Week 1: Reflection and process, my reflection on a recent lecture

My normal practice when absorbing information is to let the information settle in, perhaps for a day or so, before considering how it might impact me and my professional practice. There were numerous takeaways which I found from my most recent seminar.

In particular, we covered 5 domains:
dispositional domain
affective domain
interpersonal domain
cognitive domain
procedural domain

All of these areas are important to critical reflection and I hope to explore these domains and what they mean to me more fully over time, throughout the coming semester. One of the factors which stuck out for me was my adherence to the procedural domain, without giving too much thought to other domains. I’m aware of some deficiencies in the interpersonal and dispositional domains, but by providing a codified structure by which I can collect and evaluate my practice, even a cursory examination of the benefits of such self-analysis are immediately apparent.

Such evaluation will allow me to examine how I think, act, interact, react and change as I track my development. Another takeaway I took from the lecture was that reflective practitioners might focus too much on the procedural domain and indeed, I find it the easiest area in which to begin examination. My hope is that I can successfully move beyond reflection in this domain and examine a much broader sense of my practice, but for the moment, I will use it as a starting point to begin taking some concrete actions.

We also covered SMART criteria, notably when setting tasks for personal improvement and I’m unsure why, but this is not the first time I have looked at critical reflection in this context, but the examples seemed to make sense and I look forward to setting goals resulting from critical reflection using this method.

As a result of this lecture, I have undertaken to improve the following areas:

  1. The frequency by which I undertake critical reflection
  2. Identify and set tasks to improve personal deficiencies, particularly within the dispositional and interpersonal domains
  3. Examine ways in which such reflective practice can be developed and adopted in my work outside of this module
  4. Establish these changes within a formal pattern of work.

It struck me that the nature of critical reflection has both the benefit of being undertaken in a cyclical manner and therefore a useful skill for delivering lifelong development and improvement, but also that a careful eye should be kept on the amount of work generated by critical reflection. The upshot being that by being too reflective, the practitioner might end up stuck in suffering ‘the paralysis of analysis’ and not translate potentially useful insights into tangible improvements.

Now that I’ve managed to codify my thoughts into something approaching a to do list, I will look to translate responses to these areas in my next post and produce smart goals and objectives.

My first steps into Post-Grad development

I’ll be using this site to track my development throughout my progress on the MA Games Design course at Falmouth University. Having recently completed my Bachelors degree in Games Design, I feel that I have a reasonable understanding of my relative strengths and weaknesses. I trained as a generalist designer, which has given me foundational exposure to many of the core skill-sets which might be expected in a Games Designer.

I’ve undertaken systems and game-play design, tools design, 3d modelling, level design, animation, analogue and digital art creation, programming, project management and many more. I’ve taken particularly well to theoretical and conceptual design, but my technical skills could use some work. My hope is that the forthcoming academic year will give me the opportunity to improve my technical skills with a particular focus on programming in both c# and c++. I would also like to produce a more robust personal folio.

I’ve also come to reflect on my long term ambitions and realized that an eventual career in academia is particularly attractive and my aspiration is to achieve a significant enough grade on my Masters course to successfully support a PhD application, with a focus on Cognitive decision making and motivation in games.

Ross Fifield