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Assessment Task:
A reflective journal of personal development which critically evaluates the relevance of the alternative experience to your development needs.
Learning Outcomes
All learning outcomes for this module are listed below. The module learning outcomes that are being assessed through this assessment task have been highlighted with *. Assessment Criteria and guidance follows the learning outcome which gives an indication as to how each outcome can be achieved.
1. * Self evaluate, reflect and apply knowledge of effective leadership qualities to innovations in service delivery
? You should begin your assignment by utilising tools such as those you were given on day one of the module to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses in terms of leadership and innovative service delivery. You should explore whether one or more weakness may ‘hold you back’ in terms of your future ambitions as a leader or in terms of meeting the needs of the service to be innovative. Contextualise this in terms of current political environment by exploring why innovative service delivery needs good leadership skills.
? Don’t forget to discuss how you will use reflection within the assignment e.g. the use of journal extracts, models (or not) etc.
2. * Demonstrate understanding of how to lead and motivate a team to achieve a responsive and strategic service
? Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses in terms of team working and leadership, identifying areas for personal development. Consider the attributes of a leader from your alternative visit/ experience, and reflect on the leadership qualities that you have observed and how you might be able to utilise that learning in your future practice to help you to address an identified area for personal development.
o E.g. you could reflect on an observed change being implemented whilst on your alternative visit/ experience and consider the skills you might need to develop if you had to lead such a change.
? Your reflective journal should help you to consider the importance of good leadership skills on the motivation of a team, analysing what you have learned in terms of motivating the staff within a team. This might for example be linked to
o How a team requires a range of attributes and how a good leader can identify and utilise the strengths of different team members, motivating them to help achieve a specific goal or
o Managing change aimed at achieving a more responsive and strategic service and the motivation required from within the team to bring that about.
3. * Understand the context and challenges of the political environment in relation to changes and innovation
? Your assignment should reflect on how the political climate is affecting service delivery. You should demonstrate your awareness of the current political climate in terms of on-going change and reflect on why understanding this is important in terms of leadership e.g. consider the messages that a leader may need to deliver to a team in respect of such change or the pressure that the ‘political climate’ might have on a leader.
This assignment will be evenly weighted across all three Undergraduate Grade Descriptor categories and the student will be assessed to ensure they have met the learning outcomes as numbered above.
Whilst this assignment is a reflective study and the use of ‘I’ may be wholly appropriate, it also needs to be written in a professional style, maintaining anonymity of other team members. It should be correctly referenced, using a range of relevant and appropriate literature to support your arguments.
You may insert extracts from your main reflective journal into the text, which will not count within the word count. These could for example, be put within a box, in a different colour or in italics to differentiate them. Alternatively the journal could be referred to in an appendix.
Guidance for writing a reflective journal
In this piece of written work you will be given some help to reflect in a different way, not using the constraints of the models such as Johns and Gibbs of the past.
It is useful to distinguish between a reflective log, diary and journal.
A log is a straightforward record of events, rather for example if you are on a diet you may keep a log of what you have eaten.
A diary is a personal usually confidential record, which could contain accounts, confessions, stories of events, aspirations fears.
A journal is a record of thoughts, feelings and experiences relevant to the elective enquiry. You could for example choose to discuss some of your material with peers and colleagues. It is essentially a self dialogue, challenging thoughts, beliefs, action and processes. It can contain writing in any order, free flowing which is why we do not suggest you use the previous reflective models.
There are 2 possible approaches that you could take to the assignment. Neither approach is a recipe and you should put your own ‘mark’ on it by setting out the scene for your individualised take in the introduction. For both of them you need to remember;
• to acknowledge, include and demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes
• Remember to include some theory regarding reflection in terms of knowledge acquisition and the use of experience / self as you write in either way.
• Position yourself within your writing, drawing on your Belbin analysis and PDP to help you analyse your strengths, qualities and areas for improvement
• Pick a ‘significant’ aspect to focus on, this may have been during your elective or might be something you choose because it is an area of focus for you as a practitioner
• Utilise the term leader rather than manager which is more about hierarchy!
? Write the journal freely, picking up on significant experiences.
? Capture your thinking and analysis of these situations
? Include any reading or exploration that you do to help you make sense
? Take extracts from the journal which you can locate in your assignment either in italics, a different colour or a text box (these won’t then count in the 3000 words)
? Use the extracts to help you highlight and explore aspects of your writing through analysis.
You might write in your journal:
Today I went into work and my PT was moaning about how many of us she has to look after. She kept saying that she won’t get through her own workload as we all are asking so much of her. She has no time for anything else. Well, that’s not really my fault, I need to get on with the programme. I need my forms signing, not to hear about her troubles and woes! I don’t know what to do, she just seems to be making it more difficult for me.
In your assignment you could then write:
In the introduction you would state that extracts from your journal will be used to highlight your experiences and understanding. These will be in blue and italics.
The government has published a ‘Call to Action to Health Visiting’ that calls for an additional 4,500 health visitors to join the workforce by March 2015 (ref as per DH etc). This move has increased the numbers of students circulating through the system thus increasing the workload of health visiotrs who are able to assess learners in their role as practice teachers (NMC, SLAIP standards reference).
Today I went into work and my PT was moaning about how many of us she has to look after. She kept saying that she won’t get through her own workload as we all are asking so much of her.
The increase in student numbers is undoubtedly causing pressure on practice teachers. My own learning experiences have been affected and at times I have felt like a burden in the system. The ways in which I have attempted to overcome this are…..
In this approach you could take a more chronological approach to the elective and write it as the journal, so your starting point might be:
In order to meet the outcomes for the assignment I decided to approach a service manager for theatres. I am currently in a role where I lead a clinical team but I am not involved in the strategic approaches or planning for the department. It is my aim to consider this in the future as I feel I am developing in terms of my experience as a professional and therefore my ability to lead others (Carper, 1978). I therefore emailed Mrs X and received a very positive response (see appendix 1). In order to prepare I evaluated what my objectives would be and sent them to her in advance of the meeting (Appendix 2).
At our initial meeting she was going to a Trust conference on the Francis report (reference), I realised how important it is to keep abreast of policy and current news in the field. I made a note to myself to read the report in full. You could then go on to think about her role in the meeting, how you fit in terms of Belbinetc
This scenario takes a much more chronological approach and you can put your whole journal in an appendix if you wish (this will not be marked and won’t count within your word limit).
You may insert extracts from your main reflective journal into the text, which will not count within the word count. These could for example, be put within a box, in a different colour or in italics to differentiate them. Alternatively the journal could be referred to in an appendix.
Reflective Self-Assessment
What are my strengths in a team?
Am I making the most of them now?
Which strengths will be most valuable to me in the future?
Which management and team skills and abilities do I need to develop?
Is the lack of these skills holding me back at the moment – if so why?
How much do I want to do something about this?
What achievements am I most proud of this year?
What things have enthused and motivated me as a team player?
What experience have I gained in the past or on thisprogramme?
What have I learned from these experiences?
What things have frustrated me this year?
How did I respond to them at the time?
What have I learned from these experiences?
What do I hope to gain from my elective visit?

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