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Need help to write a 2000 words reflective writing on the current MBA module, professional development. Please find the module information, assignment brief and sample for reflective writings. Ref in harvard style.

Pending external approval

Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise

MODULE INFORMATION PACK

MD4057 Professional Development –

Academic Year 2020 – 21 (September delivery)

Tutor

Room

Ext.

E-Mail

Vicki O’Brien
Anita Richards
Stewart Ellis

GR147

4837

[email protected]

Toby Weymouth

G60

4637

[email protected]

A module of 20 credits at level 7

Please note that this Module Information Pack (MIP) must be read in conjunction with your Course Handbook and the relevant sections of the Academic Regulations

MODULE AIMS

1. To assist students in appraising their personal skills through critical self-awareness and self-reflection.

2. To prepare students for the task of seeking out and applying for work placements.

3. To provide students with a critical understanding of the requirements for professionals entering the workforce and enhance the student awareness of the value of personal skills and management frameworks in relation to business practice.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

1.

Display competence in the behavioural requirements of the working environment.

2.

Critically evaluate their experience of applying for work placements.

3.

Demonstrate the development of personal and professional skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity.

4.

Analyse and review their engagement with continuing professional development.

MODULE CONTENT

This module allows students to develop a greater understanding of the professional practices associated with working in organisations. Students will research and apply for work placements related to their field of study.

Students will gain insights into the challenges they will face in securing work placement experiences and upon entry into the workforce, this includes the importance of effective communication, problem solving, critical thinking, risk assessment, ethics and team working. This will be supported by a range of activities including guest speaker events

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Module Learning Plan

All modules should include details of the average learning time based upon 200 hours per 20 credits.

Learning, teaching AND ASSESSMENT Strategy

A combination of teaching approaches will be used in this module, including guest speakers, seminars, group discussions and networking events.
The preparation included within this module will provide students with the skills to apply for, attain positions and thrive in the workplace, adopted and adapted from the Career Edge model created by Dacre-Pool and Sewell (2007).
This module will be assessed by the completion of a portfolio and through practical skills assessment. Students will be assessed on a range of competencies developed throughout the module including effective communication problem solving and critical thinking.

SCHEDULED LEARNING AND TEACHING ACTIVITY

TOTAL SCHEDULED LEARNING HOURS

28

GUIDED INDEPENDENT STUDY

TOTAL GUIDED INDEPENDENT STUDY HOURS

172

TOTAL STUDENT LEARNING HOURS

(eg 200 hours per 20 credits)

200

Blackboard SUPPORT AND CLASS NOTEBOOK

The key materials will be available via Blackboard. Module content will be uploaded to Class Note Book. Accessible via the link on BlackBoard.

ASSESSMENT strategy

The methods of assessment for this module has been designed to test all the learning outcomes.  Students must demonstrate successful achievement of these learning outcomes to pass the module.

Number of Assessments

Form of Assessment

% weighting

Size of Assessment/Duration/

Wordcount
(indicative only – see Workload Table for guidance)

Category of assessment

(select 1 of written exam/practical assessment/coursework –see guidance notes)

Learning Outcomes being assessed

1

Portfolio

60%

2500 words

Coursework

1, 2,3, 4

1

Practical Skills Assessment

40%

Practical observation

Practical Assessment

1, 3

Submission of Assignments

All coursework must be submitted electronically by 5pm on the specified date to Turn it in on Blackboard or as per the assignment submission instructions.

Submissions up to 5 working days late, without prior agreement, will be given a maximum mark of 40%; work submitted later than this will receive a mark of 0% and a new submission will receive a maximum mark of 40%.
Students must make every effort to submit work on time or to request an extension if absolutely necessary. This must be done in advance, in writing, with evidence of legitimate reasons via the Greenbank Hub. The maximum extension that can be given is 10 working days.
In the event of more serious difficulties the student may request that alternative arrangements be agreed, due to extenuating circumstances. This must be done online with brief details and including evidence. https://www.uclan.ac.uk/students/support/extensions.php
Late submission following and extension or ECs the work will automatically be given the mark of 0%.

