Reflective post observation write up, based upon Gibb’s reflective cycle (1988).
The session reflected upon was an assignment workshop. Learners during this session were taking ownership of their own work by setting individual targets. Within this session all seven members of the group were present.
In this last observation there was a feeling of conclusion and finalisation. It also provided a feeling of individual reflection – as it was the end of the qualification. This was a time to look back at the personal developments that had transformed and moulded over time to be the teaching standards now provided.
There was a feeling that this session had been prepared with more time and effort allocated to sections throughout to develop all areas. Following the observation there was a sense of achievement and relief. The result had been worked towards since starting the course. It was a culmination of hard work, dedication and working upon the targets identified within previous observation.
The developments within this and the last observation overall score has increased from two to one. This has seen a consistent growth and development of the level of teaching delivered. This shows a positive influence of the observation process and how the targets set have influenced the observation result.
The plenary during the revised assignment workshop requires further development. Butt (2008) identifies that this time should be used to reflect and clarify achievements with the session. Having revised the assignment progress sheet during this review it was slow in pace and needed student lead input to be successful. Overall the update of the progress sheet allowed for the foundations that the session were built upon to be enhanced. This provided learners with a formative assessment tool so to assist with their tracking and identify where interventions were required (Fisher & Frey, 2007).
The lesson plan was also constructed to a high standard. This allowed for differentiation to be identified during the session and the ability to track learners throughout Petty (2015). Lesson planning in previous sessions had not been clear with such information and had impacted overall grades. The planning and use of differentiation within the session allowed for all learners to work in conjunction with the tutor and raise their own levels of ability (Evans, 2013). This was through the use of individual SMART target setting and personal tracking of work completed to date.
The use of the Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) also provides consistent support that learners could rely upon outside of the classroom. O’Donoghue (2010) notes that through the use of such methods students are encouraged to promote independent learning. This enables learning to take ownership for their own work to motivate and engaged to learn (Hodson, 2015).
The group dynamic could have affected the session. Attendance can be low within this cohort – which can lead to a lack of concentration and potential lower grades (Usher, 2014). This requires behaviour management techniques to motivate and aspire learners, to work harder and for each other (Linsin, 2010).
As this was the final observation the need to achieve the highest grade possible to show ability was a positive influence. This is defined by Deci & Ryan (2013) as intrinsic motivation – as it was driven by the need for competence and self-determination. The impact on the learners from this was that they were provided an organised, energetic classroom with a variety of content and resources.
This observation could have been improved by trialling the use of the plenary before this session. This could have kept the pace to the correct standard and not slowed the activity. It should have followed the layout of the assignment progress sheet which used. Petty (2001) notes that the use of experimental activities can confuse learners and impact the progress made.
The format of the lesson plan, the layout of the SMART session objectives and the stretching and challenging of learners are all elements which will be carried forward into future sessions.
For future sessions the taking of the register will be at the beginning of the session. For health and safety purposes these details should be collected.
To gain and maintain a grade one observation can only be achieved through conducting critical reflections, identifying areas for improvement and create actions to improve these areas.
Following this reflective process areas for improvement/ development have been identified and added into the ILP.