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You are required to set up and use an on-line journal to record your experiences, thoughts, new information and understanding of each topic as it is covered throughout HRM 552. It is important to provide an overview of what you have understood and learnt from each topic (there are 10 topics). You are should make weekly journal entries about each weekly topic.




The purpose of this assignment is to complete a critical reflective journal for each topic covered throughout the subject. The aim of this assignment is to enable you to highlight thoughts on each topic as well as demonstrate your understanding of the topics covered in this subject.


Marking Criteria


  • Information and Connections: Demonstrates knowledge of key issues and concepts and how they relate to each other, across all topics. Evidence of significant reading outside of required readings / 7 marks.
  • Critical Reflection: Uses critical thinking skills to evaluate ideas, findings etc., considers alternative interpretations, implications for HR practice, significance of context, all in relation to key issues of interest to student / 7 marks.
  • Clarity: Clearly written so as to be understandable to another reader (your teacher); uses correct spelling grammar, semantics / 2 marks.
  • Timeliness: Journal entries completed each week / 4 marks.
  • Total / 20 marks.


Assignment 1 Online Critical Reflective Journal – 20% of Total Mark







75 – 84%


65 – 74%


50 – 64%








MARK           / 7

Demonstrates extensive knowledge of key issues and concepts and how they relate to each other, across all topics. Evidence of significant reading outside of required readings.

Demonstrates good knowledge of key issues and concepts, and how they relate to each other, across all topics. Evidence of some reading outside of required readings.

Demonstrates good knowledge of key issues and concepts across all topics. Evidence of reading required readings.

Demonstrates adequate knowledge of key issues and concepts across most topics.

Evidence of reading required readings.

Demonstrates limited knowledge of key issues and concepts across topics.

Little evidence of engagement with required readings

CRITICAL REFLECTION -see subject overview for a discussion of the cognitive skills associated with this.





MARK           / 7

Shows deep critical reflection and a substantial engagement with key issues of interest to learner. Builds upon the qualities of a ‘D’ with a considered evaluation of evidence, alternative interpretations; the importance of context and/ or the implications for practice/ future research, etc.


Demonstrates dialogical reflection with skillful use of a range of skills associated with critical thinking. For the key issues of interest to learner there is a significant degree of analysis and integration, including of some evaluation of evidence and of alternative arguments and points of view.

Demonstrates some dialogical reflection. . For the key issues of interest to learner the writing demonstrates capacity to step back from description and the use of some skills associated with critical thinking e.g. considers alternative points of view.

Writing largely descriptive, but there is evidence of emerging critical reflection skills.

Writing remains descriptive with, little evidence of critical reflection.




MARK:           / 2

Excellent spelling and grammar; easy to understand; sticks to word limit

Occasional minor errors in spelling/ grammar; easy to understand; sticks to word limit

Some errors in spelling/ grammar mistakes; easy to understand; mostly sticks to word limit

Significant errors in spelling/ grammar; understandable; often ignores word limit, or uses excessive padding

Substantially incorrect spelling and grammar; Difficult to understand; mostly ignores word limit or uses excessive padding


MARK            / 4

Submitted every week on time

Submitted on all topics, most weeks on time

Submitted on all topic, but often delayed

Submitted on all topics, but rarely on time.


Failed to submit on all topics.





What is critical reflection?

We tend to use critical reflection when we are trying to make sense of how diverse ideas fit together, when we are trying to relate new ideas to what we already know or when new ideas challenge what we already know, or our beliefs and world-view about how things should be (i.e. taking a deep approach to learning). Reflection is the process we use when working with material that is presented in an unstructured manner, not organised and purified as in a traditional curriculum.


There are different ways of engaging with issues, ideas, events, facts or literature reports -


Descriptive Writing:

This is a description of events, issues, ideas, facts or literature reports. There is no discussion beyond description. This writing is considered not to show evidence of reflection.


Descriptive Reflection:

There is basically a description of events, issues, ideas, facts or literature reports but the account shows some evidence of deeper consideration in relatively descriptive language. There is no real evidence of the notion of alternative viewpoints in use.


Dialogic Reflection:

This writing suggests that there is a `stepping back` from the events, events, issues, ideas, facts or literature reports which leads to a different level of ‘discussion about` the material. There is consideration of the qualities of judgements and of possible alternatives for explaining and hypothesising. The reflection is analytical or integrative, linking factors and perspectives.


Critical Reflection:

This form of reflection, in addition to dialogic reflection, shows evidence that the learner is aware that the same actions and events may be seen in different contexts with different explanations associated with the contexts. They are influenced by multiple historical and socio-political contexts, for example.


