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One of the main features of university education in master courses level which might differentiate it from other levels, is the combination of students and professional from different background i.e. countries rank, discipline gathered in one environment. This environment is a potential and dynamic context which highly contributes not only to scholars but also to the university in terms of level of knowledge and enhancing the capacity of learning in the university.
Learning is a two way relationship which may create between different parties in the university i.e. student and tutors etc. In this regard students enhance their current capability by receiving feedbacks and revising their way of thinking towards subjects and also tutors need to give reasonable feedbacks and comments based on students' projects and assignments. This process increase the level of knowledge in students' approach towards subjects and also tutors are trained to teach and give higher level feedbacks in order to contribute in scholars' learning curve significantly.
I personally have had a great learning experience in the UK and particularly in the Glasgow Caledonian University. I have found a great difference between the design of education and learning in the UK with the Saudi Arabia whereas in my country the focus is mostly based on individuals but in the UK the universities concentrate on teams and the focus is on team learning.
In this regard in the Saudi Arabia and in my previous learning experience, I was dealing with exams whether or not I was successful in the whole semester or in other words the whole students' performance was assessed by exams. In the current learning experience I am dealing with learning as a team and how I can contribute to the whole team's objectives and outcome. I consider my current learning experience as an important aspect of my personal development as in reality every team member need to deal with particular aspect of a problem under team's vision and strategy.
In the current competitive business environment, it is extremely difficult or even not feasible for an individual dealing with every problem in organisations. In this regard individuals need to learn how they can contribute efficiently and also effectively in teams.
I have learnt a great deal from studying "Human Resource management" in master level in the university which not only assist me in the academic side of my personal development, but also contribute highly on how I would approach to problems and situations in my professional and career life.
According to Marianne van Woerkom & Marcel Croon (2007) there are key elements in the process of learning in organisations i.e. reflection and being critical and these factors are considered as the fundamental rules or pivotal in developing learning organisations.
Marianne van Woerkom and Marcel Croon (2007) classify the reflective behaviours in employees as:
Being open on their mistakes
Asking for comments & feedbacks for their tasks
share their opinion critically
group-thinking and brainstorming
Aware of their career
According to Montes et al (2005) Organisational learning is regarded as an important element in the final performance of the organisations and it is "more of a need than a choice".
According to Jensen (2005), learning and the creation of new knowledge is always starts with the individual in the organisation and gradually it spreads throughout the whole organisation.
One of the important aspects of learning in individuals is human perception. Human perception is a fundamental context in which people would learn. In the next section perception in human learning context will be explained.
According to Mohammed. S (2009) human beings are different and also distinctive in nature. He believes that these differences are laid in their perception about social issues such as the unity and diversity process.
Human perception plays a significant role in explaining how people reflect, behave and learn. According to Mohammed. S (2009) this perception might be considered as part of human's' cognition of objects and also how they deal with them. Perception and human awareness might be seen more in some fields, such as sociology and/or interdisciplinary subjects for instance business/management and sociology which dealing with different cultures and acceptance of others has more importance.
Cultural values should not be ignored as individuals from different background and cultures can do different roles and can contribute in interdisciplinary teams in other forms. Another important aspect of organisational learning which is linked to different human perception is tacit knowledge. Individuals from different background and context have different kinds of knowledge and according to Alwis & Hartman (2008) the only sustainable competitive advantages in organisations comes from tacit knowledge which is laid in different people with different perception.
PPD Module and career development fitness
In this section, the advantages of "personal and professional development" module and also its fitness with my current and future career will be explained in further details.
During doing the first assignment, I have found that one of the most difficult tasks regarding my personal and professional development is identifying the issues and aspects of whether my character or my professional career where I am good or those I am not. As in this regard, if I can identify these attributes or issues close to the reality or in other words if I can depict my strengths and weakness without any bias, then I can do constructive actions towards improving my strengths and also lessening my weakness.
I have categorised two elements in PPD module which I believe would help me both in my personal life and also career life. I explain both of them and state their contribution to my personal and professional life.
When I was studying in the Saudi Arabia, students got feedback based on their exams and those feedbacks were identified by receiving final marks on modules. In Glasgow Caledonian University I have learnt a great deal from the feedbacks which I received from my tutors as they are not just for final marks but also for every stage of the assignments, modules and activities in the class. The constructive feedback has equipped me to show a better performance after each stage.
In my personal life I consider feedbacks as constructive points which do play a significant role in my learning curve. An example in personal life which feedback has an influential role in the final outcome has been playing football with my friends which our coach gives supportive feedback to each player and to the whole team as well.
In my professional and career life, as I am studying human resource management in Master level, I consider feedback as an important element in my career environment. As a human resource professional in managerial level I need to be able to critically analyse and evaluate the reflective behaviour of my employees so I can equip them with my constructive feedbacks and comments about their jobs and tasks.
