Overall Reflection


Reflection is important within education, clinical practice and lifelong learning (Taylor, 2008; Mann et al., 2009). With most of the learning reflections being sporadic through the course, Larson et al., (2016) found that daily reflections aided in student development and learning.

This could have been encouraged during our studies as a lot of the learning undertaken is new. However, I believe that subsequently that I developed my personal development plan (PDP) to be a reflective log of development from each university session.

Keeping my PDP up to date throughout the first year has helped me to keep in line with my personal development and has also given me a focus on my developmental needs on becoming a veterinary physiotherapist. I have used PDP’s or similar in my previous line of work so I find working from that format easier for me to keep on track and to achieve my personal goals (Beausaert et al., 2011; Travers et al., 2014). I have used RAG (Red, Amber, Green) rating on all areas which helps me identify the key areas for development. Using a traffic light system honestly allows you to self assess, monitor your progress and highlights where actions need to be taken or areas to be developed (Webster, 2013).

Stepping back into education as a student has been a more difficult transition than I first thought (Knowles et al., 2014; Osam et al., 2016). Being the student and not the teacher or observer has been difficult. As my instinct is to analysis and see developments in teaching and learning. I have now learnt to use this to my advantage, by digesting the developments and mulling them over, therefore reflecting upon the sessions and this has allowed for personal learning to take place in a non traditional way.

Working and studying has also been a bit of a trial and error process and has taken me a while to get into a different routine. Allowing myself more time and changing my working patterns has been beneficial (Osam et al., 2016). I am not whole heartily convinced I have it right just yet but there has been significant improvement to when I started in September.

During my studies to date, I am continually reflecting in and on action (Schön, 1991), which allows me to self-assess my knowledge and enables me to think deeper about my current knowledge and understanding and what I have to do to progress forwards (Boud, 2003). There have many sessions that during the session I have become disengaged mainly due to being a kinaesthetic learner (Drake and Pawlina, 2013), so I enjoy learning with a more practical approach and also due to the level of academic content in a short space of time. However, when I get back from lectures I digest and think about what we have been taught and apply it myself into a practical based situation, this helps me with learning the content and how it is going to be useful in the future (Cheetham and Chiver, 2001).

Anatomy seems to be my nemesis at the moment, with the more pressure I put on myself to learn it the more I seem to be unable to put the anatomy into context (Custers, 2010).  The assignment is not particularly helpful with applying anatomy. As the assignment wasn’t well explained therefore, the photos I have are not entirely relevant to the brief – making the assignment harder than is possibly should be. More detailed explanation (MacLelloon, 2010) and allowing a more hands on approach (Drake and Pawlina, 2013) to the equine dissection instead of an observation session would have allowed more detailed learning to take place (Crouch et al., 2004) and allowed for more applied contextualisation of knowledge (Rizzolo et al., 2010) within the assignment.

As anatomy will form one of the bases of becoming a Veterinary Physiotherapist (Paulekas and Haussler, 2009) it is of huge importance to develop a strategy that will help me learn and apply (Mega et al., 2014) both canine and equine anatomy. I have developed many different initiative teaching methods and applied them to classroom situations so therefore, it seems logical for me to adopt one of these styles for teaching myself anatomy (Russell and Korthagen, 2013). Designing lessons on anatomical features will hopefully give me more detailed knowledge on location and function of the structures and help with the forth coming exams and OSCE’s.

This module has provided a basis on which to start and grow from. I have found the PDP the most useful tool as it has allowed me to set developmental targets for myself as well as a tracking tool for my progress. I will definitely be keeping my PDP active throughout the duration of my studies. The creation of my blog has advanced my knowledge and skills in web page production – which is certainly going to be beneficial for running my own business.

The module has also helped us grow as a group and develop peer relationships.  These relationships have been very beneficial to my own personal learning journey. The level of support from peers has been encouraging and the close network that is among some of us will no doubt aid each other throughout the duration of the course, especially when it comes to exams.

Overall, and most importantly, I feel I have progressed since September in my academic ability and in my professional skills. Most importantly I have learnt how to identify and develop the practical and personal skills needed to become a veterinary physiotherapist and I looking forward to the rest of my journey.