MODULE PASS REQUIREMENTS

To pass this module students must achieve an overall grade of 50%

Please ensure that you are familiar with the university polices including unfair means to enhance performance, plagiarism and extenuating circumstances links are below:

UNIVERSITY RULES AND REGULATIONS

Information can be found on Academic Regulations, the assessment handbook, fitness to study via the following webpage;

https://www.uclan.ac.uk/study_here/student-contract-taught-programmes.php

Information on Extension requests and Extenuating circumstance can be found on the following webpage

https://www.uclan.ac.uk/students/support/extensions.php

INDICATIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY

The bibliography for this module is available via the on-line reading list – click on the link below:

http://readinglists.central-lancashire.ac.uk/index

INDICATIVE SCHEDULE SEMESTER ONE

Session Block

Date

Topic

Delivery Format

Content

1

Welcome to the module

· Module overview
· Getting to know one another
· Placement overview
· Hope and Fears

· Aspirations

Lecture 1 hour

No online lecture scheduled.

Guided Learning

1 hour

Read through
MIP
Assessment Brief
Placement Guidelines
OneNote briefing. Video
Post an Introduction to self in Class notebook. Ask any question you have on the above content. See the worksheet 1
Hopes and Fears Activities (Collaboration space)

Seminar Activities 1 hour

Module overview. Introduction of course team. Format for the semester. Assessment brief intro

2

Personal Development plans and Understanding Self

· Introduction to action planning and goal setting
· Action plans
· Continued professional development.

Lecture 1 hour

Action planning and goal setting. Why it is important. How personal Values can link into our development plans. Link to reflection assignment. Bigger picture achieving MBA and placement

Guided Learning
1 hour

What are Personal Development plans?

Resources from LinkedIn learning.

Seminar Activities 1 hour

SMART objectives, work through setting smart goals (use whiteboard or class note board) as a group.

3

Career Research / Navigating the UK Job market.

What roles suits, what skills do these roles need?
Who are the main recruiters?
Hidden Jobs market
LinkedIn Profiles

Lecture 1 hour

PPT lecture on understanding career paths including how to research a role. Hidden Job Market and LinkedIn.

Guided Learning
1 hour

Prospects quiz
Activities on Career Edge

Seminar Activities 1 hour

Quiz on Career options and job roles.
Dissecting a job role
Highlight the essential skills
Evidence how you meet these skills

4

Writing a Killer CV.

· What is a CV
· Layout of a UK CV
· Articulating experience
Setting

Lecture 1 hour

Lecture on CV. Purpose, design.

Guided Learning
1 hour

Career Edge CV resources.
Developing / repurposing a CV

Seminar Activities 1 hour

CV Short exercise. What are the errors. (white board activity)
Students to rank CV sample

6

CV Part Two

Bring CV for review first hour
Intro to cover letters

Lecture 1 hour

What makes a good CV

Guided Learning
1 hour

Use new CV 360 software tool to check and revise CV. Student to be able to access a copy of their CV in class

Seminar Activities 1 hour

Self-review of CV against a checklist.

6

Cover letters that open doors

· Structure of a cover letter
· Content
Tailoring to the role

Lecture 1 hour

What is a cover letter

Guided Learning
1 hour

Cover letter resources on Careers website.

Seminar Activities 1 hour

Review of example cover letters
Self review of cover letter against a checklist

7

Recap cover letters and introduce application Forms

· Review cover letters
· Application forms – what are they and what do I need to do?
STAR technique

Lecture 1 hour

Review of Cover letters. Introduction to application forms, what they are, why they are used.

Guided Learning
1 hour

Careers website resources on Cover letters. Upload a cover letter to Class Notebook before class and be able to access a copy in the seminar.

Seminar Activities 1 hour

Self-review of cover letter against a checklist
Review examples of application forms

8

Lecture 1 hour

No face to face classes scheduled this lecture revisit assignment brief and Q&A

Guided Learning
1 hour

Seminar Activities 1 hour

1

Reflective writing

What is reflective writing?

Reflection involves looking back and evaluating your actions,

in light of the relevant literature in your subject, with a view to

improving your practice, task or analysis.

Note: Concepts of ‘reflection’ may vary among disciplines but

you will usually be asked to write a reflective essay where

relatively complex (often practical) tasks are concerned.

The purpose of reflective writing is to interrogate your own

learning and demonstrate the ability to apply theory or

conceptual processes to your practice or task in a meaningful

way. Whether you’re training to be a health specialist, a

lawyer, a scientist, a business person, an engineer, a teacher,

a historian or any other professional, you will be expected to

be a reflective practitioner. This means questioning your

everyday practice and implementing new knowledge gained

through this reflection in your job/research/study.

