During first year at university I have already gained a respectable amount of knowledge through the subjects I have been taught but I have also gained a reasonable amount of applicable skills. The ability to self-reflect has been a very accountable skill that I have gained. Self-reflection gives me the opportunity to look back to the beginning of the year and see how far I have progressed. It also allows me to identify my weaknesses, making me aware of the areas that I need to improve on if I want to be able to better myself for second year and further.
Assessing the grade I achieved from the sector studies exam indicates that there are a variety of areas that I need to improve on in order to better my studies. Comparing the mock that was completed prior to the exam, to the exam itself, I can determine that I struggled with several maths questions. In both the mock exam and the official exam I failed to complete questions referring to graphs. Pareja-Lora et al., (2016) states that mock exams are incredibly useful not just for revision purposes but to highlight strengths and weaknesses to help aid student development. Mock exams give students the opportunity to reflect on their results and gain feedback from their teachers to help develop any weaker skills. With this in mind, I should have engaged with my teacher and asked if it could have been possible for me to go over the graph question and other questions I didn’t quite understand. This would have allowed me to advance my maths skills and may have allowed me to obtain a higher grade. This argument can be developed further by Zhang and Hyland (2018) who proclaim that students who actively ask for teacher feedback gain better understanding and retention of information within that subject.
Referring to the self-reflective task that was completed at the beginning of the year, I refer to use of Self Directed Learning being a useful tool for improving skills “One way of working on a classroom flaw or struggle is to undertake Self Directed Learning (SDL)”. I still stand by this statement as SDL is extremely beneficial to students, as it involves integrity to address weaker areas of study and enables students to take extra time to work on said areas through a variety of different activities. The engagement of SDL activities leads to improved educational results for students (Kastenmeier et al., 2018). SDL can also be considered a form of continuing professional development (CPD). CPD is the act of an individual taking control of their own learning and career development. This is usually done through the act of reflection and action. If an individual has highlighted areas of improvement, they will then take action and physically do something to improve their learning i.e. courses, conferences, outside reading, work experience etc. (Megginson and Whitaker, 2017) This argument is continued further by Wareing et al.,(2017) who suggests that the act of CPD is not only beneficial to the individual, but to anyone who is involved with said individuals work. This could include, working peers, customers, patients etc depending at the career within questions.
To conclude I aim to develop myself further through the suggestions listed above. Within development I may not see a progressive change in my grades and skills set as I move into my second year. Although, these skills are not just confined to grades within university. The can be carried with me throughout my career as their will always be room for improvement and developed in whatever career path I choose.
Kastenmeier, A. S., Redlich, P. N., Fihn, C., Treat, R., Chou, R., Homel, A. and Lewis, B. D. (2018) ‘Individual learning plans foster self-directed learning skills and contribute to improved educational outcomes in the surgery clerkship.’ The American Journal of Surgery, January.
Megginson, D. and Whitaker, V. (2017) Continuing Professional Development. Kogan Page Publishers.
Pareja-Lora, A., Calle-Martínez, C. and Rodríguez-Arancón, P. (2016) New perspectives on teaching and working with languages in the digital era. Research-publishing.net.
Wareing, A., Buissink, C., Harper, D., Gellert Olesen, M., Soto, M., Braico, S., Van Laer, P., Gremion, I. and Rainford, L. (2017) ‘Continuing professional development (CPD) in radiography: A collaborative European meta-ethnography literature review.’ Radiography. (Radiography Education), 23, September, pp. S58–S63.
Zhang, Z. (Victor) and Hyland, K. (2018) ‘Student engagement with teacher and automated feedback on L2 writing.’ Assessing Writing. (Special Issue: The comparability of paper-based and computer-based writing: Process and performance), 36, April, pp. 90–102.