Reflection as a chairman
On March 7th 2017 I had to present Module 7, which is “Group work and Brainstorming as a creative technique”, to the rest of the class as a chairperson along with 2 fellow students from group 4. Our role during this lesson was to lead the session and explain the module to the other students with the help of exercises and class discussion. Everything was running smoothly in our coordination before the session, we divided our roles and set up an agenda for that day, who would explain what, which activities, etc. I prepared for this theme by reading the whole module, watching the videos, thinking about which fun and interactive activities I could do to make everyone participate equally.
The night before, one of the other chair people told us that he was feeling sick. That day he did not show up to class and did not inform us, so my fellow chairperson and I had to improvise his part as best as we possibly could with such short notice. The outcome of this situation was that we were prepared well for our roles, but not for his part that we had to cover, and so we didn’t contribute as much as we would have wanted to about the peer assessment to our fellow classmates.
Looking back, I felt annoyed at the moment that my fellow chairperson failed to inform us the day of the presentation that he was not going to come, but reflecting back on the moment, I had a strong feeling that he was not going to show up, so I should have perhaps taken more time to learn his part as well or prepared a bit better in the case this happened. I also felt nervous the day of the presentation because I am not the best at improvising or at giving presentations.
This issue has taught me that I have to be better prepared on all aspects of a presentation in the future, regardless if it is my designated part or not.
As for my part, I think this problem forced me to overcome my nerves enough to lead the module, improvise the missing chairman’s part, and also make everyone participated. The other chairman and I also made sure that we didn’t go overtime and that everything was running according to our agenda. We got to cover the whole module and do all the activities we had planned, so overall, I think we succeeded in leading this learning session as best as we could.
To avoid something like this from happening again, I think starting with the preparations earlier than we did is important now. For next time, I will remember to prepare earlier, and meet up in person with my fellow members, as in this case we only communicated online. I will also remember that when explaining certain topics it is very helpful for the other students to hear a conclusion from each topic so if they get lost and didn’t understand a part, they can hear this conclusion and everyone can be on the same page. I will also remember to ask the note takers to summarize the main points to make sure they also had every point and topic mentioned clear.
For the next time, I want to get to class earlier than the rest in order to reorganize the classroom for our activities, which I failed to do this time as I arrived with the retst of the students. I also want to achieve a better communication with my fellow members in order to avoid any confusions and to make sure everyone is involved in making sure the final work we all have to do runs smoothly and is a success for everyone.
Reflection as a note-taker
On the 7th of November 2016, I had the role as note taker or scribe for the learning session about Module 2 “Objectives and Planning”, along with 2 other fellow students. I already knew in advance that I was going to be scribe for this session, so I did my preparation for the Module ahead of time and downloaded the scribe template to take notes and the minutes of the meeting. I was prepared, with my laptop fully charged and I showed up early to class so that I could set up and be ready for the start of the session. The only thing I forgot to do which didn’t have that much of a negative effect, but would have helped out improve our minutes was that us scribes had no contact with the chair people so that they could give us the agenda of the meeting beforehand, which if we had done would have given us an even better structure for our minutes.
The meeting started and so did I by writing down quickly everything that was mentioned and all the activities they were doing to get everyone involved. I noticed that one of the other scribes wasn’t writing anything down, she seemed to be listening but she didn’t write much down, only a couple of words, and she also asked me if there was even a template that we needed to follow. I had to help her find the template and this distracted me at the beginning of the session so I missed on a few points they discussed. Also, seeing her so unprepared made me feel a bit annoyed and made me realize that me and the other scribe were going to have to do double the work since her contributions to the final minutes were little.
I am good at writing quickly in my laptop so being scribe went smoothly for me, the only thing was that I felt a bit annoyed that one of the scribes wasn’t doing any work as I mentioned before. I also saw that even the chair people seemed a bit confused or nervous with leading the meeting, they spoke slowly, on the one hand this gave me more time to write everything down, but on the other hand it made me confused too regarding some points they mentioned during the meetings, and I felt too shy to ask for clarification, which for some parts I should have. During the session I got a bit distracted sometimes for a few minutes and I missed key points, but with the help of the other scribe who had the same problem, we filled in the blanks with each other’s notes and this resulted in a good ‘minutes’.
A solution that I could use next time to avoid one scribe not putting so much effort as the rest would be to contact the other scribes ahead of time and of the meeting and make sure they know what to do that day, who rearranges the final document with the minutes and submits it, etc.
Another thing to remember for next time would be to also communicate with the chair people in charge of the learning session and ask for their agenda so the day of the session I know which topics they are going to discuss and my notes will therefore be more structured.
In the future if I have this scribe role again I would like to test out dividing the agenda items within the scribes team and assigning one part to each scribe so that no one is left not contributing to the final minutes.
Reflection as a group participant
Throughout the Talent lesson I have always been a group participant except twice (when I was a chairperson and when I was a scribe). For example, for Module 5 we talked about the topic of “Professionalism”. This was the final module of the first semester and the module right before the December exams, and it was directed by 4 students and the minutes were recorded by 2 secretaries. I read the Module ahead of time, did all the exercises and brought all the necessary preparation to the class that day. Mr Peeters made a short presentation about exam guidelines for January before the chairpersons could kick off the learning session. The chairpersons gave us tips to use when interviewing people, explained the differences between being an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial, the types of leadership, amongst other things. The chairpersons did most of the talking and I wanted to answer their questions but it takes me time to think of an answer and by then they have already moved on.
Even though I was prepared and had read all the available information regarding the topic, I still felt not ready to answer questions the chair people asked and I didn’t contribute as much as I would have wanted. If they asked me a question directly I would answer as best as I could but I still think it wasn’t enough and sometimes I could have clarified what I meant further. I was really insecure about participating in general, and so I mostly listened to what the other group participants had to say. I also noticed that the chair people weren’t making a lot of dynamic activities and giving us opportunities in which I could maybe had contributed.
The only issue I had was like I said, feeling insecure and not participating enough during the sessions. I regret not speaking up when I had a thought and opinion due to my lack of confidence, which has always been a problem for me because I feel very self conscious in class that my opinion is wrong or a question I have is too obvious to even ask.
I can’t really think of alternative methods to solve my own self consciousness and lack of confidence in the classroom, its something that will take me time but I will remember for next time that if I am 100% sure that I have a good idea that could maybe be helpful to the classroom, to just raise my hand and share it. The advantages to this are pretty obvious.
For the next academic year, I want to achieve losing my fear of participating in class due to my lack of confidence, and I should watch out for getting lost in thought, getting distracted and stop paying attention in class when some people get too carried away and start going off topic during the session.