One thing we do at the end of every module is write a reflecting. I used to not like to do this part, I thought it was time consuming and didn’t really see a point. For me, it was just another assignment that I needed to complete and didn’t give it much thought. I mean, we do reflections in other classes and they aren’t much different. Why should this one stand out?
When I was doing the reflection for our Intro to Engineering module, it finally clicked why we do these, or at least why I think we do them. We do them to realize all that we have learned, and reflect on that. Modules are very hands on, and at times can be very overwhelming. They can be stressful with lots of new knowledge coming from many different angles. Then, after two weeks, it’s over. You have a small rest period where you do the quiz and reflection, before the craziness repeats itself. The reflection is something I have come to appreciate. It helps slow everything down, and let it sink in. It helps some of the more important aspects of what you learned truly resonate with you. I like them because it lets you analyze all of the work you put in, and think about what you’ve done. Sometimes this can be positive, and sometimes it can be negative. You aren’t always happy with the outcome of your work. But it is always a learning experience. We can always think through what we did, and what we should change for the next time.
Each reflection has the same questions. The questions it asks are thought provoking, and always require a thoughtful answer. It asks things like: What was the big idea of this module? How did it make you feel? How did you contribute? And so on. They may seem simple, but after all the effort you have put into this project for the last weeks, they mean something different. You really have to think about what you did, especially if you were just going through the motions. It’s a time where you sit down and really think about these questions, and what they mean to you.
We do different modules every one or two weeks, so every time we do reflections we answer the questions in a way unique to fit it. Each time we answer the questions, we have a different perspective based off of our prior experiences. When we think about the main ideas especially, we have to go back and re-work what we’ve already done. It helps you understand what you have done and why we did it. It really helps you think of the module as a whole instead of individual challenges.
I think this effects our work in a positive way. It helps us know what we need to do next time to be more successful, and what makes our current modules successful. It helps us understand what we have learned, and cement our learning about many different subjects. I like reflections because they are a time to slow down and metacognate. They really help me understand my learning more!