Reflective Learning whilst Distance Learningadmin
Many students taking a distance learning course will often be tempted to forge ahead at full speed without giving much consideration to reflective learning, but this can be a very useful tool, especially when learning a completely new specialism such as bookkeeping or accounting.
Reflective learning allows you to take a figurative step back from your learning experience and work on ways to improve upon your future performance. This will help you to gain a much deeper, more comprehensive level of learning, and (hopefully) give you a much better foundation to build upon. Reflective learning can include a range of activities, from:
- self-assessment performance reviews
- peer-to-peer reviews
- carrying out a PDP (Personal Development Plan)
- Conducting a robust self-assessment (self-review) is only possible if you have a good understanding of the assessment criteria. If you aren’t sure of the assessment criteria, it can be well worth investing some time in locating and digesting the syllabus of the course that you are currently taking. You might even consider printing this out, so that you can refer back to it as you progress through your course.
Additionally, your tutor will play a key part by providing you with appropriate feedback to assessments, questions etc., but this is only useful if you choose to digest it and act upon it! Take some time to read any and all tutor comments; these are often skimmed through, but if used properly, can enrich the learning process.
- Peer-to-peer (or ‘study buddy’) reviews can also be particularly useful, allowing you to compare your own level of understanding against that of one of your peers. Not only will this help you reflect on the depth of your understanding of any given topic, but it will also help to enrich the learning experience of your study buddy.
The knee-jerk reaction from many when this is suggested is that, with distance learning this simply isn’t possible, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Modern technology makes connecting with your peers easier than ever. If you’re already a member of our Facebook group ‘Student Street’, why not see if there is anyone that would like to be your study buddy?!
- A well written PDP will help you to plan for the future and keep you motivated. It is a cyclical process that will help to solidify the direction of your learning, and allow you to take corrective measures (if needed) as you progress along your educational pathway.
It will help you to consider your successes and strengths, and then build upon them. You will also consider your weaknesses and opportunities and then develop strategies to work/improve on them. Used properly, it will help you with motivation, enhance confidence, assist with the direction of your learning and improve your educational efficiency.