and spoken skills is the great advantages for DPP Business Project. Typically, some of my team member are considering of setting their own business after graduation. The writing skills will equip them to develop business and feasibility study for the business.
Apart from the benefits and challenges derived by my team members from workshop, there are also online InfoSkills Online tutorial that is beneficial for the development of the DPP Business Project.
InfoSkills Online tutorial
My team member has gained many online tutorials in the InfoSkills Online tutorial. Typically, the InfoSkills Online tutorial introduced l and my member team to develop the skill in searching the online library database to complete assignment and projects provided during the professional practice learning. It should noted that the Info Skills online Tutorials had enhanced self directed learning among our team members because with skills acquired from the InfoSkills, this has enhanced my team member to have the skills and knowledge to find the reading lists from online library. It should be noted that in our academic work, the use of online library is very important to prepare research paper, report, assignments and other academic reading. Thus, the InfoSkills online tutorial has equipped my team member to develop the skills to interpret citation from books, book chapter, and from journal articles. In addition, the online tutorial enhances the ability to search library resources to locate the reading list and publications. Moreover, InfoSkills online tutorial provides the knowledge of reference and citation, and ability to search the catalogue. Having the skills and knowledge of citation and references are very important in the academic writing. To avoid plagiarism on all academic research paper presented, there is need to have detailed knowledge of citation and references to list all academic sources. Typically, the importance of citation and reference enable reader of the academic papers presented to locate the source of the materials used to prepare the academic papers. Thus, InfoSkills online tutorial has provided the skills for my team member as well as developing knowledge to prepare academic papers that are free of plagiarism. In addition, the knowledge of citation and reference had enhanced the knowledge of my team member to understand different type citation that can be used to prepare academic materials. It should noted different disciplines used different citation styles to prepare research documents such as thesis, dissertation, project, research articles, term paper etc. There is also citation style such as Harvard, MLA, APA, Chicago etc. However, in our team member's academic discipline, the Harvard style is accepted reference style. Thus, my team member was able to develop versatile knowledge on the use of Harvard referencing to prepare academic research paper. (University of New South Wales, 2007),
Although, the Info Skills online tutorial had enhanced the knowledge of my team member on online library database. However, some members of my team has developed problem to locate online library resources because of their inexperience on the computer usage. However, my team member had been able to overcome some of the technical problem due to cooperation among the team member.
Meanwhile, the InfoSkills online tutorial had also added several advantages to the Developing Professional Practice Unit Business Project. It essential to note the skills acquired in the InfoSkills online tutorial have enhanced the individual ability to prepare research materials while in school. However, these skills will be very advantageous while finishing the academic career and start engaging in the professional practice. It essential to realise that in virtually all professional practice, there is need to prepare the e-reports about sales, marketing, finance, customer's relation, Thus, there is need to search electronic library resources to prepare these reports. Thus, the skills acquired through the InfoSkills online tutorial will provide the skills and knowledge when practicing in the professional business sector.
Apart the advantages derived from the InfoSkills online tutorial, there are also reflection of skills from e-tivities that my team members had gained from workshop.
The essential features of e-tivities are to enhance framework for participation in the online activity and interactive learning. Typically, e-tivities enhance individual and group participation online learning. Thus, with reflection of e-tivities during the workshop, my team member formed group to participate in the online learning, and this has provided the interactive framework among my team member. The experiences derived from e-tivities were just like live classroom environment where teacher was teaching students face to face. With online environment, the new technologies offered significant experience to my team members. The combination of combining computer mediated technologies with high quality online interaction enhanced the combination of different perspective of ideas. (Moderation, 2004).
The participation of interactive and e-learning were very effective because the barriers to learning were eroded where every member of my team were able to work comfortably in online environment and interact with similar manner of live classroom interaction. Thus, my team member was able to derive the advantages of e-tivities because some members were able to "develop the skills of working together through text-based media as well as online contact with teacher". (Salmon 2002, p 5).
While, there are benefits derived from e-tivities, there are challenges that some of my members had faced. For example, some members faced the problem of sending emails because of their newness to internet technology. In addition, some member was finding it difficult to install necessary software require for online learning. Some member found it difficult to download attachments. However, with support from some member of the group, my team members were able to alleviate these problems.
The advantages derived from the e-tivities for DPP Business Project is that the skills acquired are very useful for my team member during academic career, and after the academic session, these skills will be useful. It is essential to realize that most organizations provide training for their staff through webcast and e-learning. Gone are the days when staff of an organization has to travel to long distance for training.
Presently, many organizations provide training to their staff through online training. Moreover, organization install extranet to communicate to the staff within the organization. Thus, the skills derived through e-tivities are very advantageous for my team member within and after the academic career.
This paper provides reflection on the personal development during the professional practice. My team member has acquired several experiences during the workshop. Some of the experiences were writing skills, InfoSkills Online tutorial, and e-tivities. My team member had gained writing skills during the workshop that had equipped them for the academic excellence. Part of the writing skills has also enhanced DPP Business Project. Moreover, my team was able to learn several things from InfoSkills Online tutorial. This has helped to develop the skills to source for online materials from online library resources. Typically, online library is essential for the development of academic research. Thus, the workshop enhanced the development of the skills for online library resources. Finally, the paper provides the reflection of my team member with regard to e-tivities, which is beneficial for online learning. The e-activities enhanced the development of computer and internet skills among the team member that are beneficial for DPP Business Project.