Research Reflective Learning Essay
Looking back over the semester, what have you learned about research as a thing that humans do, including how knowledge claims are made, how research fields develop, and how various factors shape and constrain academic knowledge production?
Your response should reflect your development as a researcher over the semester. It should contain reference to a range of RD1 unit material, and should also make reference to knowledge you have gained while developing your own research project and establishing your identity as a researcher.
Good responses generally develop ideas/themes/topics that were originally discussed in entries for the Researcher Development Learning Journal (all of which are attached as an Appendix, and can be referred to within the essay).
|** You must provide an Appendix to your essay **
|The Appendix will be a collated version of all six (6) Researcher Development Learning Journal entries you have submitted throughout the semester, formatted according to the instructions on the final page of this worksheet. This material should be seen as evidence for the journey described in your essay. For more advice, see p. 4 below.
- A good essay will weave together summary of the unit and tell a compelling story about your own intellectual development. Whatever approach you take, there should be a driving narrative to show that you have engaged with RD1 material, and that this engagement has propelled certain aspects of your thinking, as well as certain aspects of your project development. It is perfectly acceptable to document a journey of confusion and doubt – this is in keeping with the difficult art – but in this case, you also need to explain how you have tried to push through any challenges.
- Also think back to Week 0 and reflect on how the lessons of that week have played out over the rest of the semester. We design Week 0 to begin themes that are developed throughout RD1, so your essay should show us that you have been thinking about some of these key themes.
- For advice about to how use your A2a Journal entries as part of the essay, see p. 4 below about the Appendix you must include.
- Finally, remember that this is a reflective essay, which means you do not just summarize the unit, but demonstrate active and substantive reflection on your own development and learning. Similar to the reflective entries in your Learning Journal, which dealt with specific content, your task is now to look back on the whole semester and give new thought to what you have learned. Ideally as part of this process you will take one or more ideas you had throughout semester and develop them further (even just by refining and restating them); and good essays will probably also contain new reflections generated as part of the process of thinking slowly and carefully about your development as a researcher this semester.
It is acceptable (and in many instances necessary) to use first person; however, please keep the tone formal and professional. A good tip is to imagine that this Reflective Learning Essay is part of job application or similar.