Reflecting on Experience in the Course
Throughout the course, I have learned many new ideas that I did not have knowledge about before. In particular, I have learned about creating an evaluation sheet as a part of the long chain of production. The logistical factor that was involved in the generation and delivery of the sheets to class members taught me about the need for organization, proper planning, and timely execution of the duties. It was good to stand in front of the class and pose questions to the students concerning the previously learned material: it made me feel helpful and a part of the progress we were making. Since learning is a multifaceted process, I also ended up gaining new ideas. In general, I had both positive and negative experience during the class and group projects, which caused happiness and disappointment that I feel the need to note for future reference and improvement of the education processes that were involved.
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The most positive experience was in the production section when I took part in collecting all the exam results from everyone and in tallying their grades. I also enjoyed standing in front of the class after the presentations and asking the learners what they felt the presenter had done well or bad during the session. The intra-group networking was superb and motivated me to execute my duties albeit many challenges. Additionally, the group work took me away from the traditional class and placed me in a different environment in which I had to play an active leading role. I was used to student life as a learner, but in our project, I had to perform the roles of a teacher in production and staffing. Consequently, this experience helped me appreciate the quality of directing the class and learn a lot from the participants.
Moreover, switching between planning and staffing roles proved problematic and created some discomfort for me. For instance, when I was just settling into one role, I had to change to a different one, which made the process quite unpleasant. Tensions became visible as we tried to deliver our best in an environment full of upsets and uncertainties. This experience was quite intriguing at the earliest stage. However, it would be better to have more time to settle in one area and acclimatize before switching to another. By the time we could gain courage and settle, we had to make much progress, but the exercise was almost over. As a result, the lack of time contributed to underperformance, which could have been evaded with proper planning of rotation of roles.
In the production area, our roles included ensuring that the presentations at each session were of high quality and added value to the learners’ experience. Before the presentation, it was our duty to communicate with various groups, assist them in planning their work, and network. This section was one of those I enjoyed the most, although it had its own unique difficulties. After the presentations, we would take charge as well as ask the audience whether they wanted to commend something and what they would like us to make better. This interaction helped in improving the quality of presentation and enabling the learners to gain the value of their class. The views we gathered were used to advise the presenters on areas that needed improvements. In the productions, we were also involved in moderating the students.
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However, there are some areas, in which I had a negative experience, that the organizers need to improve. Some of the learners failed to turn up on the day when the presentations were scheduled, thus making it challenging to award them grades. We were forced to accommodate the presenter’s grade for the learners who failed to turn up during the presentations. Although in a normal class setting learners can be absent for various reasons, the organizers could have avoided the absenteeism that was witnessed during the presentations if they had communicated and planned everything well to avoid hitches. The system of grading was also unclear, which created a loophole for biased judgment and awarding of marks. It was very unfair, especially when the person in charge has made up his or her mind to fail. The scale used should be free from manipulation and predictable to give each player an equal footing. In essence, the grading was not reliable due to these issues.
Furthermore, the organizers provided no clear-cut boundaries on how far we could air our personal views on the presentation and the action of the group that assessed our memos. The interaction between various teams also was minimal and unstructured, which made it challenging to transit from one role to another. Thus, we lacked flexibility in our operations, which hindered proper learning from the colleagues. The switching of roles ought to have happened in a suppler that should have made it easier for us to cope with the changes. Usually, learning can be good if classmates exchange ideas and experiences. During the course I took, the full potential of the learners was not exploited, which should not be the case in an enabling class environment.
I also noted that the group in charge of reading and grading our memos had a different view of what we were supposed to do, which created poor connections between us, leaving us disconnected from most of the learning exercise. The group could not pay adequate attention to our contribution to the memos; thus, it failed to let us have a clue of what it desired to get from our team. It would have been more effective for them to tell us what they expected from us to enhance quality and organization of the whole process. Therefore, the communication between the various groups involved was poor, which affected the effectiveness of the presentation, production, and staff roles. Informing each team on the expectations and timing early would make the whole exercise more successful.
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Most Useful Things in Learning
The experience during the presentations taught me about the need to be clear and audible to the learners as well as capture all the key points during the class presentations. In learning, a person has to make sure that the language of communication and the way he or she uses it enhances clarity and avoids ambivalence. The learners benefit more when the teacher is articulate and specific, which helps remove ambiguities and confusion on the side of the student. Therefore, I have gained knowledge about the need to be organized and to carry out early preparation before going to class. I have also learned that the flow of the presentation can be improved through making prior plans on approaching the lessons.
Furthermore, I have understood the importance of communication in any given learning setup. The effectiveness of communication can be seen through the feedback process, which should reflect the intentions of the person passing the message across. After the presentations, the views of the learners about the performance of the presenters pointed out flaws that can be attributed to, for example, poor communication. Additionally, poor communication between groups proved to be a big obstacle to the performance of each person. I personally had a challenge with the uncooperative nature of the reflection team. At least, it would have been good for them to keep us informed about their scaling and points of reference to enable us to stay within the requirements. However, since this was our first project of such kind, there is time to improve it in our future engagements.
Finally, I have found out that learning works well if there is a proper organization between all the players involved. Each party must play its roles effectively to attain efficiency. For instance, the absenteeism of some learners during presentations led to the arbitral award of grades by the presenters to those who had not turned up for the session. Subsequently, this solution affected the quality of leaning. In general, a learning event can proceed well if the persons in charge ensure that all the students are in class within allocated time. Leadership at any moment ought to be effective to deliver good results. I believe the cases of some students missing the presentation session can be avoided through the active role of the leaders.
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Changes I Would Wish to See
The learning process should be as interactive as possible to build confidence in the students. I would like to see this aspect improved in the future. For instance, class presentations should involve questions and answers during the session to keep the students alert and involved in the whole process. I find it more educative to give the students freedom to interact with the teacher rather than allow little or no such liberty. The teachers gain many insights on their abilities and inabilities when learners have an open relationship with them, not when it is closed. Consequently, this approach helps prevent the lack of interests and absenteeism as learners gain more courage and feel motivated to participate in class work.
Furthermore, organizers should plan properly to address areas of weakness that may affect actual learning. The overall organization of the class contributes to the success or failure of the activity. All the necessary efforts ought to be put in place to bring all the stakeholders on board before lessons begin. The teachers also should give forms for assessing the presenters before the start of the whole exercise to avoid unnecessary distractions. In essence, organizers should conduct an early briefing to provide all the materials and clarifications a learner needs.
The reflection memos ought to be available to everyone for perusal to enable each student to learn something new and be corrected. Lack of cooperation among some of the participants in this area worked against the learning spirit. I believe this issue could be fixed by letting each player appreciate the fact that it is not a competitive contest but an education session. As a result, students would open up and cooperate with each other to enhance the quality of the outcomes after each lesson.
In conclusion, the courses have been of great value in helping me to learn more about what learning requires and the efforts a person can make to improve the outcomes. Based on this good experience, I can enhance my ability to teach. Moreover, I have found out that the clarity of the presentation and proper organization is critical in delivering quality learning. Communication between the parties involved is also important in clearing any grey areas that may emerge, hence making the whole process smooth and successful. The learning process can be improved to give each player a good experience and best attainable knowledge on the topical issues. The success of lessons largely depends on the cooperation of all the participating parties and an environment conducive to exploiting their full potential.