Reflection Paper – Self Assessment Learning Plan

Table of Content


Self assessment learning plan is a process where you evaluate yourself to gain further understanding of your own likes, dislikes, behaviors, and attitudes. Through this process, you can utilize your discoveries to your benefit by either accepting or improving upon your strengths and weaknesses. In the context of my academic journey at McMaster University, I intend to use this course to enhance my personal abilities and ultimately excel in earning my business management diploma. Self Assessment serves as the initial stride towards my prosperous future.

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Mastering communication is a difficult skill. There is an anecdote about a Texan oil magnate who was inexperienced in worldly matters and embarked on his first trip to Europe by ship. During his initial dinner on the ship, he found himself seated next to a Frenchman. When the Frenchman nodded and uttered “Bon Appetit” in the customary French manner, the Texan, being naive and unfamiliar with French customs, mistakenly thought that the man was introducing himself and responded with his own name, “Barnhouse”. This exchange continued for several days, with the Frenchman nodding and saying “Bon Appetit” during meals, while the Texan smiled back and replied “Barnhouse”. Over time, the Texan’s response became louder and clearer: “Barnhouse!” One afternoon, the oil magnate shared his experiences with another passenger whom he had befriended on the journey. The passenger quickly and tactfully corrected Mr. Barnhouse’s misunderstanding by explaining that when the Frenchman said “Bon Appetit”, he wasn’t introducing himself but rather wishing him to enjoy his meal. Understanding his mistake, Mr. Barnhouse felt deeply embarrassed. Determined to rectify the situation, he entered the dining room that evening, nodded at his friend, and said “Bon Appetit!” The equally enthusiastic Frenchman stood up and replied “Barnhouse!”


Misunderstanding and miscommunication often occur between individuals, as demonstrated in the story of the two gentlemen. Such occurrences are common because people fail to make an effort to comprehend one another. Due to the assumption that we already possess knowledge, we overlook the fundamental principles of communication: listening and understanding. Merely hearing someone’s words does not guarantee understanding; grasping every aspect of their message requires a separate level of comprehension.

My name is Bum-Suk (AJ) Kim and I am currently an undergraduate student at McMaster University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Instead of graduating this summer with a BA in Economics, I have decided to enroll in a Communication course for a diploma in business management. This decision aims to better prepare myself for the future and opportunities ahead.

In fact, it has dawned on me that pursuing a diploma in Business management would greatly benefit my aspirations of pursuing graduate study in media management. It will allow me to utilize both my diploma and degree to enter my desired field.

My plan is to complete the diploma course within six months, so I need a well-thought-out schedule to ensure I achieve my short-term goal. I have already started adjusting my daily routines to make room for studying. Even during work hours, I allocate 15 minutes to review my upcoming assignments. Managing time effectively is a skill I acquired from my theater management experiences. Through these experiences, I have learned the importance of analyzing how I use my time to make the most out of it.

Identifying my strengths and weaknesses is crucial for ensuring a successful future. According to “The Pathways to Learning Assessment,” I excel in Art and creative learning, but struggle with communication skills. When I started high school in Canada, it became clear that I took longer to complete tests and had difficulty finishing written assignments. Additionally, participating actively in class discussions was challenging as I struggled to retain information from readings and lacked confidence. Consequently, my frustration with school grew alongside a negative attitude towards it.

Nevertheless, I now understand the importance of taking a Communication course to improve my understanding of organizational communication skills, leadership, motivation, problem-solving, and decision-making for my future career and graduate studies. While getting a high grade is not my main goal in this course, enhancing my communication abilities will greatly benefit me in the field I have chosen.

Developing the skill of listening is not inherent in most individuals. It requires conscious effort to truly learn how to listen, even for those without any hearing difficulties.

Understanding is an essential aspect of communication. During my grandmother’s stay with us, I gained a deep appreciation for the importance of effective communication and recognized that many people lack this skill. While my grandmother was adjusting to living with us, I noticed that initially, she would feign attentiveness to what I said just to quickly finish our conversation and return to her own way of doing things. This behavior is not uncommon; we often pretend to listen when we truly do not comprehend. Without understanding, successful communication becomes impossible. As Kenneth Boa once stated, “Real communication only takes place when both parties move beyond speaking and hearing to understanding.” If there is no mutual understanding between individuals, interpersonal communication cannot be achieved.


Considering this stage as the ultimate preparation for a long-term career is essential. I aim to avoid perceiving myself as a mere survivor in the field but rather strive to become an expert in my chosen area of expertise. To achieve this, I must take each step of the learning process seriously within my curriculum. This entails actively preparing for in-class activities, diligently completing assignments, reading course materials beforehand, and actively participating in class discussions.

Enrolling in a course is not merely a brief escapade; it serves as groundwork for a lifelong career. Throughout the educational journey, individuals cultivate diverse skills and knowledge. Just as marines undergo combat training, professionals equip themselves to offer practical solutions in society. Mastering a particular discipline entails becoming an integral part of problem-solving efforts. I firmly believe that this embodies professionalism. Acclimating to an unfamiliar realm, confronting obstacles, and undergoing rigorous instruction all contribute to developing into a versatile individual who is not just qualified for employment but also prepared to make significant contributions in their selected domain.

During the process of writing this paper, I have gained a deep understanding of learning styles. This new knowledge will assist me in developing a strategic plan to enhance my time management and study abilities. I now have a clearer grasp of my own styles and behaviors and have established a specific goal to prioritize my studies. Efficiently managing my time through the use of a daily planner is an essential aspect of achieving this objective. Moreover, maximizing teamwork within the learning environment is also highly significant to me. It is crucial that I actively participate in open discussions, consider different perspectives on course material, and express my thoughts and opinions.


Boa, Kenneth, Communication Skills In

Jacob, Mary. The Aim of Communication. In Mary Jacob ( [email protected] )

Robertson, Arthur, The Language of Effective Listening (Scott Foresman Professional Books, 1991), p. xv in Kenneth Boa, Communication Skills.

The text provides information about Listening Skills. It also includes a hyperlink to a website about prejudice towards women which can be accessed at

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