Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Reflection for Scientists: a collaborative approach through university and beyond

Some work presented by a member of STRiPe at the 11th ALDinHE Conference: Learning Development Spaces and Places University of Huddersfield

Reflection for Scientists: a collaborative approach through university and beyond
Helena Beeson, University of Northampton

Employers in the Engineering and Computing disciplines notice that graduates often enter the workplace with limited transferable skills outside of their technical expertise (Davies and Rutherford, 2012). This seminar will discuss a collaboration between a learning developer, a module leader and a local employer (course team) to develop a ‘real world’ project assessment which emphasises the importance of reflecting on progress throughout the learning process, establishing clients’ needs and working successfully within a team. The proposed project is being developed for a Masters cohort at the University of Northampton, many of whom have relocated to the UK in order to specialise in computing practices in this country. The assessment will be set in February 2014 for the first time.

At the start of the project the groups will meet with the course team and find out key project requirements from the employer who will explain the relevance of reflection in their chosen career path. A model of reflection has been developed, adapted from Brookfield’s lenses (1995) and Rolfe’s framework (2001). Each group creates and maintains a blog to chart their progress which other students can add to by asking questions for clarification and making suggestions. The course team will monitor and contribute to the blog posts as part of the assessment for this module. It is anticipated that the online blog will serve as a platform for students to develop the visibility of their advancements to colleagues and employers, both at university and throughout their careers.

This paper will share the design and development of this collaboration and assessment and offer suggestions of how to reinforce reflection as a key skill in traditionally non-reflective subject areas.

Brookfield, S. (1995) Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Davies, J.W. and Rutherford, U. (2012) Learning from fellow engineering students who have current
professional experience European Journal of Engineering Education 37 (4), 354-365,

Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. and Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection for nursing and the helping professions: a user's guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave

Details of the conference can be found at Conference site

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