Chapter Lewinian experimental learning model breaks down

Chapter 6 – Self-reflection on own learning

 

6.0 Introduction

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At the end of this study, it
is very important to have a self-reflection part as it contributes to our
growth from past experiences. (Cottrell, S. 2010 p 189) focuses on the
importance of self-reflection at a university level as it’s the place where
thinkers are born. They are expected to evaluate their own performance and draw
conclusions on what went well or wrong in their learning process and if there
is room for improvement. Brown, Bull and Pendleburry (1997) defined learning as
the changes in terms of knowledge, skills, understanding and attitude acquired
through experience and reflection about that experience. The aim of this
chapter is to show the evolution of the learning development process throughout
the Master of sciences Course as well as while conducting this dissertation
thesis. We will try to touch most of important point acquired throughout this
journey.

 

6.1 Learning theories style

 

The learning process differs
from person to person which makes it particular and

unique. The way people
perceive and process information is vast and fluctuates from

each individual which makes
the process of learning particularly a special one (Payne

and Whittaker, 2006). The
Lewinian experimental learning model breaks down learning

into four stages cycle. The
stages are described by David Kolb (1974) and include a

concrete experience,
followed by observation and reflection on that experience leading

to the formation of abstract
concepts and generalizations which are then used to test

hypotheses in future
situations, resulting in new experiences.

 

 

 

Figure
16: A simplified version of Kolb’s experimental learning cycle (Moon, 1999, p.
25)

Honey and Mumford (1992)
based on the model of Kolb’s learning cycle, identified and

developed a psychological
framework of individual learning styles that compete with

Kolb model:

 

 

 

Figure
17: The Learning Cycle, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford

 

 

_ Activist

It emphasizes on experiences
and focuses on feeling as opposed to thinking.

_ Reflector

It focuses on deeply
understand situations or ideas throughout observing and

describing them.

_ Theorist

It can be considered as the
counterpart of concrete experience and this is because it

relies on thinking instead
of feeling.

_ Pragmatist

It is basically based on
practical situations rather than a deep understanding, and

focuses on the practical
side (doing) as opposed to the analytical side (observing).

Learning style fluctuates
from each student in the educational field. The overall students in a classroom
are different from each other as there might be some that are more likely to
learn through interactive activities such as simulation, problem solving and

games, while others are
keener to learn with the experience of workbooks to be

completed under planned
instructions. On the other side, we can have students who prefer to study on
their own or work in groups, and this preference will depend on their past
grading experiences.

 

After taking the Learning
Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) and in accordance to the observed personal study
patterns and the theory mentioned above, the researcher has the strongest tendency
to the reflector learning style. This result is mainly due to the researcher
own learnt experiences and for the simple reason that listening, observation
and data collection undertaken in this study and his life style drew him more
towards that result. McCabe (2014) in this view expresses that individuals with
a

reflective orientation has
the ability to look at things from many perspectives and also

to appreciate different
ideas and points of view, which throughout the time makes them

as social learners. Even
though the researcher adopted mainly the reflector style

approach, he also tried to
acquire the ability to learn in all four styles in order to benefit

from the skills and
qualities that each one offers.

 

6.2 Master of Sciences

 

The Master course undertaken
during this past year was very challenging for the researcher given that the
researcher has a considerable experience in the educational field as well as
work field. There were many differences in the academic requirements and standards
offered by the Irish educational system in comparison to his own previous
experience. The complexity of the task resided in the writing styles and
referencing process differences. The program was short, diverse and extensive
with a disciplining and demanding critical sense of analysis and synthesis.
Majority of the course was a self-learning process which improved the confidence
and the critical thinking abilities of the researcher. To be able to cope with the
rhythm of the assignments and exams, extra efforts were required and needed to clear
the modules undertaken. The Master program has provided a basis upon which to

build a career in the financial
service sector. As a Master graduate, the researcher will be

able to combine, new
knowledge with past experience and apply it to new

circumstances.

