Sample of Personal Reflection – Course Reflection

My Development and Experiences during Science 1A03

The Science 1A03 course has given me a great opportunity to gain experience and develop my career. The lectures, online materials and weekly questions and MRI materials gave me an opportunity to learn a lot of things concerning the current science issues around the world. Through the MRI, I have developed a strong understanding and experience in science undergraduate education. There are a lot of theoretical and practical issues that I have learnt which have enabled me to grow in terms of my learning and development. However, I had some challenges of accessing resources outside the class learning materials. Despite this challenge, the help of my tutor and my classmates helped me to go through the course successfully. I am happy about my progress and the experience I gained from the class.

First, I learnt a lot about learning. I understood that learning is an important part of laying a good base of one’s career. From the learning process, I gained knowledge and skills about many things about environmental science. I also learnt that learning in the field of environmental science offers a great deal of transferrable skills so that learners can adapt to several situations in the environment within which they live. The utilization of learning in the knowledge acquisition process lets understudies be more dynamic than when the method is not connected. I have also learnt that the utilization of learning helps the engagement of undergraduate students and enables learners to apply science concepts in everyday lives in order to make a change about the world.

There various learning objectives that students were required to achieve from the science module. Each MRI had its own learning outcomes that were intended to be achieved. I therefore learnt that the learning process is often intended to achieve certain objectives and outcomes, which I gained. However, achieving the learning outcomes and module objectives does not come easily; it takes a lot of persistence, dedication, determination and hard work through the learning process. Learning also enabled me to realize how I may use scientific knowledge in real-life situations.

About science, I have learnt a lot of things. From the first to the last MRI, everything that was there to be learnt was about science. From the first tutorial, I learnt that learning science concepts requires the utilization of appropriate and credible resources. I have also learned the importance of assessing credibility of resourceful articles. I have also learnt to use the Scholars GeoPortal which is a collaborative tool that allows the students to of universities throughout Ontario to carry out mapping and GIS analysis. The use of this tool enabled me to gain experience of creating maps that show where line 9 passes and the potential effects of line 9 on its surroundings.

The letter I wrote in tutorial C also enabled me to learn a lot about science. I learnt that science plays a crucial role in determining how our environment should be handled to produce good and sustainable results (McMaster University, 2014). I supported the conversion of the pipeline and I learnt that converting the pipeline saves a lot of resources for the future generation.

I also learnt that science provides a good platform on which learners may use to develop their data collection skills. In MRI 2 I learnt about how to collect and analyze data in a scientific way. When field data was not available, I learnt how to use geographic information program to create estimates. I also learnt to use spreadsheet software to organize and manipulate data. This scientific process of data collection and analysis indicate that science is an important tool of making objective deductions about a given situation or issue. Furthermore, investigating an environment using fieldwork is a primary role of science. I have therefore learnt that science enables us to learn about what is going on around us and how we can make our lives better by improving and taking care of our environment. Measurements and calculations were also a significant part of our tutorials, which enabled us to determine the amount of carbon produced by trees. This enabled us to get objective results through quantitative analysis. Therefore, science is important in enhancing objectivity of research in our intention to learn about our environment and get the best out of it.

Using geographic information program to collect data was also part of our science learning in tutorial B of MRI 2. My participation in the program enabled me to calculate carbon sequestration and graph the results to determine their trend. As a result, the tutorial enabled me to understand the contribution of science in the field of research. Without scientific developments, there could be no way that data could be analysed without field data itself. However, with the geographic information program, science has brought a good way to conduct research and come up with objective results.

The course also shows that science faces some challenges. For example, in MRI 6 I learnt that astronauts face physical challenges during space flight. The lessons enabled me to understand how and why these physical challenges occur (McMaster University, 2014). One of the challenges includes changing gravity which affects human body (especially the bones).  Science also provides an important way of representing data about these challenges in spreadsheet software for analysis.

Through the science tutorials and learning materials, I also developed, polished and used certain skills. The main skills that I developed were research skills. I learnt how to develop a good research hypothesis, identify independent and dependent variables, collect data, analyse data, and interpret findings. The MRI tutorials enabled me to develop these skills through engaging in the research activities. I also learnt about the difference between control and confounding variables as part of my research skills.

