The Big Think…..learning reflection 1

I don’t really know where to start. Someone once told me a long time ago that a messy room = a messy mind. At the moment, I feel like this is the case, but in reverse, or maybe working in both directions. My mind is messy and as a result my study is messy….and vice versa. How to break the circle?! It’s not that there is too much work, but rather that my time management skills are not the best….or else I’ve just tried to take on too much in terms of full-time study, part-time work and also setting up a business. Hmmm….when I write it like that it does seem a lot. But definitely doable because I don’t have a family and absolutely am in awe of everyone who is working, studying and looking after families.

Even writing this reflection is somewhat difficult at the moment. I think maybe I’m worrying too much about having to do it ‘right’ or follow particular guidelines, so I’m now going to give up on that and do a big mind dump of thoughts and feelings. It may not make sense and it may be quite random to read, but maybe it will help sort out the mess in my head and lead me to some clear next steps or guiding questions.


What have I loved?

–          Communicating with people through the forums. I’ve also enjoyed doing this via blogs but found it a bit harder to get into as the forum setting is definitely something I’m more familiar with. Am I liking being challenged to explore change in this way? Yes for sure, but. That’s all so far, the ‘but’ remains undefined.

–          Seeing my blog start to grow, albeit slowly. I value this as a learning tool and it gives me ideas about how it could be incorporated into secondary school settings.

–          Finding a research topic that I really believe in and am excited about investigating! Getting the research bug is always fun J

–          Being inspired by other people’s blogs / ideas etc


What have I not enjoyed?      

–          Not being on top of things, and so having a rushed / flustered feeling.

–          The pressure I put on myself through internal dialogue

–          Being behind on deadlines for assignments

(Interesting how nothing here is actually content related!)


What have I learned?

–          That I need to work on this feeling I have that my learning process needs to somehow fit a particular expectation or should mirror that of someone else’s. Interesting, because as I reflect on this I can see that it has been a recurring theme for me, not only in terms of formal academic study but other types of learning as well.

–          That despite there being much research on change and many different models suggested, common to all is the acknowledgement that change of any kind is an on-going process and supporting people through this process is key. My own feeling here is that this support is what is often rushed through, or shortened as a result of various factors such as funding / time etc.

–          That if major change is going to be made – do it properly, once. Not kind of, with lip service, many times over.

–          That my time management skills at the moment are terrible. This is strange, because it’s unusual…..usually I’m very good at organizing time. I think perhaps I’m still not sure how to fit my topic within the context of the first assignment I’m making less progress ‘on paper’ than I normally would.

What questions do I have?

–          Do we use only one change model, must we use it in its entirety? Or can we pick parts out from two or three? I’m thinking Rogers’ diffusion of innovations, PU and PEOU from TAM and LAT may all be of use. Is this too much?

–          Am I going to look at my research topic from the point of it being voluntary or mandatory uptake? Does it matter? Does it have to stay the same between this first assignment and the final research topic?

–          What changes can I make to my internal dialogue and thinking so that I feel less pressured to fit a particular mould and more okay with the idea that ‘my learning is my learning and can weave its path as it likes’?

 Do I feel better?!

Yes, kind of. But I will feel better this afternoon once my draft essay plan is put together. I don’t know if what I’ve written counts as a learning reflection – it’s really not specific to the course material at all. But it has certainly been an interesting metacognitive task for me to do. What are my next steps for today……nutting out the plan for the first essay and putting up a welcome blog post for the sp4ed mooc. Am I still going to continue my current mission to give up coffee? Yes!


6 thoughts on “The Big Think…..learning reflection 1

  1. Excellent learning reflection — the point is to step back and take a look at your own learning and what it means for you in your context. I like the way you have taken control of your reflection — and what you’ve written definitely counts as a learning reflection. Well done!

    This is a conceptually demanding course with the added challenge of dealing with technologies and course structures which for many students are a little different from what they may have experienced in the past. A “messy mind” in the first 3 weeks is quite normal — you will see that clarity will begin to emerge as your research progresses.

    As an independent learner – you’re not behind. You have the freedom to manage your own schedule. As long as the formal assignments are submitted on time (because we need to grade and submit the marks within the system). As your lecturers, we welcome this independence in your learning.

    To answer your questions:

    1) In your research project, you can choose to focus on one model – or more than one depending on the nature of your research topic and the aims of your research project. As long as your choice is justified — you decide which option makes more sense.
    2) You can change the topic of research for the 2nd assignment. Your choice. That said, it may generate extra workload if you try too many different research topics. Getting the focus right early — will help you to manage your time more effectively.
    3) Your learning is your learning, and you can choose the pathways. The course schedule offers one way of getting to the stated aims and learning outcomes for the course. You are free to choose another pathway of getting to the learning outcomes. Read the summative assessment requirements – as long as these are achieved, we don’t mind how you get there.

    Giving up coffee is not a change I’m going to be making on this course ;-).

    • Wayne, as always your feedback is astoundingly prompt (& useful and encouraging!) Thanks for the support. I’m not going to change the topic for the research, just maybe look at it from a lightly different angle depending on how the investigating goes.

      Btw – I’m enjoying getting into Twitter as part of the SP4Ed….it’s a bit like a conversation on speed steroids but love the quickfire interactions.

      Wishing you a Wednesday full of triple shot long blacks! :p


  2. Hi Phillipa
    Really enjoyed your reflection. I can certainly relate to the messy mind. Every time I think I have clarity, my thinking is clouded again. I also would consider using elements of the different models in my essay.
    I know you say you admire thsoe who juggle the commitment between work, study and family, but as a father of five I am in awe of someone who can study full-time, work part-time and start a business.

    Everything is relative.


    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and positive energy! 🙂
      While not wishing a messy mind on anyone, it’s always reassuring to know there are others in the same boat. Like you, I think I’ve found clarity and then the waters are muddied again. All part of the process though and I’m loving the supportive community we’ve all developed here.

      Have a fabulous day,

      Phillipa 🙂

  3. Hi Phillipa

    I was pretty much feeling exactly the same way as you are. The way that I have (almost) overcome those nagging feelings was by setting aside a large chunk of time and reading through all of the information about the course. From here I’ve pretty much stayed on the Course Schedule page / link and worked from there.

    This next bit is going to sound exceedingly boring, but I have set aside time each night to work on tasks and assignments; around ninety minutes. I don’t look forward to it, but I always feel a lot better afterwards.

    I enjoyed your reflection. Thanks for the honesty.


    • Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your feedback – I was a bit nervous about being so open in my reflection so it’s really nice for me to hear that you appreciated the honesty 🙂

      And boring advice is often the best! :p I’ve chunked my timetable to allow for ‘do not disturb’ time each day and already feel more organized!

      Happy Wednesday to you 🙂


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