Elements of a reflective essay

As with any essay, it is important that you consult your brief

for specific guidelines, but usually, a reflective essay:

 demonstrates your familiarity with relevant literature

 shows ability to think critically and evaluate the existing

sources

 makes connections between the literature and your

experience (practical tasks)

 reflects on your practice/experience and creates deeper

meaning

 understands how aspects of your practice are relevant to

the literature

 values your experience, shows how you learn from it and

makes recommendations for future action/practice

In this guide:

 Purpose of reflective writing

 Elements of a reflective essay

 Differences between a

standard undergraduate essay

and a reflective essay

 Tips for a great reflective

essay and examples

Your notes:

theory practice analysis

2

issue
identified

relevant
literature

/theory

relevant
practice/

experience

reflection
on practice

vis-a-vis
literature

The reflective cycle

A reflective cycle such as this one (compare with

Gibbs. 1988) can be used to develop each point or

in each paragraph: introduce the identified issue,

refer critically to theory/literature, provide

examples from practice, comment on the

relevance of the experience to the literature, and

show the implications, so you can move on to the

next point.

Note: Alternatively, you can begin with an example from

your practice and use the cycle to reflect on it and refer

back to the literature. Both approaches can be used in the

reflective essay, as appropriate.

Basic differences between a standard essay and a reflective essay

Standard essay Reflective essay

Subject A research problem-oriented analysis; an

often abstract and theoretical discussion

of a specific topic.

A less specified and often self-selected

discussion of your own practice/experience

with relation to the existing literature.

Evidence External. Uses primary sources and data

largely created by others.

Uses primary sources created by others

(documents, data, etc.) as well as yourself

(your own observations).

Voice An impersonal and objective discussion,

written in the third person.

Often asks for your own perspective; usually

written in the first person.

Knowledge Shows familiarity with the existing

scholarship on the subject.

Combines scholarship and your original

points derived from the task or experience.

Introduction Introduces concepts and outlines an

argument.

Introduces concepts and indicates how they

relate to own experience or learning.

Conclusion Relatively predictable. Draws the various

threads of the discussion together.

May focus on the personal learning points.

Often includes recommendations for future

practice.

Referencing Often a mix of primary and secondary

sources.

References to literature and own primary

sources (notes from practice).

Bibliography/
Reference
List

Formatted in the style appropriate in your

subject.

Formatted in the style appropriate in your

subject.

Fig.: The reflective cycle (adopted from Burns and Sinfield)

3

Good notes

Keep a journal and record interesting

things that happen in your practice/task –

they will become your database of

examples. Comment on them and try to

reflect as you go. This is your private

record and usually will not be assessed.

Topic

Think what topics/problems interest you

most in your subject and decide in what

ways they are relevant to your

practice/experience.

Style

Use the past tense when writing about

your experience (‘I felt’) and present

tense when referring to the literature

(‘Smith suggests’).

Tips for a great reflective essay

Literature

Consult your module reading list and

choose a combination of books and

journal articles that will allow you to get

familiar with the most recent and relevant

literature on the subject.

When reading literature, make notes on

the recurring themes and points of

disagreement. They will be very useful

when reviewing the existing theories.

Plan

Think strategically: plan your essay,

stagger your reading, schedule any

necessary meetings (with tutor, peers,

team members, librarian, etc.).

Be constructive

Your critical assessment of

practice/experience does not imply

focussing on the negatives. While

questioning your choices, try to stand

back, consider alternative viewpoints and

demonstrate how you can learn from the

experience, both good and bad.

Emotions

Recognise your emotions and feelings

with regard to the task/practice and

consider their role and influence. BUT:

refrain from venting your frustrations;

again, be constructive.

Go deep

Go beyond mere description and use the

critical thinking model to develop a

deeper analysis. Limit description to

elements that need reflective comment.

Journey

Keep an open mind about what you have

learned from your practice/experience.

Remember that not everything has to be

immediately ‘useful’. Try to demonstrate a

sense of journey – intellectual,

professional, personal – gained in the

experience.

4

Example 1

The role of the community health team I was part of in this task was to offer the most

appropriate package of care for the patient after her release from the hospital. It was important

to ensure that the patient’s independence was maintained (Foster, 2014) while providing the

best support in terms of safety and nutrition (NHS England, 2015). I found the home visit

slightly uncomfortable as it was difficult for me to strike a balance between showing care and

not being too imposing. Instead of talking so much I could have focussed more on listening

and encouraging the patient to express her preferences. Next time I will try to be more

receptive to the patient’s wishes and concerns.

