1. Personal history
I have done my Bachelors of Business Administration as my undergraduate degree. I always wanted to do an MBA and this was the reason I did BBA in my undergraduate degree to form a learning basis in the field of business management. Through BBA I have developed the basic skills in all the fields of management and MBA will help me in enhancing those skills at “M” level. I chose to do an MBA in University of Wales Institute, Cardiff because it will give me an international exposure and an international point of view of looking into business and because it’s only a one year course. I always felt that the only thing in which I lack behind from others is self confidence. MBA will definitely help me in gaining that confidence and give me an extra edge over others. It will also help me in building up my leadership skills and broaden my horizons and my thinking power in the field of business.
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1.1 Future focus
I want to establish a career in the IT world. I want to enter the IT world by gaining the most basic job an MBA graduate gets and then want to grow up gradually and consistently. I want to grow from the most basic level even if I get a better opportunity initially because my ultimate aim is to work and gain a capital and then start up my own business. I want to work at every level and gain experience and knowledge in every field which will help me in applying those skills and knowledge when I start up my own business. By working in different designations I will be able to even understand the relations between higher authorities and employees in a company.
The graph above shows the level of growth which I expect from myself in the five years from the day I enter the corporate world.
2. Reflection on action
2.1 Problems faced
Due to the change in the entire educational pattern between my home country and the host country there were lot of problems faced by me initially when I came to study my MBA at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. The major problem faced by me while doing my first assignment was the usage of Harvard Referencing System and it took me a lot of time to understand the thin line difference between as what can be considered as plagiarism and what cannot be considered as plagiarism. It was little challenging to understand as how to refer and cite different texts taken from various sources.I found it little difficult to understand the difference between two terms paraphrasing and copying. I feel a majority of the students would have faced the same problem as I faced because when I was doing a short assignment on the topic ‘plagiarism’ itself, I came across a survey which showed that more than 50% of the students have plagiarised their statement of purpose while applying for admissions. Accessing the electronic resources provided by the university was not much of a problem but sometimes it was difficult to access the few databases as it required registration and all. Another major problem faced by me was it was very difficult for me and my group members to understand our finance assignment. Our finance assignment was different from the theory which was being taught in class. We couldn’t even go and ask our professor about the assignment often as what degree of guidance we take was a part of the assessing criteria.
2.2 Strategies used
- By getting involved in Wider Reading.
- By reading more about the Harvard Referencing System and looking at the examples as how the reference is given if the text is taken from a book, if taken from a journal and so on.
- Through communication with other people who already know about plagiarism and through in depth discussions about it with seniors who have already faced the same problem and overcome it.
- Going through the past projects and reports available in the library.
- Avoiding the usage of google and try and read and collect information from the various sources available in the electronic library.
2.3 Learning theories
2.3.1 Kolb’s Experiential Learning theory
Kolb’s have developed this theory on the earlier work done by John Dewey and Kurt Levin. According to Kolb Experiential learning theory, learning is a process where knowledge is gained through experience. Kolb’s has divided his learning cycle of experiential theory into four zones.
The first zone Concrete experience refers to the stage of doing and experimenting things. The second zone Reflective Observation refers to the process where a person observes the experiment done by him and reflects accordingly. The third zone Abstract Conceptualization refers to the process which runs in the mind of a person where he gets involved in deeper thinking and tries to conceptualize the entire experiment in the most effective way. Last but not the least zone Active Experimentation refers to the process where a person is planning to experiment the concept which has been understood by him for more experiences and learning. In addition to the four zones there are even four different styles of learning which can be utilised to the most when it is used in between the correct zones. Diverger is a style of learning which can be utilised the most when it has enough data and information to observe. An assimilator style is one where enough data is given to make a concept on the basis of information. Converger is a style where the space is given for practicing and testing the concept. Accommodator is a style where a learner is able to accommodate his experiments into more learning and gaining more experience through that learning.
A nature of a student is very similar to the kolb’s theory because a student acts as an actor as well as receiver. A student experience lot of things in classrooms by listening to lectures, arguments made by other classmates, examples given by lecturers etc. A student reflect on this experiences by going home and reading more about the topic which was lectured in the classroom, researching on the internet, reading blogs, journals and newspapers and collect as much as information possible. It then builds a broad outline of the topic in his mind and then put that concept in action by making a project on the topic. Such nature of a student is proved by the model formed by Svinciki and Dixon. The data found out by Svinciki and Dixon is attached in the appendix.
(Bergsteiner, Avery and Neuman, 2010)
On a personal note I totally agree with Kolb’s Experiential Theory as it is true that past experiences or direct experience really help you with learning. I have personally experienced this learning cycle. During my induction week at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff I heard a word “Plagiarism” from my professor. I didn’t know the meaning of the word and so after my class got over I went home and search the internet and found out the meaning of the word and thus learnt a new concept. Through the process of finding the meaning of the word plagiarism I even came across a referencing system known as Harvard referencing system and learnt about the usage of it.
