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This is an INDIVIDUAL assessment that consists of three components:
- Blog detailing your weekly activities and learning (multi-media)
- Reflective report, which details your learning journey and explicitly cross-references the blog (written)
- Self- and Peer-Assessment of groups from assessment 2 (online questionnaire)
Blogs are a useful tool for yourself to keep track of activities you have carried out, as well as to nurture your writing and reflection skills. When published, blogs can also become powerful communication tools that enable you to share your experiences and learning with your stakeholders and the wider community. This assessment enables you to practice your practical blogging skills with real blogging software.
For this assessment, you are required to regularly record your weekly activities in the form of a blog and to submit the blog (or the web link to the relevant blogging website) as part of assessment 3. Blog entries need to be time stamped and demonstrate regular engagement with the blogging software throughout the term. Students who do not engage with the regular blogging activity and attempt to retrospectively write up their thoughts in one go at the end of term will lose out on important marks.
You should make sure your blog entries are reflective in nature, rather than merely describing the activities you have carried out – a template will be provided in Moodle to help you with this and on-campus students will be encouraged to use some of the class time to record their reflections. The fact that you are recording your activities and learning on a weekly basis helps you develop your group report (assessment 2), as well as the reflective report (assessment 3).
You are strongly encouraged to add photographs, images, videos or other supporting material that may help you reflect. There is a blogging facility in Moodle, which you can use, or you may utilise any professional external blogging service, such as WordPress or Blogger. It is expected that entries are written at least once a week and each entry should be no shorter than 100 words. There is no prescribed maximum of entries or words per entry as experience showed that many students find this a useful learning exercise that they want to utilise to its full potential.
The blog component of assessment 3 is a pass-fail activity and markers will check it for completeness, suitability as a communication tool, and reference material for your reflective report. However, please note that you will not receive detailed written feedback about the blog content.
While the blog is built throughout the term, the reflective report is to be developed towards the end of the term, as it requires you to present a critical self-analysis and reflection of your learning as a result of experiencing Design Thinking and entrepreneurial activity within this unit. The self-analysis and reflection must consider your personal development, as well as the development of your knowledge of Design Thinking and entrepreneurship topics. As a conclusion, students are to develop an action plan of key events and activities that they can undertake over the next 6 months to acquire any knowledge, skills and behaviours identified as requiring development.
The reflective report should be submitted as a Word document with a length of 2,500 words (+/- 10%), excluding preliminaries, tables, figures and references. Your reflective report must make reference to appropriate academic literature and theory in a critical way. Moreover, the report it MUST make explicit reference to appropriate evidence in your blog using a clear cross-reference system. The reflective report must make use of at least 10 high-quality references (APA style).
Self- and Peer-Assessment (SPA):
You are required to fill in an online questionnaire, evaluating yourself and the peers you worked with for assessment 2 according to various team working criteria. This SPA questionnaire will be open for two weeks at the end of term and you will receive email communication about it. You are required to provide candid and fair evaluations of yourself and your group mates and – in controversial cases – you may be required to provide additional evidence to back up your evaluations. Please note that there is NO extension to the cut-off point for this SPA questionnaire and late completion is NOT possible – students who fail to fill in the SPA by the given deadline will receive a mark of 0 (zero) for this component of assessment 3.
The times are changing, and with it, the learning paradigm has altered. The advent of technology has paved the way for increased engagement, empowerment and collaboration in learning. As per Mak et al. (2010) blogging is an interactive tool that has created a way for improved learning outputs to the student towards collaborative learning (Popescu et al. 2014). Typically the use of this tool is based on the application of the principles for constructivist learning approaches. This allows the students to become dynamically involved with the learning process and hence co-build new knowledge (Mak et al. 2010). In the present course, I saw the reflection of these principles when I started blogging for this class.
Planning for constructivist learning requires giving the students open doors for dynamic preparation and association with the topic amidst an increased sense of connectivity (Barnett, 2007). Blogging has been recognized as a popular and emerging cooperative learning tool that brings forth a sense of autonomy and realization in learning (Pane, 2014). Through the means of this tool, the key highlights of synergistic learning become evident where the students are actively involved in the learning transaction (Popescu et al. 2014).
Social constructivist theories stress the utilization of shared connections among students in a learning tool to advance profound learning opportunities for them (Mollett et al. 2017). In collective learning, at least two individuals learn together through interactions, arrangement, and discussion of materials (Barber and Cooper, 2012). In the present course, we were all provided with a group exercise, and I learned the principles of entrepreneurial practice at one end along with the design process from this course. In addition, I also learned that the relevance of project association with reflection, which was a task achieved through the blog writing process.
Cooperative learning accentuates both social and scholarly engagement, and in addition, enhances the cooperation for a learner in sharing a common perspective of learning amongst the stakeholders. Prior examinations have demonstrated that collective learning opportunities encourage improved comprehension, maintenance, collaboration, and psychological comprehension of education material, thus improving the lesson outcome in its totality (Barnett, 2007; Popescu et al. 2014). When I applied these principles in the classroom, it was learned that community learning advances learning opportunities for the classroom at large.
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