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Developing the reflective practitioner - designing an undergraduate class

Belton, V. and Scott, J. and Gould, H (2006) Developing the reflective practitioner - designing an undergraduate class. Group Decision and Negotiation, 36 (2). pp. 150-164. ISSN 0926-2644

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'The effective practitioner is a reflective practitioner' is a statement applicable to any professional practice, including operations research and management science (OR/MS). However, despite the importance to OR practice of reflection in action, the process of adapting knowledge and skills to new situations, academics have rarely given explicit consideration to the development of reflective skills when designing OR/MS courses. We emphasize the role of reflection in a class that final-year undergraduates studying OR/MS at the University of Strathclyde design to meet the objective of becoming a successful OR/MS practitioner. We describe the process of design, the structure of activities, and the assessment for a particular year using Cowan's (1998) three-part model of reflection for, in, and on action. Students' comments confirm the effectiveness of the class.