Example 2

The experience of working on producing a historical film has shaken my faith in history as an

objective and detached record of the past, in the most classic Rankean sense (Green and

Troup, 1999). Elements of subjectivity constantly challenged my commitment to telling the

‘truth’ and I spent a lot of time getting frustrated and writing angry rants in my journal. I felt like

we were ‘just playing’ and couldn’t appreciate the larger truths I was in fact discovering in the

process. Having read Rosenstone’s (1995) take on the role of film in history, however, I found

the exercise a really good way to understand how history is told. I wish I had approached the

task with a more open mind. This may have resulted in a much better film.

Examples of reflective writing:

And finally… Remember that the reflective essay is a unique piece of academic writing in that it

involves a level of self-disclosure. This allows you to personalise it and make it more interesting!

Reference list

Brockbank, A. and McGill, I. (1998) Facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education. Philadelphia: Open
University Press.

Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. (2008) Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University. (2
nd

ed.)
London: Sage.

Moon, J. (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. London and NY:
Routledge Falmer.

Shön, D. (1987) Educating the Reflective Practitioner. London: Jossey-Bass.

LEARNING DEVELOPMENT

www.plymouth.ac.uk/learn

[email protected]

Learning Gateway, RLB 011

01752 587676

 Workshops
 Writing Café
 Open hours
 PALS
 Online support

http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/learn

file:///C:/Users/jtruscott/OneDrive%20-%20University%20of%20Plymouth/Learning%20Development%20-%20Jason/Study%20guides%20-%20JT/[email protected]

1A short guide to reflective writing

A short guide to
reflective writing

www.intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/asc

2 A short guide to reflective writing

What is reflection, and why
is it important?

Reflection is a purposeful activity in which you analyse
experiences, or your own practice/skills/responses,
in order to learn and improve.

Reflection in academia
We reflect quite naturally in our
day to day lives, thinking about
things that have happened, why
they happened, whether we handled
them well. In academia, you may be
asked to formalise your reflections
to show that learning is taking place.

This may involve:
 Reflecting on your own professional

or academic practice
 Scrutinising an experience and the

way you dealt with it
 Evaluating a project or experiment

and considering how to do it better
next time

 Reflecting on things you have read
and linking theory with practice/reality

‘It is not sufficient to have an

experience in order to learn. Witho
ut

reflecting on this experience it ma
y

quickly be forgotten, or its learning

potential lost.’ (Gibbs, 1988, p9)

3A short guide to reflective writing

Helping yourself to reflect

Keeping a reflective learning journal
You may want to consider keeping a
learning journal, as a form of informal,
regular reflection. Below is an example
of one way of approaching it.

Event

What did I learn?

What went well?

What could I have
done better?

Long-term implications

Attended first ever seminar

Discussing ideas made me realise there are many
ways of reading a piece of literature. I was
surprised by other people’s interpretations, but
the ones who convinced me were those who linked
their interpretations to specific parts of the text.

Made some contributions. They were mainly
responses to other people’s ideas but I was
glad I took part and it made me think more deeply
about the novel.

Could have been braver in forming own
interpretations. Had a preconception that there
was a right or wrong way to read the text.
In future I want to open my mind more.

* Now realise that there are many ways of
reading a text – and if you can find evidence,
you can convince people of your perspective

* Useful for essays – putting forward a unique
viewpoint is possible as long as you have
persuasive reasoning.

Example entry in a learning journal

4 A short guide to reflective writing

Models of reflection
There are frameworks that you can use to aid your reflective process.
Alternatively, you may want to create your own. It needs to be a set
of questions that you can ask yourself about an experience, plus a
process by which you apply and learn from your reflection. Here are
just two examples of models of reflection:

Reflection before, during and after
a learning process (Schön, 1983)

Before an experience During an experience After an experience

What do you think
might happen?

What’s happening
now, as you make
rapid decisions?

What are your insights
immediately after, and/
or later when you have
more emotional distance
from the event?

What might be the
challenges?

Is it working out
as I expected?

In retrospect how
did it go?

What do I need to
know or do in order to
be best prepared for
these experiences?

Am I dealing with the
challenges well?

What did I particularly
value and why?

Is there anything I
should do, say or think
to make the experience
successful?

