Reflective Activities for Research
- Loughborough University
- Date first submitted:
- 28 Sep 2009
- Date last modified:
- 12 Oct 2009
- Relationship to RDF:
- Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities
- Cognitive abilities
- Domain B: Personal effectiveness
- Personal Qualities
- Domain C: Research governance and organisation
- Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact
- Academic practice
- Postgraduate researchers
- Doctoral researchers
- Research staff
Impact Level 2: Learning
Learning is about what reflection is and what it can do for you as an individual. We consider both reflection on personal circumstances and skills and also reflection used as a way to critically analyse research information.
Impact Level 3: Behaviour
Better able to reflect on career and personal development in order to assess own career development and identify strategies for the future.
Impact Level 4: Outcomes
Outcomes should be increased self awareness, increase in confidence and professionalism when considering personal issues. Increased clarity in the significance of research findings when reflecting critically on research issues
Rationale, aims and outcomes
What is the rationale for doing this?
How does it fit with institutional strategy?
What are the main features of the provision?
What are the aims and expected outcomes?
Loughborough University provides online PDP for PGRs in the shape of RAPID-PGR. Although this provides comprehensive training needs analysis and action planning tools, it is rather under utilised.
The rationale for the workshop was to provide a first step to reflective practice and from there to link to PDP. The aim is for researchers to get used to the practice of reflecting on their research and life experiences, and from there to take the step to realise the need to action plan based on the new realisations and clarity they get from this practice.
Our strategy is to engage researchers firstly in reflection, then PDP.
The main aims are to explain to participants what reflection is, and then give them first hand experience of the technique in all its forms. We discuss what a reflective writing style should look like, and enlilghten them to the power of reflecting on their research experiences. It draws heavily on Jenny Moon's book "A handbook of reflective and experiential learning" RoutledgeFalmer 2004, and pulls in wisdom from Donald Schon and his thoughts on Reflection in Action.
The intended learning outcomes for this session are that participants:
Recognise what is meant by Reflection
Have the opportunity to participate in a Reflective Dialogue
Engage in some Reflective Writing
Recognise how Reflection can be used in Research
Are introduced to the importance of Reflection for CPD.
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
The benefits of being able to reflect are innumerable. It helps learning from experience, whether that be life or research experience.
The challenge to engage researchers in reflection and real PDP is a big one, considering how peripherial to the main business of the day this appears from the outside.
The challenge is to get these practices embedded into everyday experience.
There are plans to make this a two part workshop, and follow this up with a more structured PDP session.