Reference List

Beausaert, S.A.J., Segers, M.S.R. and Gijselaers, W.H., 2011. Using a Personal Development Plan for Different Purposes: Its Influence on Undertaking Learning Activities and Job Performance. Vocations and Learning, 4(3), pp.231–252.

Boud, D. (2013) Enhancing Learning Through Self-assessment. Routledge. Oxon.

Cheetham, G. and Chivers, G., 2001. How professionals learn in practice: an investigation of informal learning amongst people working in professions. Journal of European Industrial Training, 25(5), pp.247–292.

Crouch, C., Fagen, A.P., Callan, J.P. and Mazur, E., 2004. Classroom demonstrations: Learning tools or entertainment?. American journal of physics72(6), pp.835-838.

Custers EJ. 2010. Long-term retention of basic science knowledge: A review study. Advance Health Science Education Theory Practice. 15:pp.109–128.

Drake, R.L. & Pawlina, W., 2014. Multimodal education in anatomy: The perfect opportunity. Anatomical Sciences Education, 7(1), pp.1–2.

Knowles, M.S. Malcolm S., Holton, E.F. & Swanson, R.A., 2014. The adult learner : the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development., Routledge. Oxon.

MacLellan, E., 2001. Assessment for Learning: The differing perceptions of tutors and students. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 26(4), pp.307–318.

Mega, C., Ronconi, L. And De Beni, R., What Makes a Good Student? How Emotions, Self-Regulated Learning, and Motivation Contribute to Academic Achievement The Effects of Emotions on Academic Achievement.

Osam, E.K., Bergman, M. & Cumberland, D.M., 2016. An Integrative Literature Review on the Barriers Impacting Adult Learners Return to College. Adult Learning. [Online]. Available at: http://alx.sagepub.com/lookup/doi/10.1177/1045159516658013  [Accessed March 5, 2017].

Paulekas, R. and Haussler, K.K., 2009. Principles and Practice of Therapeutic Exercise for Horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 29(12), pp.870–893

Schön, D. (1991) The Reflective Practitioner. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Rizzolo LJ, Rando WC, O’Brien MK, Haims AH, Stewart WB. 2010. Design, implementation, and evaluation of an innovative anatomy course. Anatomy Science Education 3:109–120.

Russell, T. and Korthagen, F.A.J., Teachers who teach teachers : reflections on teacher education. Routledge. Oxon.

Travers, C.J., Morisano, D. & Locke, E.A., 2015. Self-reflection, growth goals, and academic outcomes: A qualitative study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(2), pp.224–241.

Webster , M. How to Use RAG Status Ratings to Track Project Performance (2013) Leadership Thoughts. [Online] [Accessed on 5th March 2017] http://www.leadershipthoughts.com/rag-status-definition/


3 thoughts on “Overall Reflection

  1. I really like the idea of using a ‘traffic light system’ for assessing personal development! I’d never heard of this system before and will definitely be looking into it – as I’ve found the PDP and reflections useful in helping me meet my goals I think I will (less formally though!) continue with these throughout the course. I have also struggled with learning anatomy, like you I need more context to help me understand how things work – and have really appreciated the online sources the group have been sharing. I’ve found the practical experience of being in a vet clinic to be a huge help (and I’m TRYING to find the time to get some small animal veterinary experience).


  2. Phillipa,

    I have never used wordpress before, nor am I very familiar with navigating through it so I apologise if I miss anything. I find the blog provides a very professional appearance and it is very clean and crisp. However I have found it difficult to navigate around in. I apologise it is probably just a personal thing but just to let you know when clients or others are trying to view it.

    Otherwise, I find your writing style very effective and concise, each reflection is formatted very professionally and the referencing is well formatted.

    Overall a very good blog page and I look forward to seeing how you progress and use it in the future.



  3. Hi Phillipa, great job on your site, it has a nice layout. I think you could add a few more personal photos like the ones on your poster which are great, showing your enthusiasm even more so. Love the ‘countdown to graduation’!!


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