1. Demonstrate a capacity for systematic, conceptual and critical thinking

This first item of the graduate learning outcomes seeks to prove evidence of thinking skills that are systematic, conceptual and critical. Through the degree course, towards graduate level, I have performed a number of tasks and activities that I feel provide sufficient evidence to support this criteria.

To consider myself able to think systematically, meaning:

having, showing, or involving a system, method, or plan: a systematic course of reading; systematic efforts

I feel that this was first demonstrated back at Level 1 where the creation of an Independent Learning Plan (ILP) was implemented to plan my studies around work / life events. This is something that has carried through to Level 3 and, although less formally completed as a structured document, it is now a common occurrence to look laterally across work / life / study calendars to fit events in, giving each considerations of how much time should be dedicated to each. A practical example can be seen below, where I have prepared a visual calendar that incorporates my work schedule over the year. This is blown up to A3 size and allows me to plan out my year by entering information across dates in the calendar. I initially tried to do this digitally, but I found this method to be much easier to refer to (it is at the side of my work desk) and quicker to add to.

My academic year planner to allow me to fit study around important events in the work calendar.

To consider myself able to think conceptually, meaning:

pertaining to concepts or to the forming of concepts

This point leads me to think about how the formation of concepts has been developed over the past few years of study and the best fit comes from the skill of autonomy. Through Level’s 1, 2 & 3, autonomy has increasingly become a skill that has been needed to complete tasks to a sufficient level. The interpretation I gather from this is that a task or concept can be given as an overall objective and the elements required to complete that objective and the media used to communicate it would come from autonomous thinking. A practical example of this can be seen below where I prepared a patch for Technology for Disseminaion through alternative media that allowed me to complete the objective, but also further the goal of dissemination to a greater potential audience.

Lastly, to consider myself a critical thinker, meaning:

involving skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.; judicial: a critical analysis

This, for me, is the most pivotal thinking skill I have attained from the course. It allows me to question almost everything, not vocally, but mentally. I find this skill often leads me to questions about things that, when answered, change the perspective of the original question or problem, often leading to dome kind of improvement. To evident this last point, an extract is taken from the on-line community where critical feedback is given to peers to enhance their work:

Reading this, I see that you have met the task of defining your methodology and apply it to you own scenario. I may be incorrect, but your part about other research methods such as positivism read as though they may stick out a bit when part of the larger project. Although an interesting read, it feels a little more towards an assignment on research methods as opposed to a section of a report describing the research methodology. Hope that does not come across negatively, just a brain dump of what I was thinking after reading it.

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