@pgcap #cohort2 getting there hopefully

This song is just great. It gets me into a very positive mood. It wakes me up, makes me alert and fills me with energy which I need this evening. Music is definitely a power-medicine!!! Could we use songs for your reflections? Do you connect with music you hear? Does music affect you at all? Something to think about.

I am back with some more thoughts and reflections on today’s session. I should really be finalising the paper I am preparing for the PBL conference but I just feel the need to do something different before I tackle this for the very last time. So, here I am.

It was really nice to see everybody again today. I enjoyed the session. It felt relaxed and I think the amount we did was about right, for me anyway. Any comments on this would be very welcome, if you did attend and participated in this session. At the moment, I feel a bit unsure what people think about the co-delivery.

And there was a moment during the session today when I thought that we confused everybody or at least some. This is something I thought about when travelling home and looking back. It was when we started talking about referencing and how we do it when using audio, video or any other media-rich methods beyond text. We definitely need to reference! The confusion I think was created because our two groups are using two different tools to build their portfolios. For the PebblePad a template is been used which has a separate section for all referencing. With our WordPress portfolios we also have some structure but I have suggested to keep the references together with the actual pieces. So if I write something and I am using specific literature, I would like to see these referenced properly using the Harvard Referencing System in the text and also at the end of the text add a references list with the full information about the book, article etc. Also, if it is an electronic source adding the hyperlink would be super and enable us to access it faster. If you go for audio, I suggest to mention the book, article and the full description in the audio or video file, again using Harvard) so that everything is together. Neil and I both agree that referencing needs to be done. It is the how that changes if working using the different tools. However, I think there is a need and the room for flexibility and personalisation as well which is important too. The more prescriptive we are or become the less creativity we encourage.

Strange really the whole thing with reflection, isn’t it? We prepare, deliver, reflect and we did that openly immediately after the session and turned it into a communal activity, but the session was and still is with me 8pm in the evening while I am writing this and I actually felt the need to write something. Maybe capturing it somehow, externalising it, it helps us also to close that chapter, that session and move on. I don’t know.

I am pleased that we did share our initial thoughts on today’s session with everybody. I think it helped everybody realise how random and messy things are but that to view it as something that is normal. Again, looking back, what we didn’t do is to actually think about how this session could be improved further and yes, what we would/could do differently next time. What would we do differently? No, this is hard, and I definitely can’t speak for Neil, but I would say, that we should consider ‘cutting bits out of that session’. The activity that we missed out in the end, was actually a very useful activity and I hope that people will access the whole presentation and have a look at the resources around reflection and study how different reflective writing actually is let’s say in comparison to writing a report or an essay. This activity was actually vital and looking back now, I am just thinking, maybe we should have cut something else. It is tricky, I have to admit but maybe we could have asked our participants and give them an option. I think that would have worked. We could have presented them with 2 options and whatever the majority goes with, we could do. That is actually not a bad solution I think and creates an opportunity to learners for shared ownership and responsibility. I think we should try that in one of our next sessions and I have actually already an idea linked to week3. Neil doesn’t know about it yet but I hope to discuss it with him in the next few days. Can’t wait now.

Already written quite a lot I just noticed but when I started writing I wanted actually to focus on something completely different which is gone out of my head now. Strange really isn’t it. You have an idea, start writing but you end up writing something completely different and in the end you forget what you wanted to write about originally. Weird how our brain works! We are such a complicated machine.

When I was cooking supper, suddenly, after all that thinking about today and the need to capture my reflections, I switched and started planning next week’s session and got excited about it already. Am I mad? How can you get excited about a session… some would say but I think this is really important and I am probably over-using the word exciting, excitement – not because I am a silly foreigner who doesn’t know any other synonyms (this is a Greek word, by the way), but because I just get excited about teaching and learning and just love to do things that come us a surprise for some/many. No, not to shock, but just to enable people to experience something less common, something that has the potential to be explored further. Like are saying, we provide the space to experiment with ideas and do things differently and do different things altogether. We try! If anybody isn’t taking anything away from any of our sessions, I think it would be a waste of time to attend and I think that applies not just to our sessions but to all sessions. Do you know what your students are taking away from your sessions? Have you asked them. I am very interested to find out and will actually ask you, or am asking you now. Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with me.

Further readings and materials on reflection I had put together for a pilot, please access MoRe

I better stop here now because I have to do all that work this evening which I don’t really want to do now, but I have to. Ok, by for now and we will speak again very soon.

2 thoughts on “@pgcap #cohort2 getting there hopefully

  1. Hi Chrissi, I think the activity you describe comparing reflective writing to other styles would be very interesting.

    I am actually struggling with something like this in the two assessments I am planning now for a group of students. The first one is an essay, the second one a research report, and I want to help them to understand the difference between these two things. A research report in our field has very clearly defined guidelines. But the essay – they could do so many different things! Position essay, comparative essay, etc… I decided to tell them which type, to guide their freedom. Some colleagues thought maybe students would “freak out” if it was left open as freeform essay.

    Anyways, just thought I’d mention that I was interested in hearing more about the difference between writing a reflective piece and other styles.

    • Hi Sara,

      Thank you for stopping by. Please access the presentation we used in week 1 – reflecting and observing where you will find a very useful table with the differences. Have a look there first and let me know if you need anything else.

      Generally, reflective writing is more subjective, unstructured and we are using the first person Singular ‘I’. Our thoughts might appear messy and not fully crystalised and some might think that we are confused. They are right! We are confused. Not all the times but through reflection we try to make sense of our experiences and many times the process if more complicated than it looks. For more detailed information about different types of academic writing have a look here You also have received during induction a mini guide on reflective writing from Student Life (see induction pack). If you need some for your students, please visit Student Life.

      I hope this helps. Thanks.


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