I also developed communication skills which enabled me to communicate my ideas effectively through research projects. Through class discussions and participations, I polished my communication skills to enable me conduct research successfully. I also utilized the presentations to demonstrate my understanding and polish my research and communication skills (Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education, 2000). The skills were also used in real research when we went to the field to collect data and represent them in appropriate research tools.

I also developed time management skills which were polished through scientific time keeping devices. The experimental procedures which we performed during MRI 4 gave me an opportunity to raise scientific questions and experimental design in a timely manner. Time is an important aspect in scientific research, and developing time management skills is an important way of being a successful researcher. The use of time keeping devices is also another important skill developed and used during the course. I also developed critical evaluation skills which helped me to analyse and evaluate data successfully to form an objective opinion about something (McMaster University, 2014).  In this case, my evaluative skills have enabled me to differentiate between truths of information within an argument.

From the course, there are some things I found useful and enjoyable. I also discovered new things which I think will shape my future through a better understanding of science and the environment. First, I found the research skills as useful because it enables me to understand nature and science, and analyse data to find solutions to scientific problems. Developing research skills is useful for making scientific discoveries and making the world a better place using objective observations and judgments. Learning about how changing gravity affects the body, especially bones, was an enjoyable part of the course for me.

Planning for Academic Future and Preparing for Other Courses

Science 1A03 has enabled me to prepare well for future courses and plan for my future career. My current plan includes the objective of graduating with Grade A and developing appropriate scientific skills and knowledge that will enable me to face the world and solve the problems that scientists and humanity in general are likely to face. I intend to achieve these objectives by participating in all class and field activities, using all resources available in the lab, library and class to understand scientific topics learned in the course. My plan was also to develop my research skills to ensure that I can conduct research successfully in order to pass in the course. I am very confident now that I know what I want, and I feel as if I am heading towards the achievement of my objectives. Things are now working according to my plan because I am developing my research skills well and I am looking forward to getting good grades in the course.

Some of the aspects that have helped me to plan for my future path include: availability of learning materials, effective groups in research and fieldwork, and understanding of computer software and scientific resources such as Scholars GeoPortal. The learning materials are important in my learning process and are part of my key pillars of understanding the course and getting good grades (McMaster University, 2014). In order to participate in class and field activities as part of my career plan, there should be effective groups to join. Fortunately for me, I had very effective teams throughout the course whom we help each other to develop knowledge, skills and understanding about key issues covered in the course. Participating in field research and group discussions enabled me to plan for my future because they enabled me to understand and gain relevant skills that I need to solve some of the problems faced by science in future.

McMaster Academic Planner (MAP) shaped my planning process by giving me the opportunity to identify where I was, where I wanted to go, and how I would go there. I had a good experience with the MAP because it enabled me to understand myself and what I wanted to achieve. It also enabled me to keep track of my progress in the course in order to ensure that I am working according to plan (McMaster University, 2014). However, I need to make a few improvements on areas that I have failed to achieve the standards of the MAP.

Science 1A03 has already helped me with my studies by enabling to develop my skills in scientific research. The tutorial on research skills has enabled me to understand some the differences between independent and dependent variables. This has helped throughout the course as we learn about various scientific variables including the effect of changing gravity on human body and bones. Understanding variables and how to determine their relationships is an important way of utilizing scientific information to make appropriate decisions and judgments. Furthermore, the tutorials on research skills enabled me to communicate ideas effectively through presentations. So far, I use presentations as an important tool to identify my level of understanding of a given issue or text. This helps me to progress well with my academic plan. Another aspect that has helped me in the course so far is the use of spreadsheet software to represent and analyze data. In other studies I use numbers and calculations which are usually easier when the spreadsheet software is used.

The experiences of SCIENCE 1A03 will be useful to me in my academic future because they will enable me to plan for my academic work successfully in future. The course has gave me experience of how to use some research software and skills. Because research is common in most courses, these research skills that I have developed in SCIENCE 1A03 will help me to conduct research and present good research papers in future in order to achieve the career objectives and goals highlighted in my academic plan. The communication and presentation skills that I have learned from the course will also be important in future courses which will involve presentations. I have also learned to work in groups through this course. In my academic future, I expect to be working in groups to develop my academic career. My experience of working in groups in SCIENCE 1A03 will therefore enable me to work successfully with group members in my academic future.

Leave a Reply