As a foreign student the
Master program gave the researcher the opportunity to create an international
scope regarding the educational, cultural and professional areas. The

researcher needed to develop
skills to integrate to a whole new cultural educational

diversity that was present
since the first days of the program. Fellow students with

different backgrounds
provided the researcher a broader and wiser way to look at

situations. Altogether, this
international experience has influenced the researcher to

look after new employment
horizons under the area of Finance.

 

6.3 Learning Outcome

 

The MBA postgraduate
experience program at DBS and writing this dissertation enabled the researcher
to acquire and develop various qualities and

skills which can be applied
advantageously to achieve both personal and professional

goals. The skills which were
found valuable by the researcher are as follows:

 

· Language skills

The course of studies
completed allowed the researcher, who is a non-native speaker of

English, to significantly
improve the knowledge of English. Many oral presentations,

assignments completed during
the course and an international environment, due to the

contact with students of
different nationalities, helped to further develop written and

oral competences;
Particularly, this dissertation as final assignment and the scientific

literature reviewed in this
context sharpened the investigator’s academic language skills

and lay the foundation for
lifelong, autonomous language learning.

 

· Working in Teams

The Master course has
enabled me to work with people from different backgrounds. From the group
assignment to the activities undertaken in the different events societies, I
had the chance to work and socialize with several people with different work
style. It helped me understand the meaning of teamwork, essence of unity as
strength and that team group is a knowledge river linked to each other

 

 

· Adaptability

Coming to Ireland was a big
move as the weather conditions here are extremely different from the weather in
my place. The life style also was diverse as coming from a Muslim country, we
have traditions and national holidays which were not recognized here and
specifically the Ramadan (fasting month) had been the hardest ever experienced
for me. Getting to know people from diverse cultures and traditions helped me understand
things better and have an open and different perspective about the world. This
helped me to make friends and quickly get acquainted with people who helped me throughout
my learning period.

 

· Interpersonal skills

The dynamic and interactive
format of the aster

program, accompanied by the
substantial number of group projects and presentations

completed greatly benefitted
the development of the researcher’s interpersonal skills.

Both verbal and non-verbal
communications, stress-management, listening and

negotiation are all skill
areas that were abundantly put to the test and further developed

in the process of the
course. This acquired strong interpersonal skill set will help the

researcher to create more
satisfying interactions in all environments and therefore

significantly future impact
success of both professional and personal life.

 

· Research Skills

From the mere beginning of
the Master, the researcher had to deal with a variety of

assignments in most of the
modules and each academic content being very broad and

quite objective. The
extensive type of investigative assignments considerably improves

the author researcher skills
as his previous experience dealing with such research was

limited. Activities such as
analysis of study cases, individual essays and group

investigations have highly
influenced on the improvement of his research skills.

The dissertation assignment
was the most difficult task in the Master program which

equally represented the
single most important source of knowledge acquisition and

skills development of the
entire course. Thus, the outcome generated in the dissertation

is expected to serve as an
additional benefit that is likely to help fostering the

researcher’s professional
career.

 

6.4 New Horizon

 

The Master experience had
without doubt been unique and added incommensurable

value to the researcher
personal, professional, and academic life. The thesis conduction

process such as the final
outcome program has added a tremendous impact to the

researcher way of thinking
which makes him believe that impossible is possible when

you work towards it,
properly plan it ahead and keep that in mind.

Disappointment and
difficulties were met which made it stressing but ended up in a

positive manner. It is
definitely one of the most important and significant step ever

taken by the researcher and
has also highly influenced the researcher to be extra-motivated to always go
ahead and keep looking forward to bigger challenges coming

up in the new horizon.

 

REFERENCES

 

Cottrell, S. (2010) Skills for Success,
Personal Development and employability. 2nd Edn.

Palgrave Macmillan.

Honey, P. & Mumford, A., (1992),
‘The Manual of Learning Styles’. Third ed. Maidenhead:

Peter Honey.

Brown, G., Bull, J. & Pendleburry,
M., (1997), ‘Assessing student learning in higher

education’. First ed. New York: Routledge.

