Learning is a development that takes places not only for the benefit of the personal life but also for the professional life. Doing a reflective practice is not a new concept in the world today. Johns and freshwater (1998) describes that there is a lot of value due to the reflective practice as a means of learning and that it is the process of studying about the self and triggered by the asking oneself about their actions and values that they follow during their day to day activities.
The learning could take place either through the conscious level or through the sub conscious level. But then the main learning would come in only when an individual interacts with the external environment and not just within the self. The learning process involves a cycle which involves 4 major processes:
- Concrete experience (trying to do something or having a prior experience)
- Reflection observation (reflecting on the experience faced in the past)
- Abstract conceptualisation (learning from the past)
- Active experimentation (planning out what you have learned)
The learning occurs within the individual and thus there has to be an appropriate environment which would favour the individual to learn during the process and appropriate techniques should be used for the learning process. Reflection through the logs is one of the techniques through which the previous experiences could be evaluated. In my personal experience, the logs have helped me look at the incidents and analyse them in the way that I have never thought of before and the areas that the individual such as I could improve upon.
It helped me look into the future as to the areas that I would have to look upon to develop myself to go up the ladder. The learning logs thus were a visual representation of the past experiences and the learning that I had to do in the process of time. In addition to the learning logs, the peer assessments helped me to understand the weakness that I would not have understood on my own as the group activities helped each one of the group members analyse each other through those activities and bring out their strengths and weakness.
The group works that were involved during the process of personal development helped us to discuss on what each one of us do to overcome our weakness and regain our strengths and thus make sure we take the necessary steps for the future development before we involve ourselves in full time jobs at a higher levels than what we used to be in.
Wilson (1999, P. 8 cited in Beard, C. , Wilson, J. , 2003) has defined lerning as: “… A relatively permanent change of knowledge, attitude or behaviour occurring as a result of formal education or training, or as a result of informal experiences. ”
Workplace learning or learning through schools and learning help in not only the personal development but also organisational change. Kolb (1984 cited in Winch, A. , Ingram, H. , 2004) has put forward that the observation and reflection process is the critical 1st step in the learning process through experience. Without appropriately reflecting the experience and expressing into words, any learning would be fade away and opportunities are wasted to widen one’s knowledge. Thus any lifelong learner needs to keep a record of their learning and reflecting on the process allowing the process to be analysed.
In the future, while working in the organisation would mean that each employee would be moving forward to reach to goals of the organisation and the targets that are given for each individual to achieve. Learning could come into an individual’s life at either a conscious or sub conscious level and individuals might not realise some of the learning that they have during the work life.
In any organisation, an individual always have to be working in groups and have appropriate contacts with the other individuals. While arrying out the daily activities within the organisation, the individual who tries to explore and find new ways of doing their routine activities are the ones who learn more through their experience. Thus in short, experiential learning could be said to take place when an individual is said to undertake new activities or ways of doing things while undertaking some responsibilities. The learning mainly would take place when an individual is interacting with other individuals within given environment than learning within themselves.
The log has helped in the process of reflective learning as it helps individuals utilize self descriptive words. These include being frustrated, a feeling towards something or even to extend of being satisfied. The process of experiential learning comes in when people reflect on experience and it could be don’t through logs. Thus logs help in creating the relation between observation and action and experience and concept.
In the 1st semester, we had about 4 exams out of the 6 modules that we had to do and it did turn out to be a disappointment as I was hoping that doing the assignments would help me go through various individual’s work more and thus derive a work on my own with the support of many academic articles and books and any other sources of work. The major benefit though for me after coming to UK would be that it did help me to benefit my language skills and the ability to interact with diverse people. It helped me look into how different cultures work and recover from cross culture shock.
Thus, in effect, when I joined for MBA, when the pressure of deadlines of assignments came in while I was working part time, managing my stress appropriately helped me through my journey so far in MBA and it became a major important factor while I am putting myself forward for work in the future. Equally important is the ability of being aware of the situation that surrounds an individual. I did find it vital during the period while I was reflecting on my previous experiences.
I did find it necessary that as a future manager and later managing my own business, I would need to be aware if what is happening around me and be able create a safe environment not only for myself but also for my organisation and I can’t be ignorant of what is happening around me. Also, I was never careful about the concept of savings and keeping the funds of any unexpected future (Refer to appendix 6) and reflecting on the experience did teach me that the importance of keeping as much of the savings as possible, with regards to career if I have to be a future entrepreneur and for the savings of the family.
Another major factor that I reflected upon during my experience while reflecting through the logs is that I lacked the sight of safety management when I am with my colleagues (refer to appendix 8, 10, 11 and 13). Different occasions have taught me that I have failed to keep my safety as a priority which could affect the way things worked at work as well as in personal life. Thus, looking at the personal learning through the logs, I have learned that there are certain factors that I should consider while going in for work. Soon after the course ends, I have plans to apply for a bank job, in managerial level position.
Considering my past experience (refer to the CV in appendix 17), I do believe that I have learned quite a lot about the banking industry and have learned immense about the work that I had to do. Along with the knowledge I acquired through my MBA, along with the work experience, I hope to benefit in getting through a managerial job in the future.
Thus, to conclude, the entire learning process have got me involved to know how the different experiences around me helped me to evaluate myself in comparison with the rest and what each one of the experience holds in front of me. Without reflecting on my past, the learning that I could have achieved through this process might have been neglected and the mistakes that were committed in the past could have been repeated in the future if the incidents were not reviewed. Thus, with the learning process being recorded each time, I could evaluate even in the future work which would help me evaluate the work that I am doing.