Reflective Essay Writing

Assessment type: Reflective Journal
A reflective journal is akin to a structured academic diary, designed to enhance your learning through the process of writing and thinking about your progress through the module. It can therefore be thought of as a collection of notes and observations built up during the module. The key term here is “reflective”. We are not looking for simply a descriptive account of the module classes and materials; rather, we are asking you to communicate and critically analyse content from the module, including ideas, theories, concepts and practices that were discussed throughout the module. These should be used to reflect on your past experiences and future development.
Choose three topics (as explained in the attached video) from the module to reflect upon. The topics you choose to reflect upon could be those you consider key to your prior experiences and possible future aspirations. The key thing for this journal is that you focus on the material you have read within the module.
This can include book chapters, articles, and case studies. In reflecting on your three chosen topics, it is the module material (attached) that is the prism through which you present your reflections. Your experiences and considerations of future development can be used as illustrative of ideas, concepts and theories within your reading. For example, you should be reporting your reflections on a particular article you read and how this has potentially created new understandings on your prior experience or how it can help your thinking on your future aspirations. You can of course provide a critical response to something you have read but make sure you support any such critique. What you should NOT do is present a personal or organisational case study whereby you recount a past experience that relates to module content.
There is no prescription on how you structure the journal. You can structure it as three standalone topics or you can base it on a particular event, situation or person, for example, a previous line manager/leader or an organisational change you experienced. If you do the latter the three topics would then apply to the event, situation or person. Your experiential and developmental reflections must be informed by critical analysis. You can, and perhaps should, write in the first person. The point is that we want to hear your voice in the reflections you forward on the module content and its utility, applicability and relevance to your past experiences and future development.
Note: Remember that being critical entails questioning assumptions and opinions, analysing problems, evaluating situations, showing the validity of assumptions, and engaging in appropriate and justified decision making.
Things you may wish to capture in your journal might include, but are not limited to:
• What you think about issues raised within the module, any flashes of inspiration you have had, and aspects you find difficult or contradictory whether in terms of understanding or application.
• How the module material has helped you understand prior experiences.
• How you can reach a better understanding of the above, including what you need to know more about and how you go about finding out more about a topic/theme.
• The module related material (i.e., books, articles, videos, activities, case studies) that has helped you to understand more about a topic and/or that has been interesting and useful to you.
• How you might apply your learning in practice.
• What new knowledge, skills or understanding you feel you have gained during the process of studying the module and writing your reflective journal.
• What you feel you need to do to meet your future aspirations.