Additionally, part of my personal learning goal is to empower my capability as an independent learner, so that when time comes that I need to count on my personal capability, it will not be very hard for me to absorb the information that I need in this course. As I examine my personal learning goals, I could say that the instructor’s effort to help us learn turned me to become more motivated learner as opposed to not having such personal learning goals. In this case, the possibility of achieving my full potential when it comes to learning will increase.
Moreover, upon examining my personal learning goals made me realized that a person who normally set their individual learning goals for themselves have a higher chance of earning confidence in facing more challenging future tasks, regardless of the individual’s ability. That is because my personal learning goals have motivated me in improving as well as mastering some tasks. My personal learning goals also improved my self-esteem, even in the event of failure. Setting personal learning goals would help a person in thinking about the effectiveness of his strategies that he used in order to achieve such learning goals that he set. Part of my personal learning goals is to become a practitioner of strategies that are known to be effective when it comes to solving problem-based learning issues. I set myself to know the cycles and processes of solving such problems not only to achieve my goals, but to learn more ideas within this course.
In the course of problem-based learning, I was able to solve such problem using problem solving cycle. In its first stage, it is important to know what the exact problem is. It is not enough to know such problem, but more importantly, to analyse the underlying causes of the problem so as to gain more knowledge in terms of learning. Analysing the problem would provide some supplementary information as to how and why the problem exists in the first place. As such, the first stage of problem solving cycle suggests that doing a further research and understanding the problem could be a good starting point to solve the problem. I was able to achieve such starting point by not just facing the problem as it is, but considering the causes behind it. Further information gathering using my current understandings about the problem helped me a lot in discovering additional information as to how the problem came up. This could be the suggested second stage of the problem solving cycle.
I was able to achieve a somewhat successful data gathering by carefully choosing sources that provide relevant information based on the existing problem. In this case, I was able to develop a strategic plan to search for some additional information that would help me in finding quality and relevant sources. As indicated in stage three, part of the personal learning goal’s problem solving strategy is to know what are needed to find out in order to solve the problem. The process could be a complex sometimes, but since I already have my personal learning goal, applying the new information and knowledge have been part of my plan.
After I have carefully gathered quality information from the quality sources, it is my practice to apply this new knowledge to the existing problem. This would be the time that I need to make a new evaluation, as to whether or not the problem questions have been answered. If so, the possibility of solving such problem becomes higher than the earlier stage.
During the course of solving the problem solving, it is important to remember and absorb the new information and knowledge that you have encountered along the way. As a pre-final step of solving such problem, it would be necessary to reflect about the process that you have conducted. This would be the act of reflecting as to whether you were able to learn more by applying such stages of problem solving along with the process on how you were able to achieve the information needed in solving the problem. Reflecting your actions could also make you realise some things that need to be change if ever similar problems may arise in the future. Combining the answers based on your reflection could help you improve your ability to solve problems along with your personal learning goals.
My perception of my learning is could be related to a road that sometimes curves. My learning is something that can be considered one of the challenges, as there are many factors that make my learning sometimes a complex process to make. However, there are many strategies that i was able to apply in order for my leaning to become one of the interesting parts of my self-development (notendur.hi.is 2001). As I examine my perception of my learning, I realized that there are still many things that I need to know in order to become a better learner.
The knowledge and information that I currently posses are not enough to say that I already achieved and learned enough in this course. My learning made me a better observant, as there are many things that I was able to look at beyond what they possess on their outside attributes. As an example, my learning made me think that a problem is not just as such, but there is a broad explanation as to why a specific problem happens. My learning is also one of the key elements that crafted me to become a better person, as learning is not just about subjects and its principles, but learning is something that gears a person into his better future. I also perceived that my learning is something that would help me in this course, as there are many processes that I need to be aware of in order to be successful. Another perception of my learning is that in order for me to absorb and achieve more knowledge, it would be necessary for me to have a personal goal when it comes to learning.
When it comes to my learning style, there are various processes and practices that I normally do such as gathering the basic information as my starting point. Data gathering is my initial actions, as to how I can learn many things. It is not enough for me to hear what the instructor is trying to point out, but for me, my learning strategy could be more effective if I could see examples that would convince my understanding as a whole. Relatively, my learning strategy could be more effective if I can see how the process works and even how the problem is being solved. Once I am able to adapt the solution process, I will find time to do such process myself. I can say that my learning strategy could be one of the normal practices that some other people do. However, I can say that this learning strategy is not just applicable to my learning ability, but it is effective in terms of my knowledge development.
In the context of this course, learning strategy is not just earning knowledge about the topic or subject. Learning strategy is more than just a problem solving, as there is an involvement of suggested stages of finding solutions. In fact, my perception of my learning strategy is something that I can develop as I go along with this course. Within this course I would probably know some other things that would help me become a better problem solver, a better learner, and a better personal learning goals settler.
Working in teams enabled a close engagement to solving problems and allowed an easier learning process through a collaborative effort. In my progress of understanding teamwork, it is apparent that problem-based learning will depend on the capacity of the students to work together in order to analyze problems and identify the solutions. However, I learned that teamwork is also a skill that will help enhance knowledge in problem-based learning. For example, based on the problem solving strategy, the first stage is identifying the problem. It can be achieved by analyzing the problem and taking a record of the analysis, when the instruction requires deciphering an instrument to do a reverse engineering, it is important that each member of the team contributes to the process of dissecting the instrument, and the rest of the team members to apply the ideas suggested by the team members to successfully solve the task.
