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Reflection and self-assessment

Course PM


Master FIRE

Online Python

Online Mathematica

Reflecting on what you learned

In the principle of "learning by doing, reflection is an essential part.

In particular, it is not possible to perform a complex skill just by reading and following some instructions. Nobody would even be able to write such instructions in a complete way. Instead, it becomes essential to engage in a task to make experiences, and then to learn by reflecting on these experiences. This enables you to make observations and generalizations, and become more aware of your own thought processes.

Then, when you develop processes such as thinking and problem solving, it makes little sense to only consider the end result. You will learn when you struggle, independently of how experienced you are or how close you come to a solution. And if you are able to improve over and over again, you can in the long run reach any reasonable level.


However, it is also good to be aware of your absolute level of performance. For this purpose we suggest to to qualitatively use the levels "insufficient", "sufficient", "good" and "very good".

In a school setting, the most common way to do this is to simply consider the ratio of correct answers. However this simple way to assess doesn't work in more complicated situations like the quality of a report or a project, or deal with tasks that have no correct answers, such as in design.

Sufficient to do your best

Another way to think is that it is sufficient to do your best given your current abilities and the time available. This notion of acceptance is inevitably more relative, but makes sense while learning a complex skill or process, especially in the beginning.

So I have made a sufficient effort if:

I then find it less important if:

Examples of when the approach is not careful include:

What is very good?

Then what would characterize a "very good" performance? We must here inevitably focus on the quality of the solutions in an absolute sense, including subjective judgement as necessary. Additionally, we should expect that everything around the solution should also be of high quality.

A very good performance would then include:

I find it reasonable to think that for a "very good" performance, these qualities should be present to the highest level that can reasonably be expected. Note that there is a very large variation in how this can be achieved. For a "good" performance, these qualities should be clearly demonstrated to some extent.

Finally, be aware that it is not possible to write about this in a perfect or complete way - an interpretation is required, and you may even disagree. So it is ultimately about developing your own sense of judgement.

Problem modules