Tuesday, 9 February 2016

MY LEARNING IMPROVEMENT DURING THE COURSE: REFLECTIVE ESSAY (PART 1)



Introduction
I am studying at Master of Education, the University of Adelaide. At the beginning of this semester, one of compulsory courses that I had to take was Research Design. Actually, I did not opt this course due to its status of compulsory, but I took it because I liked research—I was involving in student research organization, participating in research competition and assisting my lecturers in doing research. If it were an elective study, I would keep taking it. Even I also selected Introduction to Quantitative Educational Method as I thought this course was also relating to research, and had mutual support with Research Design.
After learning the course, I undergo a lot of enhancement. In this essay I will present some points regarding my learning improvement during the course. The alteration that I obtain happens in terms of paradigm, knowledge, skills and relation to other students.
Writing Literature Review
In my undergraduate university, I accustomed to collate some research proposals in which literature review was the obligatory component in these documents. Because of this experience, I did not upset when I saw literature review as a content of Research Design course. However, when the lecturer delivered this topic in the class a couple weeks later, I came across that there was a different concept between literature review here and the one that I used to write in the past.
To illustrate, the lecturer revealed that in literature review we needed to detect the gap among the references as the next potential research, while what I thought before was the literature review was just the collection of some publications. Moreover, I just wrote the literature review based on the problem that I wanted to investigate, but here, I had to use it to find the gap and potential research. Several days after that meeting, I verified this matter to an Indonesian speaker in a seminar entitled Continuing to PhD in Nexus Building, and he answered that the difference that I saw was exist.
I felt that this course helped me understand the concept of literature review. As additional effort, I searched for material on internet related to this lesson. But the most important thing that I did was writing a literature review. I believed that learning by practice was more effective than just reading and listening without demonstration. As a result, I understood this lesson and could present my literature review in the class.
Writing Systematic Review
Systematic review sounds like literature review. However, both are unlike although have similarities as well. Systematic review is a paper focusing on the question that want to answer by identifying, apprising, analyzing, and synthesizing the high qualified research evidences. Hence, the challenge in composing a systematic review is collecting excellent publications that relate to the topic or research question.
Although systematic review was totally new for me in this semester, I am confidence to say that now, at the end of semester “I comprehend and can collate a systematic review”. This is because major assignment in this course was writing a systematic review, possessing high proportion (60%). Consequently, I had to allocate a lot of time and energy to complete this assignment. This made me reread the materials from the lecturer again and again and look for other resources on internet.
Avoiding Plagiarism, Searching Reference and Creating Citation
If there was a favorite subject in this course, I would vote Avoiding Plagiarism, Searching Reference and Creating Citation. This was not because this topic was more important than others—all topics were really helpful—but this was because in this lesson I met Endnote software and learnt how to operate it.
Endnote was a memorable topic for me. Before I knew this software, I thought that looking for references was very difficult and I could not well organize the articles I downloaded. In addition, citing them manually needed high concentration because sometimes, I forgot writing the reference in bibliography.
Since using Endnote, all of these difficulties became easy. I could create my own library in the software and attached PDF files from my drive to the library. I did not need to type manually the articles’ identity anymore since I could directly import their details from online database such as Google Scholar and Scopus. And when I wanted to cite a statement from the files to Microsoft Word document, I just needed to click a few times of Endnote toolbar. What a truly remarkable moment was when the details was automatically written in bibliography. Not only that, I could change the referencing style as well, e.g. Harvard or APA style.  
Moreover, I took full advantage of applying Endnote in doing assignments in other courses, which majority of them were writing. As we know, in academic writing citing the references had to be conducted to avoid plagiarism, an extraordinary crime in academic world. So, I would say that utilizing this software could help me evade plagiarism.



Student name         : Wahyuddin
ID number              : 1685024
Subject                  : Research Design
Program                 : Master of Education
School                   : Education
University               : The University of Adelaide
Date                       : 10 November 2015
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