Critical reflection is a skill that can be developed, and which keeping a critical reflective journal is intended to help you with. A key to this is the degree of focus and engagement you can bring to the material.


The following analogy may help you grasp the difference between simple description of issues and deeper reflection:


You go to see a movie that you find bores you. After you come out of it, your friends ask you about the movie. You are not likely to remember much and your account might cover some of the main events or briefly describe the overall plot, but it will not go much beyond a superficial response.


On the other hand, you see a movie that absorbs you. You are likely to become deeply engaged with the events and the characters on the screen, even to the point of forgetting that you are in a theatre. When your friends ask you about the movie, you are able to give an extended account, describe the key characters, events, and the connections between them, provide nuanced interpretations of what was happening below the surface, consider the action from the point of view of different characters, compare and contrast the movie with other movies, and may even find yourself thinking about particular key aspects of the movie for days afterwards.


Developing your capacity for critical reflection is associated with developing the skills of critical thinking, which have been described in the following terms:


  • explanation; subskills include - stating results; justifying procedures; presenting arguments
  • interpretation; subskill include - categorisation; unpacking significance; clarifying meaning
  • analysis; subskills include - examining ideas; identifying arguments; analyzing arguments
  • evaluation; subskills include - assessing claims; assessing arguments; assessing quality of evidence
  • inference; subskills include - querying evidence; conjecturing alternatives; drawing conclusions
  • self-regulation; subskills include - self-examination, including of assumed knowledge, world-views, opinions; capacity to change self-understanding in relation to new information.


What is a critical reflective journal and why should you use one?


Critical reflection is an opportunity to construct knowledge and meaning from your work. It is one of the most valuable activities you will perform in this course. A critical reflective journal is an instrument for developing your writing skills and critical thinking ability. A critical reflective journal differs from your typical class notes in which you “passively” record data/information given to you by an instructor. It should not be a mere “listing of events” but rather reflect upon lessons you have learned- it`s a personal record of your educational experience in class.


An online journal facilitates your documentation of knowledge you are constructing throughout the course.  It will help you take control of and direct your own learning experience, identify what you have learned, what questions you have, and what you would like to know more about.  You should not only reflect on knowledge gained through materials and discussion, but also new ideas to explore through feedback from others.


More specifically, maintaining a critical reflective journal serves several purposes:


  • It facilitates and enables the development of communication and conversation (e.g., between material and yourself; yourself and your teacher).
  • It provides regular feedback between you and the instructors and helps to match expectations.
  • It works as a platform for synthesising your developing knowledge and ideas.
  • It helps you move from passively remembering the topic material to a more active and questioning engagement with the material, deepening your understanding of the strengths and limitations of key ideas amd approaches, and an appreciation of its relevance to practice. This is a part of developing your capacity for critical thinking.
  • Helps to identify issues that interest you, that challenging challenge you, and areas that you can improvement upon.
  • Aids in clarifying the meaning of key terms by developing a Dictionary of important terms.


What to write?

First write a brief summary of the contents of a topic,chapter or reading material. Then reflect upon

the learning activities you have engaged with. Record your own thoughts, ideas, responses and reactions to any of the above. Make notes about concepts, questions you have, and any confusion that may arise. Record new insights and problem-solving strategies realised during discussions with fellow students and instructors. The journal helps you to identify and explain the key issues and to critically reflect and further develop your own thoughts and ideas about it. Be as original and critical (constructive) as you can.


How to write?

You should use whatever style you are comfortable with as long as it is clearly written and sensible, is understandable to another reader (your teacher) and uses correct spelling, grammar and semantics (word meanings).




Your journal should meet the following expectations:


  • Keep to the topic and include all relevant issues.
  • Go beyond what other people have said on the topic. Express their ideas in your own words but add your own ideas and opinions. To do this you need to analyse and criticise ideas where appropriate and argue your point of view.
  • Support your arguments and opinions, by using examples, further readings, experiences from your own knowledge base, work experience, other course work, etc.
  • Pay attention to the general rules of clear writing in relation to paragraphing, punctuation, spelling, etc.
  • If references are used, ensure appropriate referencing style (APA6) and attach a reference list of the books and articles that you drew upon in the journal.
  • Adhere to the word limit (100 to 150 words per entry). If the weekly entry is much shorter or longer than required, rewrite it concisely (no padding out of short entries). Format advice is available in the Resources section.
  • Only your teacher will have access to your online journal.




Submission via interact2 Journal.


You will submit weekly journal entries. Your complete journal will be graded. Please note that failure to submit weekly journal entries will substantially lower the grade.

Price: £109

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