Active learning

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The experience relates to the idea of Reg Revan’s Action Learning, which we applied in fulfilling an important academic requirement for the (Course/Subject) class. In this paper, I will expound on the learning I had and the insights I gained, and relate the relevance of Action Learning to my experience. As part of the requirements of the course (Name), we were assigned as a group to report on injection therapy for Achilles tendinopathy. The group presentation we had to prepare should last for 15 minutes, which for me was rather long and would require heavy preparation, especially research. I have worked with other people before but only for short assignments, thus this experience was quite new to me because this time, I had to work with others for a duration, meet up with them, and adjust with different personalities. However, just like any group, ours encountered some difficulties and even failure. This experience taught me a good lesson, which I could clearly relate with the theory of Action Learning. According to Revan (1999), learning can be expressed in the following equation: L= P+Q where L is the learning, P is programming or programmed knowledge, and Q is questioning. Taking from this idea, Marquardt (2004. Marquardt, Leonard, Freedman, Hill 2009), adds reflection (R), thus: L=P+Q+R The enhancement that Macquardt did made the theory more valuable. Reflecting upon my recent experience, I believe that the proponents of Action Learning are correct. Our professor assigned us to work in small groups. When our group first met, I noted that each of us had different ideas, which could be attributed to having different personalities. These were our programmed knowledge. We all wanted to share in our ideas about the topic, thus ending up not knowing our focus. To resolve the problem, we decided to meet again the next day in order to gather resources on ourselves then present our materials to the group. There were many questions we needed to address, and a number of subtopics had to be covered. As Revan proposes, there were multi-level questions (cited in Serrat 2008), but we failed to focus on them because we had different ideas. When we met again for the second time, we felt very disappointed because some members did not attend. It was difficult to finalise everything with such situation. I felt the lack of commitment of some of our groupmates. Pedler (1997) claims that for a learning group to succeed, members should be responsible for their own learning. I could see that many of us were willing to do our best but we had our own priorities. Some were busy with other subject requirements while some were simply reluctant to attend because probably, they did not feel their role in the group. In addition, Pedler (1997) believes that for a group to succeed, members should know their roles and functions. Without clear roles, some members could have felt the group could do things without them but this was wrong because participation is important in Action Learning sets. The next step was to decide on the approaches and tools we were supposed to use for the presentation. I noted that once again, there were many suggestions. Some inisisted we do role-playing, poster-making, presenting in MSWord, and so on. There were varied suggestions, and each of the members wanted to be recognised. Relating this experience to the idea of Active Learning, we could identify this as one of our attitudes as the main roots of the problem because like what McGill and Beaty (1995) claim, action learning sets work best when individuals focus on the problem together. In our case, each of us was trying to insist our ideas. Some wanted their ideas alone to be recognised, thus leading us to a narrower set of choices. It