Is there anything I
would do differently
before or during
a similar event?

What am I learning
from this?

What have I learnt?

1

5A short guide to reflective writing

Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle
Graham Gibbs (1988) created a reflective
learning cycle, including the role of feelings:

Description
What
happened?

Evaluation
What was
good and
bad about the
experience?

Analysis
What sense
can you
make of the
situation?

Action Plan
If it arose again
what would
you do?

Feelings
What were
you thinking
and feeling?

Conclusion
What else
could you
have done?

2

Example Extract
During term one I found myself
inwardly questioning the reliability
and validity of scientific journals,
as I came across conflicting studies
and contradictory data in our weekly
research and feedback sessions.
I was surprised at how other
members of the group appeared
to automatically trust the content
of peer-reviewed journals and
I sometimes felt that what was
presented back to the group was
accepted as factual as long as
there was a reference attached.

This prompted me to read into
what I now realise is referred to
as publication bias and has been

6 A short guide to reflective writing

Reflective writing for an assignment
Writing reflectively for the purposes
of an assignment should not involve
merely describing something that
happened. Nor does it mean pouring
out everything you think and feel in
a totally unstructured way. Reflective
writing requires a clear line of thought,
use of evidence or examples to
illustrate your reflections, and an
analytical approach.

You are aiming to strike a balance
between your personal perspective,
and the requirements of good
academic practice and rigorous
thinking. This means:
 developing a perspective, or line

of reasoning
 demonstrating that you are

well informed, have read relevant
literature and reflected on its
relevance to your own development

 showing that you recognise that
situations are rarely simple and
clear-cut

 writing about the link between
your experiences/practice and
your reading

 writing in an appropriate style.

As an example, consider the extract
below, which is from a nursing
student’s reflective essay. Consider
how the writer develops a line
of reasoning based on their own
thoughts and experiences, and then
links it to wider reading.

Please remember: different disciplines
have different requirements and styles.
This is an example of just one approach.

widely documented in recent years.
For example, Dawes (2005) argues
that, although reputable journals
adopt a robust peer review process,
articles still get published with
significant flaws:

‘Journals have to publish to survive
and they want to publish articles that
deal with topical important issues of
the day. Sometimes this imperative
overrides the critical review process.’
(Dawes 2005:6)

Furthermore, Brooks (1997:46)
highlights the fact that statistical
significance increases the likelihood
of a researcher’s work being
published, which might tempt some
researchers to tamper with the data.

I did not want to appear cynical
to the rest of the group and kept
these concerns to myself, which
on reflection I perhaps could have
volunteered for discussion. Instead
I felt that in order to construct an
accurate care plan at the end of
each scenario I had to adopt a
more robust approach in selecting
appropriate journal texts.

After these realisations, I found it
more helpful to employ the use
of meta-analyses and systematic
reviews for assessing research. I
found that using systematic reviews
saved time searching through
numerous journals, and I found the
Cochrane Library a useful electronic
information source.

7A short guide to reflective writing

Conclusion
Reflection is a useful process even if you have not been set a specific
reflective assignment. It helps you to make sense of and learn from
your experiences.

Many degrees involve assessed reflective writing. This is to allow you to
demonstrate that you can think critically about your own skills or practice,
in order to improve and learn. It is important to analyse rather than just
describe the things you are reflecting on, and to emphasise how you will
apply what you have learned.

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Library Services
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

www.birmingham.ac.uk

Further reading and references

Books:
Gibbs, G (1988). Learning by doing: a

guide to teaching and learning methods.

Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford

Polytechnic.

Honey, P and Mumford, A (1986).

In Mumford, A, Effective Learning.

London: IPD.

Schön, D (1983). The reflective

practitioner: how professionals think

in action. New York: Basic Books.

Williams, K, Woolliams, M and Spiro, J

(2012). Reflective Writing. Basingstoke:

Palgrave MacMillan.

Online resources:

Open University, Skills for OU Study. Be

aware of your habits. [online]. Available at:

www2.open.ac.uk/students/skillsforstudy/

be-aware-of-your-habits.php

[Accessed 5 July 2012]

Plymouth University, Learning Development.

(2010) Reflection [online]. Available at:

www.learningdevelopment.plymouth.ac.uk/

LDstudyguides/pdf/11Reflection.pdf

[Accessed 5 July 2012]

Academic Skills Centre. May 2014

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