Research - GDO710 - Week 5
Updated: Jul 24, 2022
I've made an executive decision. I am going to write my journals and go through the content at the same time. I am having issues when it comes to finding the time to write these, writing these as I go along (hopefully) will help me improve.
This surprisingly leads into this week's theme, reflection and deliberate practice.
Class notes: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Discussion: Critical reflection.
Dr Michael Scott (THE OFFICE?) - Importance of reflective writing.
Alcywn Parker - 5 Reflective Domains.
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Relevant
T - Time-bound
Research: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
Reflect on action: What critical incidents led you to enrol on the course?
I decided to enrol on the course for a variety of reasons. I have a background in game design! I studied for a bachelor's and then worked at a couple of game studios in the UAE. After that I moved to teach, however, working in a game studio means you struggle to work on personal projects and scamble to find the time. While teaching I haven't had much time to pursue creating games and I thought that a Masters's degree would give me that push to, you know, actually make games again
Plus! I am currently in teaching, and if I want to advance my career as a teacher, aquiring a master's of some form will help me reach higher. Game design is an emerging field, especially in the UAE, there are not many academics in this field and it would be great to add more research to support the game development space.
Reflect in-action – What critical incidents, if any, are you experiencing?
Time management and other commitments. I am currently in the process of:
Moving out of my folk's house into my own place.
Starting a new job.
Completing Unity training.
& Starting my first term @ Falmouth for my master's.
Needless to say, my head is exploding and I am struggling to find the time to work on the assignment (especially the rapid prototype). Managing the learning journals on top of everything is quite frustrating + I'm not even sure that I am doing it right!
Reflect for-action – How are the first two points shaping your outlook for the future?
Well, the first 2 points are... stressing me out.
This is just the first term and there is a bit of a learning curve.
That being said, by the time the term finishes I should have fully moved out and settled into my new job (supposedly making things easier and giving me more time.) That leads me into my next topic: Project management. I am great at project management in theory but when it comes to managing my time while I have a million other things happening, I tend to fall off the boat.
+ by the end of this trimester I should have a better understanding of how the journals should be structured.
The course has made me excited to make games again, and I'm a little rusty when it comes to working on a game from scratch, on my own. The idea that I came up with for the latest rapid prototype session is really motivating me to continue and I find myself wanting to go home and work on a game. (something which I had lost for a long time)
From this exercise I deiced to create a list of goals that I will use to measure my progress throughout the term, here are the main objectives I want to achieve:
// Personal life: - Move out & get settled into the new place. - Finish the unity game developer assocaite exam. - Finish grading ASAP. - Unity animator recap // Academics - Manage my time better to ensure work gets done. - Talk to Lucy/someone on the course about the structure of my CRJ. - Improve my CRJ & have a better understanding for moving into the next term.
Introspection & personal challenges.
Ericsson's theory of deliberate practice.
It is all about meaningful practice, practice with a purpose. (Scott, N.D.)
The core idea is that you are challenging yourself enough but you are not setting yourself impossible objectives. Something which is realistic to achieve and might be out of your comfort zone but will help you develop.
Challening enough to make you uncomfortable but not so challenigng to be overwhelming. (Scott, N.D.)
The concept of writing your challenges down and reflecting on them is far more valuable than keeping them in your head. It helps you keep track of the progress of a skill or problem. Plus it makes you more accountable! Reflective writing is a key tool when it comes to games development, most development logs will talk about the issues that have arisen and how they plan to address those. One way I am going to include this form of reflective writing in my journals from now on is by including a small section at the end that details any major issues I am facing.
In the lecture this week a model was outlined to address exactly what I mentioned above, how to structure this reflection.
Alcwyn Parker addressed 5 domains:
Time management, Motivation, General behaviour and Discipline. The idea is that if you fall behind in this domain, all the other domains will suffer due to this.
Feelings, experiences and emotions. The idea is that your mental health and how you feel can adversely affect your performance and your ability to work. You should strive to be emotionally intelligent and self-aware in order to keep focus. "What external factors are affecting my ability to focus?"
Abilities to work with others, listening, verbal/non-verbal communication, problem-solving, decision making & assertiveness. You might notice issues or someone else experiencing issues. How could you address this? Is there a way that you could have handled that differently?
Individually assess the strengths and weaknesses of your approach to learning. What type of learner are you? For me, personally, I am more of a listener and then move into kinetic. I need to be doing something to learn something best.
Identify the skills you already have and figure out what improvement you can make.
We should include all domains rather than one domain at a time, most people do one of each rather than all of them.
I found this theory really interesting. It's been a while since I have been a student and I feel like reflective writing is a lot harder to do. Perhaps it is because I haven't done it in a while. I find that with time it is getting easier, that being said, this lecturer was really useful and I believe I will start trying to cover all of these bases when writing the next entry. How feasible is it to include ALL of these domains? I'm uncertain, however! Time to try!
The final topic of this week was S.M.A.R.T goals. After your reflection, it is wise to identify what problems you faced, why did you face them and how you can address those in the future. One proposed method to create S.M.A.R.T goals:
I found this example from today's lecturer very useful:
I will improve my photoshop skills so that I can produce better assets for the team, which will improve the overall look and feel of the apps we create.
I will do this be completing a 12-Week Beginner's course on Linda.com in my own time and creating a new app design concept each week. I will commit three hours each week for this activity. (Falmouth, 2022)
Specific - I will improve my photoshop skills so that I can produce better assets for the team, which will improve the overall look and feel of the apps we create. Measurable - 12-Week Beginner's course on Linda.com in my own time and creating a new app design concept each week. Attainable - Beginner's course Relevent - produce better assets for the team, which will improve the overall look and feel of the apps we create. Time-bound - I will do this be completing a 12-Week Beginner's course on Linda.com in my own time and creating a new app design concept each week. I will commit three hours each week for this activity.
That's it for the research journal for this week! Check out my Week 5 activity journal & Development journal to further follow my endeavours!
References: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
A. Parker (N.d.) Reflective domains. [Falmouth University teaching platform] [website]. Accessed 6th July. 2022
Caroline (N.d.) How to write effective SMART goals. https://www.breeze.pm/blog/how-to-write-effective-smart-goals. 6th July. 2022
M. Scott (N.d.) Importance of reflective writing. [Falmouth University teaching platform] [website]. Accessed 6th July. 2022