In one situation, the class was divided into groups to work on a complex mathematical problem. Given the constraints in time inside the classroom and the complexity of the mathematical problem, solving the problem individually would be difficult. However, with teamwork, the problem was solved immediately because each member of the team was working on particular tasks such as deciphering the problem and analyzing the equation. On the other hand, another member of the team is working on taking measurements, while the rest are doing the research from the class materials and books to gain information on what principles can be applied to solve the problem. As each member of the team offers their effort in accomplishing the tasks, the problem was solved in less the time because the different tasks associated in the process of problem solving was performed by multiple individuals. In engaging to the group activity, the concept of teamwork was greatly understood because each member of the team was able to receive guidance and support from the rest of the team members.
In another instance, the class was grouped into teams to work on a group project. The project requires that each team member will contribute to solve a problem assignment. The concept of teamwork was applied in the task taking the leadership role. This means that the delegation of tasks needed to solve the problem was communicated to the team members in a manner that each person was given a specific responsibility (University of Wisconsin-Extension 1980). The solution to the given problem in the assignment will have to be discussed in a form of a class report. The leadership role enabled me to ensure that everyone in the team understands the nature of the tasks and outcome expectations. Through this process, I was able to further understand teamwork as a way to take responsibilities and owning situations that could either fail the entire team or succeed. Leadership in teamwork means being responsible and to bringing the entire team to successfully accomplishes any tasks.
With regards to personal characteristics that I felt I could bring to the team, I believe that being a team player is imperative to contribute to the success of the entire team. In addition, being cooperative is also imperative to the success of the team and each of the team members must cooperate with the team leader in order for ideas and task to be delegated accordingly and to clearly communicate the different roles and responsibilities in the team. Contributing ideas and sharing knowledge with the team will enable the team to create and formulate solutions more efficiently and effectively. It was mentioned earlier that being in the team a leadership has to be established. On the other hand, being an effective leader does not mean demonstrating an outright authority. To become an effective leader, one must also learn how to be a follower. This means that the leader should be also cooperative and open to accept ideas from the other members of the team. Furthermore, another key characteristic that I could bring to the team is good communication skills. This means that working in a team should also emphasize the social elements of teamwork; therefore, each member should know how to communicate clearly with one another. Lastly, having a positive attitude is also a key characteristic that will enable a successful integration to the team and encompasses greater cooperation.
In situations wherein the team experiences moments of failure, having a positive attitude is imperative in keeping the team spirit high and the morale of the members afloat. Low self-esteem and lack of encouragement from one another due to negative attitude, blaming, and not owning responsibilities could further destroy strong team cooperation (Riggio 2013). All of these characteristics can be demonstrated by being honest and open to the rest of the teams. From example, when a given task appears to be too complex for certain team members and the lack of competitive attitude led to failure, honesty can be demonstrated by means of acknowledging the situation and being able to recognize mistakes. It is not that everyone in the team should be equally competitive because inevitably, one or two members of the team is likely less competitive than the others. If mistakes were committed, it would help the team to avoid failure if the team members exercise honesty in terms by communicating the mistake at the onset to enable the rest of the team members to contribute further in resolving the mistakes. As opposed to blaming individuals for their mistakes, it is important particularly for team leaders to learn how to the listen to his team members, recognize the problem, and exercise reasonable judgment. All of these aforementioned characteristics are detrimental to the success of the entire team. I, as a member of the team must uphold these characteristics to ensure that all team objectives and goals are achieved.
When it comes to leadership contribution to the team, among the most important things that I have to make sure is that everyone recognizes my role as the leader. One of the things that could fail a team is the lack of leadership recognition from the team members and as a result hampers effective cooperation with one another. However, in some instances where the leader was not able to attend to his responsibility due to untoward circumstances, I as a member of the team was able to contribute to leadership by temporarily taking the responsibilities and taking on the challenge of leading the team to accomplish the allocated tasks. One example is the monitoring of the tasks and doing the follow ups. In one instance, the leader was not able to make it to the brain storming activity for the group task, the first thing that I did was to talk to my team members and assume the role of the leader in terms of following up the progress of the tasks and resolving situations such as task conflicts (theskillsportal.com 2009).
This is different on my prior understanding of leadership contribution as having the initiative to take over the leadership role just because I do not agree with the leader’s decisions. Leadership contribution means being able to lead the team in the absence of the original leader. Contributing means taking on the roles and responsibilities without hesitation and carrying forward the team objectives to achieve the goals.
List of References
notendur.hi.is (2001) Problem Based Learning: Learning Teamwork Skills while studying at university, Available at: https://notendur.hi.is//~joner/eaps/cs_pbl3.htm (Accessed: 2 June 2014).Riggio, R. (2013) Cutting-Edge Leadership, Available at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201301/characteristics-good-work-team-members (Accessed: 2 June 2014).theskillsportal.com (2009) Levels of Leadership = Levels of Contribution, Available at: http://www.theskillsportal.com/leadership/149-levels-of-leadership-levels-of-contribution.html (Accessed: 2 June 2014).University of Wisconsin-Extension (1980) Teamwork in Cooperative Extension Programs, USA: uwex.edu.