Reflections and self-assessment schedule



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Oscar Vallazza
Intercontinental Master’s Program

in Adult Learning and Global Change


                                                                                                                              
Assignment: REFLECTIONS AND SELF-ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE
                                                                                                                              

Learner: Oscar Vallazza – Linköping University

Course: Locating Oneself in Global Learning, Part II (UBC)

Instructors: Garnet Grosjean, Deo Bishundaya

Tutor: Emilia Fägerstam

Date: March 3, 2010

Format: A4

                                                                                                                            
REFLECTIONS AND SELF-ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Each heading has a hyperlink to the relevant section
INTRODUCTION

NOTICE TO READERS
PART ONE

a review of My Learning Plan

MAKING SENSE of the experience

Intercultural Communication dimension and global perspective

Working asynchronously with technology

Developing Master’s proficiency

Academic competencies
PART TWO

SELF-ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE

INITIAL CapabilitY ENVELOP

  1. To learn about learning practices across cultures

  2. To learn about the effective use of technology in international education

  3. To build, develop and improve international networking competencies

  4. To develop competencies in consulting work for educational programs across cultures

  5. To assess, analyze, organize, and synthesize my previous learning experiences, including formal, informal, unstructured, and self-directed learning as a path to personal growth


aDDITIONAL OUTCOMES

English language proficiency and relevant reading skills

Co-operative learning

Research skills
REFERENCES
ADDENDUM

Schedule of Self-Assessment of Capabilities

ALGC Program Objectives

INTRODUCTION

This document presents my reflections on my participation in the Intercontinental Master’s Program in Adult Learning and Global Change. It also includes a comprehensive Self-assessment schedule.


The document is divided into three parts.
In PART ONE, I summarize my original Learning Plan, and reflect on the initial goals and changes that have intervened since the end of the first part of this course. I will attempt to make sense of my overall experience in the Program.
In PART TWO, I present an updated version of my self-assessment schedule that will address each capability and how the original goals have been achieved.
The ADDENDUM shows a summary of my learning progress as reflected in the changes that have intervened in my personal ALGC capabilities.

NOTICE TO READERS

When document is viewed on-line, hyperlinks have been provided for additional clarification.


(*) To view the hyperlinks to Itslearning pages cited in this document, Itslearning log-in is required.
PART ONE


a review of My Learning Plan (LP)
This section develops from my LP and briefly outlines the relevant capability envelop.
My original LP is posted at https://www.itslearning.com/liu/oscarvallazza/assPortfolio/LP/ (*) http://worldconnections.wordpress.com/course-documents/learning-plan-2008/
I joined the ALGC for its multidisciplinary, collaborative and international nature. From the beginning, I have tried to adopt a synergetic and systemic approach to my learning, which is reflected in my LP and its set of somehow ambitious capabilities that I set for myself at the start of the Program.



  1. To learn about learning practices across cultures;

  2. To learn about the effective use of technology in international education;

  3. To build, develop and improve international networking competencies

  4. To develop competencies in consulting work for educational programs across cultures;

  5. To assess, analyze, organize, and synthesize my previous learning experiences, including formal, informal, unstructured, and self-directed learning as a path to personal growth.

I periodically reviewed these capabilities in the course of the Program. A relevant review document is posted at:



https://www.itslearning.com/liu/oscarvallazza/Coursedoc/reviews/ (*)

http://worldconnections.wordpress.com/course-documents/learning-plan-2008/review-january-2009/
In general, it has been possible for me to engage in the achievement of each goal through my active participation in each course, which included constructive interaction with the other members of the cohort, teachers, and tutors. A detailed analysis of my LP goals is presented in SECTION THREE.
Comments and evaluations by other learners and teachers supported me in this effort and attest to my attentive progression through the various courses. Since this document is about self-reflection, I will not discuss teachers’ evaluations, which will be instead presented in the final portrayal document. I posted some of them as “comments” at the end of each written graded assignment to be found under ESSAYS at:

https://www.itslearning.com/liu/oscarvallazza/Essays/

http://worldconnections.wordpress.com/essays/

A compendium of teachers’ evaluations for all graded assignments is available at http://worldconnections.wordpress.com/course-documents/teachers-evaluations


MAKING SENSE of the experience
Here I present my considerations on a set of issues, beyond the structured analysis of my LP. From the start, I have tried to approach my learning experience from a systems-thinking perspective. Consequently, reflecting on my experience in the ALGC requires me to also include my thoughts on the program itself, as the two dimensions are clearly interconnected.
Intercultural Communication dimension and global perspective

As outlined in my LP, I came to the program moved by a passion for international education and equipped with Intercultural Communication skills and knowledge. The ALGC has given me the opportunity to apply that to my learning experience within an international cohort. Each course has presented me with issues directly related to communication across both the participants’ cultural differences, and the organizing universities’ own approaches towards education and learning. I have had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of issues of international education, globalization, the work market, specific national and regional policies on work and learning, and also to clarify the interplay of local and global dynamics and how that affects education and learning in the 21st century.