Kolb, D., (1994), ‘ Experiential
Learning: Experience as The Source of Learning and

Development’. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

 Chapter 6 – Self-reflection on own learning

 

6.0 Introduction

 

At the end of this study, it
is very important to have a self-reflection part as it contributes to our
growth from past experiences. (Cottrell, S. 2010 p 189) focuses on the
importance of self-reflection at a university level as it’s the place where
thinkers are born. They are expected to evaluate their own performance and draw
conclusions on what went well or wrong in their learning process and if there
is room for improvement. Brown, Bull and Pendleburry (1997) defined learning as
the changes in terms of knowledge, skills, understanding and attitude acquired
through experience and reflection about that experience. The aim of this
chapter is to show the evolution of the learning development process throughout
the Master of sciences Course as well as while conducting this dissertation
thesis. We will try to touch most of important point acquired throughout this
journey.

 

6.1 Learning theories style

 

The learning process differs
from person to person which makes it particular and

unique. The way people
perceive and process information is vast and fluctuates from

each individual which makes
the process of learning particularly a special one (Payne

and Whittaker, 2006). The
Lewinian experimental learning model breaks down learning

into four stages cycle. The
stages are described by David Kolb (1974) and include a

concrete experience,
followed by observation and reflection on that experience leading

to the formation of abstract
concepts and generalizations which are then used to test

hypotheses in future
situations, resulting in new experiences.

 

 

 

Figure
16: A simplified version of Kolb’s experimental learning cycle (Moon, 1999, p.
25)

Honey and Mumford (1992)
based on the model of Kolb’s learning cycle, identified and

developed a psychological
framework of individual learning styles that compete with

Kolb model:

 

 

 

Figure
17: The Learning Cycle, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford

 

 

_ Activist

It emphasizes on experiences
and focuses on feeling as opposed to thinking.

_ Reflector

It focuses on deeply
understand situations or ideas throughout observing and

describing them.

_ Theorist

It can be considered as the
counterpart of concrete experience and this is because it

relies on thinking instead
of feeling.

_ Pragmatist

It is basically based on
practical situations rather than a deep understanding, and

focuses on the practical
side (doing) as opposed to the analytical side (observing).

Learning style fluctuates
from each student in the educational field. The overall students in a classroom
are different from each other as there might be some that are more likely to
learn through interactive activities such as simulation, problem solving and

games, while others are
keener to learn with the experience of workbooks to be

completed under planned
instructions. On the other side, we can have students who prefer to study on
their own or work in groups, and this preference will depend on their past
grading experiences.

 

After taking the Learning
Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) and in accordance to the observed personal study
patterns and the theory mentioned above, the researcher has the strongest tendency
to the reflector learning style. This result is mainly due to the researcher
own learnt experiences and for the simple reason that listening, observation
and data collection undertaken in this study and his life style drew him more
towards that result. McCabe (2014) in this view expresses that individuals with
a

reflective orientation has
the ability to look at things from many perspectives and also

to appreciate different
ideas and points of view, which throughout the time makes them

as social learners. Even
though the researcher adopted mainly the reflector style

approach, he also tried to
acquire the ability to learn in all four styles in order to benefit

from the skills and
qualities that each one offers.

 

6.2 Master of Sciences

 

The Master course undertaken
during this past year was very challenging for the researcher given that the
researcher has a considerable experience in the educational field as well as
work field. There were many differences in the academic requirements and standards
offered by the Irish educational system in comparison to his own previous
experience. The complexity of the task resided in the writing styles and
referencing process differences. The program was short, diverse and extensive
with a disciplining and demanding critical sense of analysis and synthesis.
Majority of the course was a self-learning process which improved the confidence
and the critical thinking abilities of the researcher. To be able to cope with the
rhythm of the assignments and exams, extra efforts were required and needed to clear
the modules undertaken. The Master program has provided a basis upon which to

build a career in the financial
service sector. As a Master graduate, the researcher will be

able to combine, new
knowledge with past experience and apply it to new

circumstances.

As a foreign student the
Master program gave the researcher the opportunity to create an international
scope regarding the educational, cultural and professional areas. The

researcher needed to develop
skills to integrate to a whole new cultural educational

diversity that was present
since the first days of the program. Fellow students with

different backgrounds
provided the researcher a broader and wiser way to look at

situations. Altogether, this
international experience has influenced the researcher to

look after new employment
horizons under the area of Finance.

