MNG81001 Assessment 4: Learning journal
Format: Learning journal presented in a word document OR a series of PowerPoint slides.
Due date: To be completed in Weeks 3, 6, 9 and 11.
The completed journal must be submitted no later than Monday 15th February 2021 9.00am QLD time.
Word count: Suggested word count per activity: 200 words (+/-10%)
No. sources: No set number of sources. Any source referred to must be cited using the SCU
Harvard referencing style.
Special note: Post a key learning ‘take away’ to the Discussion Board in each relevant week. This could be a quote, a reading or a video.
What is a learning journal?
A learning journal is simply an ongoing collection of writing for learning – that is, writing done for the purpose of learning rather than the purpose of demonstrating learning. The learning journal requires students to reflect on what they have learnt in a course. Students need to detail how their thinking has changed and what this means for the future. Its purpose is to enhance your learning through the very process of writing and thinking about your leaning experiences. It is an opportunity to communicate your thinking process: how and why you did what you did, and what you now think about what you did.
Your leaning journal is personal to you and will reflect your personality and experiences. The writing can be quite informal.
Why use a learning journal?
• To provide a ‘live picture’ of your growing understanding of a subject or experience.
• To demonstrate how your learning is developing.
• To keep a record of your thoughts and ideas throughout your experiences of learning.
• To help you identify your strengths, weaknesses and preferences in learning.
Structuring a learning reflection
Just like all academic writing, a learning reflection needs a key message that is used to structure the narrative. As a writer, you need to make sure that your reader (or marker) understands the significance of your reflection.
A reflection is a piece of writing, so remember what makes writing such as this effective:
An introduction that includes your key reflection(s).
• Put your key message in the introduction (this is the focus of the discussion for that particular week)
A body, that retells the facts and relates it to your prior knowledge
• Use topic sentences to highlight the main point
• Then follow with the retelling and relating (use evidence if you wish to emphasis a point in your learning).
A conclusion, that gives the significance or implications of your key reflections
• What this will mean for the future? What has changed for you?
Please note: Key activities will be provided in Weeks 3, 6, 9 and 11. These form the basis to your reflection. They include a self-assessment, reading an article and watching a video. You must compete the activity in the nominated week. Submit the completed journal no later than Monday 15th February 2021 9.00am QLD time.
Process of reflective learning
Content of your learning journal
A learning journal should focus on your own personal responses, reactions and reflections to new ideas or new ways of thinking about a subject that have been introduced to you through:
• Lectures and tutorial sessions
• Research and reading including any visual research: e.g. television, film
• Conversations and discussions with other students or tutors
• Significant experiences that have happened in the work place or outside university.
What should you write about?
The most important thing is to make time for your writing – regularly set aside some time in Weeks 3, 6, 9 and 11 to think about the question asked of you and then write down your thoughts.
Try to focus on using the journal to help you to communicate (the following is a list of prompts to help you. You do not need to answer every questions):
• What you think about issues raised in the question
• Any flashes of inspiration you have had
• What you understand so far
• What you find puzzling, difficult or contradictory
• How you can reach a better understanding of the above
• What do you need to know more about, and how can you go about finding out more?
• What resources have helped you to understand and/or been interesting to use?
• How do you feel about the way you have approached the issue/topic so far?
• What new knowledge, skills or understanding have you gained during the process of writing your learning journal?
• Have you changed your opinions or values during the process/experience?
• How can you improve your learning, thinking and working in the future?
• Have you identified the next step(s) for your further development?
Week 3: Do you focus on what others say?
This activity required me to think about my communication with other people, and to complete a self-assessment: ‘Do you focus on what others say?’ The self-assessment is comprised of two aspects: active listening and asking questions. For listening I scored 4/6 and for asking questions I scored 2/5.
I was quite surprised by my result for asking questions as I thought this was something I did well when communicating with others.
In Week 1 we learned how to communicate effectively is a critical part of a manager’s job. Good managers know which channels of communication to use for different messages and why aspects of communication such as listening and asking questions are so important to the communication process.
We also discovered that managers can spend 30% of their time rewriting emails because the original message was confusing and not properly understood by the reader.
