Reflective Essay

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Reflective Essay

This essay aims to critically review my strengths and weaknesses as a self-regulated learner, in relation to key skills which demonstrate my ability to use reflective practice. Also, the essay will identify and implement the learning skills required to complete the modules in Year 2 of the programme. It will produce and make use of individual learning plans that reflect how I could improve upon my interpersonal skills and implement a personal development plan. Furthermore, a demonstration of application of key skills together with learning and interpersonal skills in a variety of settings will be made. The framework this reflective essay will follow has been adapted from the work of Borton (1970) Reach, Teach and Touch; along with Boud et al (1985) Turning Experience into Learning.

A reflective essay is a piece of writing that basically involves your views and feelings about a particular subject. The goal of a reflective essay is to not only discuss what you learned, but to convey the personal experiences and findings that have resulted, Spinello (2012). However in order to critically evaluate and reflect the individual, must become a self-regulated learner. Students who are self-regulated learners collaborate with other students in exchanging ideas, eliciting assistance when needed, and providing support to their peers. They see the connection between their efforts and learning success, Trejos (2010). Zimmerman (2000) points out that, self-regulation is not a mental ability or an academic performance skill; rather it is the self-directive process by which learners transform their mental abilities into academic skills. These learners will monitor their behaviors in terms of their goals and self-reflect in order to increase their effectiveness. Self-regulation is important because a major function of education is the development of life-long learning skills, Zimmerman (2002, p.66).

In relation to the following key skills of, communication, numeracy, use of information technology, learning to learn and working with others, I have been able to identify my strengths and weaknesses. One of the areas in which I considered to be competent in was written communication, as I could express myself more openly and creatively, this has been evident by the use blackboard discussions, emails and academic writing. Linked to this, my IT skills are also one of my biggest strengths, as I am able to utilize these skills to support and further develop communication, interpersonal and academic skills. My empathetic listening skill enables me to gain mutual understanding and supports me to work with others, where new knowledge and experience can be exchanged, which contribute to my ongoing learning. On the other hand, the identified areas that I need improvement in are my confidence in verbal communication, although one to one communication is not a problem, but communicating and presenting to larger groups is where I feel nervous. Building up confidence in this area is vital, as it is a key component of nursing practice, to ensure effective communication between patients, team members and multidisciplinary teams. From year one of the nursing programme to year two; I have seen an improvement in my general math’s skill, however I required further practice in this area, which will supported me to pass my drugs calculation exam for year 2. Additionally, exam preparation and revision techniques were another area which I needed to work on, as a result it facilitated towards preparing me for module 6 – immediate and continuing care examination. Last but not least, my academic writing skills which also required to be developed so that I would be able to produce work at level 5 standard, for additional module two – examining health and social care needs of vulnerable adults and module five - understanding evidence-based nursing.

Once I identified my strengths and weaknesses, I was able to set three goals for the...
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