The Intercultural dimension has been a fundamental component of my studies and was often discussed in my posts and assignments, as explained below under capability #4. I feel strongly that this dimension is relevant to “understanding the implications for practice of different discourses of globalization, adopting a social justice perspective on all issues of learning, and reading and acting on cultural sensibilities and sensitivities”, which are among the main objectives of the ALGC Program.
A collection of my contributions to the discussion forums with specific emphasis on the intercultural dimension is available at http://worldconnections.wordpress.com/intercultural/

Working asynchronously with technology

Using the Itslearning platform to effectively and collaboratively interact with the other members of the cohort has been a core aspect of my on-line study experience. As we became more comfortable with the system, the initial struggle with the newly introduced platform transitioned into more productive and interesting times. Since my Itslearning e-portfolio can only be viewed when logged-in on Itslearning, I created a parallel personal website that allows me to share my work with external viewers. Furthermore, I adapted - hopefully successfully - my written language to the needs specific to on-line communication. I have noticed how my narrative has changed over the course of the program, from long-winded to more pin-pointed and focused. Even though verbosity in writing may be seen as a cultural issue, and therefore should not be penalized, I certainly appreciate having developed the ability to adjust my writing style to the requirements of on-line learning. Having worked in this mode for almost two years, I am now more mindful of the effect that words may have on others and of the traps presented by asynchronous cross-cultural communication. I learned to communicate more effectively and clearly with other learners and tutors also by outlining my thoughts in an organized way. In particular, considering our language and cultural differences, I am very happy with the quality of my communication with Song-ee Ahn, my thesis supervisor at Linköping University, which is a great example of both our personal accomplishments and the possibilities presented by projects of collaborative learning across cultures.
Developing Master’s proficiency

I came to this program with academic skills gained during my undergraduate years and many years of informal self-study. These initial skills included the ability to observe, analyze and draw lessons from the events that had occurred in my life.


During my attendance of the ALGC, I have engaged in several challenging tasks that have facilitated the emergence of more focused and mature proficiency in the field of education and learning. They also helped in the development of an integrated framework for my academic, personal, and professional activities (see below, capability #5). Among the challenges I encounter in the ALGC, it is worthwhile mentioning the following: dealing with a high volume of readings; writing concise and synthetic enunciations; structuring my learning within the framework of each course; formalizing and publishing outcomes in the form of essays, reports, evaluations, reflective posts, web pages, and contributions to the discussion forums; developing a mid-to-long-term learning perspective to cover the several stages of the ALGC; managing information and assignments; writing my research proposal and discussing all relevant aspects with my supervisor; networking with people at Linköping University outside the ALGC; representing my experience to people unfamiliar with the ALGC; being supportive of my fellow learners; establishing collaborative relations with all the people in the Program, including teachers, tutors, my learning partner, and administrators.
As clearly shown in this compendium, my participation in the ALGC has resulted in significant and positive changes in my ability to perform in and reflect on all the above situations.
Academic competencies

Instead of presenting specific academic competencies gained from each course on a course-by-course basis, I will write a brief narrative summary to outline what I believe I have been able to achieve through my participation in the ALGC.


Learning theories on adult learning and education help me bind together my knowledge and understanding of issues of adult learning with processes of globalization. Such theories and relevant discourses provide me with a solid basis for their application to a variety of contexts, including higher education, vocational education, life-long learning, cooperative learning, experiential learning, workplace and organizational formation. Additionally, having learned about the historic, economic, and political aspects engendered in processes of learning, I have come to appreciate several philosophical perspectives that allow me to address issues of power, inequality, accessibility, participation, discrimination, exclusion, motivation, personal and social transformation. These are no trivial matters and my brief mention of them does not attempt to detract from their paramount importance in the creation of our communities of practice (Wenger, 1998; 1999).
Among the several approaches to learning presented in the ALGC, I was particularly intrigued by the enactivist perspective, anchored in the whole systems thinking tradition. I believe that such approach can be very inspiring in my own professional practice, as the educator is viewed as a communicator, story-maker, and interpreter (Fenwick, 2001, p. 49).

PART TWO

SELF-ASSESSMENT SCHEDULE


This section develops from my original LP. It presents each capability and relevant learning goals, outcomes, and evaluations. It provides me with an opportunity to reflect on each of them by linking them to my experience, the artifacts produced during the Program, and comments received on my work. For this document, I have kept the layout used in my original LP, with each capability having its distinct color and graphics.



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