A case study of Ludic learning space provides us with an example where Experiential Learning Theory has put into practice. The case study learning to play, playing to learn is developed on the basis of two perspectives. Firstly the emergence of ludic learning space by multidisciplinary theories uncovering the hidden principles of play. Secondly the formations of the same learning space through a football league case study where players of different age group, gender etc come together under an examination.
As the theory suggests that individuals learn a lot when they are set free, the ludic learning space also gives the players the chance to learn from the experience they gain by playing under no supervisory authority and practice again and again. Through such freedom given to the players they are able to set their own path of learning and thus start the learning cycle. After their play, the players observe their patterns of play and reflect on it by rectifying their mistakes and strengthening their weaker areas and develop themselves more strongly towards the game. They conceptualize their game and then set their own rules and codes of conduct of the game leading to the completion of the Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle.
(Kolb Y and Kolb A, 2010)
2.3.2 Mayer cognitive theory of Multimedia Learning
According to this theory, Mayer believes in that a person learn more from photographic images and in text images rather than just from plain words. According to Mayer, this theory believes that there are two sections in human brain. The theory assume few things such as an human brain has two separate sections for recording different type of media such as auditory and visual media. It even assume that every section has a limited capacity of recording and thus believes that learning is a simple process of collecting information, filtering it in your mind and then organising and then presenting one’s collected information to others. This can be represented easily in the form of a diagram. (Mayer, 1998)
The working memory filters the information from the sensory memory organs such as ears and eyes and short list down the selected words and images which it wants to store in the working memory. Then the working memory starts its process and converts those sounds and images into verbal and pictorial mode respectively. Thus the integrating process starts from those verbal and pictorial modes and the knowledge gets stored into a long term memory format.
On a personal note I believe in the lesson which the theory suggest as from personal experience I have seen that it is more easy for me to remember things when presented in pictorial form such as diagrams, pictures, graphical representation etc rather than just in words. It has been always easy for me to recollect the information I read from the pictures during my examination.
According to a survey done by the Department of Education of the University of Gent in Belgium it is proved that students spent less time on the instructions when given in a visual mode than the students under audio conditions. Students with video inputs provided proved to outperform their friends and other students with audio inputs.
(Tabbers, Martens and Merrienboer, 2004)
The reason behind as why I chose the above two theories is that I strongly believe that the learning model suggested by the two theorist is related to the way in which I have started my learning process.
Sugarman Leonies, 1985, Kolb’s model of experiential learning: touchstone for Trainers, Students, Counsellors and Clients, Journal of Counselling and Development, [e-journal], Vol 64, Issue 4/5p, p264. Available Through : Business Source Premier Database [Accessed December, 1985]
Kolb Alice Y and Kolb David A, 2010, Learning to play, playing to learn: A case study of the ludic learning space, Journal of Organizational Change Management, [e-journal], Vol 43, Issue 1, p43. Available through: Swetswise Database [Accessed 2010]
Emerald Group Publishing Limitied, 1988 [image online] Available at <http://www.google.co.in/imgres?imgurl=http://www.emeraldinsight.com/content_images/fig/0230230102001.png&imgrefurl=http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm%3Farticleid%3D1838283%26show%3Dhtml&usg=__ROmkVXrzU2Eg-VtAp4_XXdFbijY=&h=1541&w=1363&sz=92&hl=en&start=0&zoom=0&tbnid=7ENiZbCTLKoTHM:&tbnh=137&tbnw=121&ei=rOKZTaHSBYGkugOX6ZHSAw&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dludic%2Blearning%2Bspace%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1366%26bih%3D667%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=149&vpy=101&dur=2576&hovh=150&hovw=133&tx=72&ty=169&oei=rOKZTaHSBYGkugOX6ZHSAw&page=1&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0> [ Accessed 1st April 2011 ]
Richard Mayer, 1998 , Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning [online] Available at <http://www.learning-theories.com/cognitive-theory-of-multimedia-learning-mayer.html > [Accessed 2008]
Multimodal Instructions, 2011 [image] [online] Available at <http://www.stuff4educators.com/index.php?p=1_12_Multimodal-Instruction> [Accessed 2nd April 2011]
Tabbers, Huib K. – Martens, Rob L. – Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G., 2004, Multimedia instructionsand cognitive load theory: Effects of Modality and Cueing, British Journal of Education Psychology, [e-journal], Vol 74, Issue 1, P71 .Available at Swetswise Database [ Accessed 3rd April 2011]
Harald Bergsteiner, Gayle C Avery and Ruth Neuman, 2010, Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model : Critique from a Modelling Perspective, Studies in Continuing Education [e-journal] Vol 32, Issue 1, P29. Available at Swetswise Database [Accessed 4th April 2011]
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