 

6.3 Learning Outcome

 

The MBA postgraduate
experience program at DBS and writing this dissertation enabled the researcher
to acquire and develop various qualities and

skills which can be applied
advantageously to achieve both personal and professional

goals. The skills which were
found valuable by the researcher are as follows:

 

· Language skills

The course of studies
completed allowed the researcher, who is a non-native speaker of

English, to significantly
improve the knowledge of English. Many oral presentations,

assignments completed during
the course and an international environment, due to the

contact with students of
different nationalities, helped to further develop written and

oral competences;
Particularly, this dissertation as final assignment and the scientific

literature reviewed in this
context sharpened the investigator’s academic language skills

and lay the foundation for
lifelong, autonomous language learning.

 

· Working in Teams

The Master course has
enabled me to work with people from different backgrounds. From the group
assignment to the activities undertaken in the different events societies, I
had the chance to work and socialize with several people with different work
style. It helped me understand the meaning of teamwork, essence of unity as
strength and that team group is a knowledge river linked to each other

 

 

· Adaptability

Coming to Ireland was a big
move as the weather conditions here are extremely different from the weather in
my place. The life style also was diverse as coming from a Muslim country, we
have traditions and national holidays which were not recognized here and
specifically the Ramadan (fasting month) had been the hardest ever experienced
for me. Getting to know people from diverse cultures and traditions helped me understand
things better and have an open and different perspective about the world. This
helped me to make friends and quickly get acquainted with people who helped me throughout
my learning period.

 

· Interpersonal skills

The dynamic and interactive
format of the aster

program, accompanied by the
substantial number of group projects and presentations

completed greatly benefitted
the development of the researcher’s interpersonal skills.

Both verbal and non-verbal
communications, stress-management, listening and

negotiation are all skill
areas that were abundantly put to the test and further developed

in the process of the
course. This acquired strong interpersonal skill set will help the

researcher to create more
satisfying interactions in all environments and therefore

significantly future impact
success of both professional and personal life.

 

· Research Skills

From the mere beginning of
the Master, the researcher had to deal with a variety of

assignments in most of the
modules and each academic content being very broad and

quite objective. The
extensive type of investigative assignments considerably improves

the author researcher skills
as his previous experience dealing with such research was

limited. Activities such as
analysis of study cases, individual essays and group

investigations have highly
influenced on the improvement of his research skills.

The dissertation assignment
was the most difficult task in the Master program which

equally represented the
single most important source of knowledge acquisition and

skills development of the
entire course. Thus, the outcome generated in the dissertation

is expected to serve as an
additional benefit that is likely to help fostering the

researcher’s professional
career.

 

6.4 New Horizon

 

The Master experience had
without doubt been unique and added incommensurable

value to the researcher
personal, professional, and academic life. The thesis conduction

process such as the final
outcome program has added a tremendous impact to the

researcher way of thinking
which makes him believe that impossible is possible when

you work towards it,
properly plan it ahead and keep that in mind.

Disappointment and
difficulties were met which made it stressing but ended up in a

positive manner. It is
definitely one of the most important and significant step ever

taken by the researcher and
has also highly influenced the researcher to be extra-motivated to always go
ahead and keep looking forward to bigger challenges coming

up in the new horizon.

 

REFERENCES

 

Cottrell, S. (2010) Skills for Success,
Personal Development and employability. 2nd Edn.

Palgrave Macmillan.

Honey, P. & Mumford, A., (1992),
‘The Manual of Learning Styles’. Third ed. Maidenhead:

Peter Honey.

Brown, G., Bull, J. & Pendleburry,
M., (1997), ‘Assessing student learning in higher

education’. First ed. New York: Routledge.

Kolb, D., (1994), ‘ Experiential
Learning: Experience as The Source of Learning and

Development’. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

 

Payne, E. & Whittaker, L., (2006),
‘Developing Essential Study Skills’. Second ed. Harlow:

Pearson Education Limited.

 

Payne, E. & Whittaker, L., (2006),
‘Developing Essential Study Skills’. Second ed. Harlow:

Pearson Education Limited.