As my score for asking questions I wanted to find out more about the process of asking questions. I found an excellent YouTube video called ‘The Power of Effective Questioning’
It really helped me to appreciate the relationship between active listening and asking questions. It also helped me realise how important it is to speak up and ask questions. Something I am not very good at doing
I also found an excellent quote from Albert Einstein: ‘If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes’ (cited in Mosaic projects n.d).
A key learning for me in Week 3 is: ‘remember, there is no point in asking a question if you do not intend to listen carefully to the answer!’
Introduction includes the all-important key reflection: communication with other people focussing on listening and asking questions
Body that retells the facts and relates it to your prior knowledge.
Reflects on the importance of the communication process
Links to new ideas and new ways of thinking about a subject that have been introduced through a YouTube video
Conclusion that gave the significance or implications of key reflections
Limos Heroes 2014, The Power of Effective Questioning, online video, YouTube, viewed 16
November 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dO0dO__wmE
Mosaic projects White Papers n.d., Active Listening, viewed 16 November 2020, https://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/WhitePapers/WP1012_Active_Listening.pdf .
Discussion Board posting
Key takeaway: ‘There is no point in asking a question if you do not intend to listen carefully to the answer!’
Great video: Limos Heroes 2014, The Power of Effective Questioning, online video, YouTube, viewed 16 November 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dO0dO__wmE
The four reflections ?Week 3: Do you focus on what others say?
Think about how you communicate with other people during a typical day at work or university. Answer the statements below based on whether they are mostly TRUE or mostly
1. listening and 2. 2. Asking questions.
For your LISTENING score, add 1 point for each MOSTLY TRUE answer to items 1 to 5, PLUS 1 point for a MOSTLY FALSE answer to Question 6.
Listening score = _________________
For your ASKING questions score, add 1 point for each MOSTLY TRUE answer to items 7 to 11. Asking questions score = ______________
We face many distractions which makes it hard to pay attention when someone is speaking. Listening attentiveness prevents many communication mistakes. In addition, effective communicators learn the habit of inquiry, which means to ask questions to learn more about something or to confirm their understanding.
A score of 4 or more on either scale suggests that you are pretty good on that aspect of communication. A combined score of 8 or higher on the two scales suggest that you have excellent focus on what others are saying.
Now reflect on your score. What does it mean? What are you learned so far in the unit about the communication process? What is a key learning takeaway in Week 3?
Don’t forget to post your key takeaway on the Discussion Board for others to read.
?Week 6: Negotiation and conflict management
This week our focus is on negotiation and conflict management. Assessment 2 explores crosscultural negotiation and conflict.
Everyone will experience conflict at some time. Why manage conflict? Because a capacity to manage conflict is an important skill to possess and conflict handled well can be positive and constructive, while conflict handled poorly can be negative and destructive. Avoidance or denial of conflict in the short term allows us to escalate into deeply-rooted conflict in the long run.
One of the challenges in managing conflict is as individuals we each have our own approaches to the way we handle conflict. Added to our personal views and strategies there is cultural conflict. Overcoming cultural barriers at the negotiation table and learning how to avoid cultural conflict when negotiating across cultures are important elements of living and working in an increasingly global world.
Start by watching the video: ‘Conflict Resolution”
Now complete the self-evaluation: ‘Conflict Management Styles Assessment’ (located on the BB under Assessment Tasks and Submission Assessment 4 folder.
Reflect on your own approach to conflict and your personal negotiating style. What does this say about you? How might it affect the way you communicate and handle conflict? Can your personal style help or hinder the negotiation, cause, prevent or resolve conflict?
What is the conflict management style you would like to work on? How can you practice this conflict management style?
?Week 9: Communicating to convey goodwill
Observe a live or recorded speech or oral presentation in which the speaker is attempting to persuade. How credible was the speaker? What did she or he say or do that helped to enhance or to detract from his or her credibility? How effective was the speaker in conveying goodwill or establishing a relationship with his or her audience? Finally, how persuasive was the speaker?
?Week 11 Future communication practices
The world is changing; the business environment is evolving and so to organisations and their relationship with both external and internal stakeholders. The following macro trends will inevitably change the practice of communications in the future: the digitised workplace, generational differences, diversity and inclusion, globalised and multicultural workforces, social conscience and impact, worklife balance, and the radical impact of technology.
As a consequence, what transformation and trends of either external OR internal communication practices do you predict?