Love them or loathe them but reflective accounts are here to stay in Higher Education, be it recorded on a reflective journal entry, a text on your mobile, an essay a Twitter, blog or Facebook entry, a formal report or professional account . Some naturally feel uncomfortable with this kind of writing. Fortunately for the purposes of this blog post, I enjoy tracking my learning through writing, which I have accomplished a few times at postgraduate study, as well as supporting students drafting their learning logs. The trick, I would say, is to blend theory and case studies (real life examples) with reflective writing. This approach accommodates the requirements of UK Higher Education. I hope you find these slides useful, which will form a lecture to marketing students next Monday.
We had about 25 attendees at the Steampunk Tea Duel (competitive biscuit dunking, with rules) on Saturday and it was great fun. Our motive for holding the event was to entice Lincoln Steampunks onto campus so we could take studio photographs to add to the archive. The Tea Duel champion was Martyn Balmont (no 19) and the youngest combatant was Henry aged 8.
It’s at this time of year when students start browsing the dissertation collection to find out more about structure, particular topics, useful bibliographies and general layout; how contents pages and appendices are managed are also typical enquiries. Half way down the ground floor of the Library is our dissertation collection, just past the binding area, with undergraduate dissertations located on the right-hand side of the entrance and postgraduate dissertations on the left. So, if you’re looking for a particular subject just type ‘BA management‘ or another award into the search box of the Library catalogue; a list of University of Lincoln dissertations will then appear in date order. The dissertations are arranged by subject and then by surname on the shelves.
Promoting dissertations gives me another chance to eulogise the merits of another great source of information, the database called EThOS which contains over 400,000 doctoral theses. You can download instantly for your research, or order a scanned copy quickly and easily. I’ve found EThOS extraordinarily helpful at supporting students at all levels of study. It saves time in the long run to use these resources, plus you don’t have to read the whole document.
Blackwell’s bookshop has just re-opened for the New Year and is guaranteeing to price match textbooks against our cheapest competitor (please note that this does not apply to third-party resellers). Blackwell’s bookshop is conveniently located near the Library entrance, open from 10am-4pm from Monday – Friday.
On this blog we’re always keen to recommend useful information to guide students onto better study, and these links about critical thinking from Plymouth and Oxford Brookes universities offer some useful advice. I found Plymouth’s insightful because their description / explanation / analysis formula could be applied in order to construct paragraphs, determining a particular topic. I also appreciated an Oxford Brookes student being evaluated on finding different sources of information such as Wikipedia (‘anyone can contribute to Wikipedia – so the site is not an authoritative source of information’), stressing the need to track down original sources (re: newspapers, esp. tabloids), whilst acknowledging the relevance of using peer-reviewed articles and authoritative government research. Oxford Brookes’ analysis of a good student assignment illustrates effective practice in actually using research to its best effect, in terms of objectively weighing the evidence, deploying a questioning / sceptical approach, as well as noting informed conclusions, potential solutions,and identifying areas of future research. Such advice is reassuring ground for optimism for any scholar wishing to breathe new life into critical thinking.