Working in Teams
Another element in PPD module which I consider as an important part in my learning curve is working in teams. Education and learning in the Saudi Arabia is more based on individuals and tutors are more concern about individuals rather than teams. Working in teams is another important aspect of PPD module particularly and generally in most of my courses in Glasgow Caledonian University which I have learnt a great deal from.
During my university studies in Master level, I have worked in different teams in various capacities. It was extremely difficult for each of us to solve a problem, but working in teams has equipped us to solve the problem more easily and more holistically.
In my future roles in the professional level I consider myself as an effective team member and try to contribute efficiently to the final objectives and outcomes of the team. As a human resource professional I might see not all the aspects of the employee in an organisation, so working in teams enable me and the team to identify the strengths and weakness of our employees and also how to get the most benefit from our staff in terms of productivity and performance.
In the next section I will explain one of my personal and professional development competencies in further details.
The competency that I have chosen as a competency development is team skills. In my professional background I was dealing with different teams in various capacities i.e. supervising teams, customers service teams, sales teams etc.
The rational of focusing in team skills competency
I consider team skills competency as a combination of various personal and development competencies as individuals need to have a mixture of other competencies so they can be effective in teams and can contribute to the teams' outcome. One of the important reasons that I chose team skills is the nature of my career i.e. human resource management. As a human resource manager I need to consider and develop other personal development competencies so I can be an efficient and effective team member.
From a theory of management point of view, I have studied Belbin roles and the potential positions which employees might have in a team can be as follows:
Engaging with others in the workplace is another important aspect professional development plan. There could be different roles in a team and each of them has different responsibilities towards achieving a mutual goals and objectives. According to Belbin team roles, Dierendonck. D & Groen. R (2010), categorise these roles as the table below:
Doing / acting
Thinking / problem-solving
People / feelings
In this regard respecting the value of diversity i.e. teams with different individuals' background and cultures (cross cultural teams) could contribute to the better make up of the team and also achieving effective outcomes .
My Present Level of Team Skills
From the professional career point of view currently, I can consider myself as a human resource professional that has had different roles in various teams with the following attributes:
Being supportive whether I need to contribute in a team or helping my friends
Can communicate effectively with university staff
I consider myself patient and hard working towards difficulties as a team member
Having good and well established relationship with my friends and teachers
Having positive attitudes towards my friends and university staff
Sociable both in Arab culture and also in English one which would enhance my efficiency as a team member
Respect my friends and my tutors experience
Assertive on my decisions
Opportunities Which I Can Develop My Team Skills
My objective from personal development point of view is to become a human resource manager in a well established and global company. I have chosen human resource management course in the UK to enhance different aspect of my personal and professional development. In this regard the context of the course and also the nature of education in the university help me to become a professional human resource manager. During the studies I am preparing myself for the new challenges in the reality which I need to cope with. In reality and in a multi-culture global company human resource Managers need to deal with different employee with different background and also need to perform in various teams, in this regard I can see myself in a good position in which I can develop and improve these attributes in a minor context i.e. university. I also can categorise my abilities as a team member in my future roles as:
Communicate effectively with colleague, supervisors/manager in the working environment and in also teams
can give constructive feedback to my employer and also try to perform and revised my tasks on received feedbacks
Being assertive and confident as an HR manager
Being a supportive member in my future roles in professional teams
Be an optimist HR manager who wants to support and help rather than saying my idea
Having a sense of humour in working environment and also in team activities
PPD module has been one of the significant subjects in the previous semester and I believe that this subject has had a great contribution in my other courses, also I suggest that this subject could be considered as the fundamental and prerequisite module for every postgraduate courses.
In the academic side, I have been successful in prioritising my university assignments, tasks and projects, based on identifying my strengths and capability and I could have better time management regarding each assignments and class activities. In the learning side apart from the context of this module as I stated above, it was a great learning experience which could be considered as learning in a cross-cultural community with different style from the Saudi Arabia.
In the analysis of learning section, I have evaluated the perception in human beings which plays a crucial role in individuals learning. Students can develop this perception towards subjects and issues by improving and working on abilities from self management point of view.
In "PPD module and my career development fitness" section also I analysed the module from my own point of view and basically the two important elements which highly important for my current and future career life. From the academic point of view "feedback" and "working in teams" are two of the fundamental rules which highly do contribute to my "personal and "professional development plan".
The competency that I approach is "team skills" and in this section, I have described why I have chosen team skills. I also evaluated type of roles in a team based on Belbin roles. Finally I evaluated my present skills in a capacity of teams and also the opportunities which I am looking forward to based on my current abilities.