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Effective Learners doing his thing Learning Sets

Before the start it is very essential to speak very briefly about the idea of Action Learning. Quite simply Action Learning is a way of attaining Experiential Learning. If we look at theoret1ical perspective, Action Learning dates back to the task of Reg Revans, when he was the director of education at the Country wide Coal Board in the united kingdom in the 1940s. (Johnson, C. , Spicer, D. P (2006)). He identified that colliery professionals who came across intricate organizational problems might better learn by writing their concerns with one another. In his views sharing their problems with colleagues the professionals would gain better insights, inspirations, and determination to handle difficult and challenging situations. He thought that through this technique managers would get a better idea and they're better informed

Reg Revans expressed his model of action learning through an equation L=P+Q, this means learning is programmed knowledge plus questioning understanding (Zuber-Skerritt, O (2002)), meaning best learning can be achieved when it is driven by the power of inquiry (questioning) supported by access to the knowledge and experience of those who have come before and utilized through learning resources and expert tutors. Underpinning this process is the theory that learning should be focussed on finding answers to real world problems, with the impetus for learning coming from the learner and the development of the learner being as important as finding a remedy to the problem.

It is also important to briefly summarise this article in order to make it convenient for the readers to understand the main objective of the study. In this article Alan Mumford identifies one of the most important weaknesses of current books on action learning; the inability to provide a model of learning in units. The writer offers a way which attempts to get over these weaknesses. Alan Mumford explains his own positive and negative experience about the concept of action learning.

The research also specifies lots of key issues that happen to be associated with the use of Action Learning Units. These issues include; interesting focus on learning, Identifying individual learning styles, integrating the circuit and learning styles into action learning, and learning from experience. In some of these programs great emphasis is given on action learning, while in others although action learning seems important target but is relying upon a range of experiential learning in addition to set work and than finally conclude his study in which he suggests further research about them as the data available at the time of this research was limited.

Critique on the article

By making an in-depth research it could be seen that the abstract of this article conveys a brief summary of the whole research in very precise and understandable manners and has managed to get super easy for the viewers to understand initially the info provided by the writer. Likewise in his introductory part whatever is stated in the abstract is offered in detail with an increase of explanations and clarifications, however the author didn't define and clarify the word action learning, scheduled to which some viewers might face challenges in fully understanding the idea and they might lose their interest at first glance. Moreover the key purpose of the research is ambiguous, as the author didn't clarify that what's the key point of doing research on the subject matter and this what benefits it'll bring to the academia and the readers.

Furthermore the author has used relevant extra data relating to the subject matter but on very limited bases, as he has used just a few sources from past studies conducted by other scholars about Action Learning. Likewise he didn't clarify about major data that has been gathered and we can not identify which research methods has been employed by the researcher while gathering information for his research. Furthermore even though the author didn't mention the seeks and targets of his research separately but from the theme of his study they can be easily diagnosed.

Similarly the existing study shows that the author has used both, principal and extra research methods. He has justified the utilization of supplementary data by proper referencing but it isn't clear that how he has conducted primary research and there is absolutely no evidence to prove and justify the principal data used in his analysis. Furthermore his research will not clearly point out that whether he has used qualitative or quantitative research method and that what setting has been applied in his review i. e. whether questionnaires were allocated or interviews were conducted, and that whether such key data was accumulated by using online services or that he has used traditional means.

Moreover the article is well-organized and the findings of the author contain detailed talk in appropriate manners and are properly linked back with the goals and aims of his research.

Furthermore the concluding part shows clear results of the study work and the writer has clearly and specifically concluded his research and an emphasis is given on future research to be conducted to be able to gather more organized information about them matter because at that time the study was focused on the main topic of action learning very narrowly.

And finally the bibliography of the study is shown in appropriate manners and the sources are used constantly in Harvard system, and are extremely possible for the readers to locate almost everything in the bibliography without the difficulty or inconvenience.

Strengths and weaknesses of the article

After a thorough research and an in-depth evaluation of this article listed below are the main advantages and weaknesses which have been determined in this critique.

Strengths of the article

After a comprehensive analysis of this article listed below are the main strengths which may have been diagnosed.

Article Structure

The structure of article is of vital importance to get reputation and attract readers of one's research work. As stated earlier, the overall structure of the article is reasonable and the study conducted by the author is well-organized. Matters are detailed in very sample and understandable vocabulary. The events mentioned are in sequence and paragraphs are associated appropriately with one another. The author points out his concept by using diagram so that audience can simply identify and understand which writer wants to convey.

Author own learning experience

At the finish of the article the author has talked about his own private learning experience gives a definite idea to viewers about Action Learning. He talked about some of his own mistakes at the end of the article which are very useful for those people who are engaged in action learning placed. Through his personal experience an ASL can certainly see that what action might an individual try improve his/her contribution and what action might the group try improve itself.

Identification of defects in peer examination doing his thing Learning

The publisher has made a very good point in his research regarding peer group assessment adopted by different organizations in their program of study, he states that this method will take a significant proportion of time that could otherwise be utilised by participants in discussing more substantial issues about themselves which what could be the advantages of this method and the type of experience will it bring to the group members.

There are other preferred methods that can be used to use it Learning evaluation i. e. learning and reflective logs leading through to personalise Action Planning. Tim Friesner and Mike Hart also support learning logs as a good method of diagnosis of action learning. Regarding to them learning logs are viewed solidly as an examination method of action learning and can even be used as a study method. They say that logs are an increasingly popular tool that are generally used combine with work placements, work-based learning or classes that are underpinned by a concept that action learning is an instructive approach for achieving best learning results. They may be ideal for pushing participants to think about learning, and its structure differs from traditional assessments such as essays and accounts. Nonetheless they are also a way to obtain reflective data, for occasion, if you have 10 learning logs from 10 students which is made up of learning record over an interval of 10 weeks of work with 10 different companies, not only do you have 10 assessments, but also 10 circumstance studies with very abundant reflective data. From this perspective you have the potential to consider learning logs as not only an examination but also as a research method.

Emphasis on using learning logs and diaries

Many action learning facilitators have found creating a log has been an essential part of their learning and an extremely useful tool in their development as a reflective practitioner. An excellent point that is noted in the current article is the fact the author has given much importance and weight on using learning logs and diaries. He has provided thorough information on the trend of using learning logs among different institutions. Because in ALS certain members faced with the general proposition that they must have a learning review at each time and they might adopt it easily and easily but then be experienced at their first meeting with fairly blank brains in conditions of what they have actually learned. Thus the author suggests getting a learning log and learning journal. Here author supply the exemplory case of his own business university where each individual should keep a learning log throughout their action learning MBA with them as part of assessed work

Concentrate on real problems

Author emphasize on the real problems solution. It's very needed for ASL to concentrate on real problems and issues to acquire possible goals. So the action learning set in place must review not only the problems and projects which can be being tackled by the individual members, and how these are being tackled, but what they can be learning from the process of undertaking these exact things. The proposal that there should be a formal learning review at each place meeting will often be implemented with clear identification of its likely benefits in the first stages of the action learning program. The problem will happen later, when the drive for discussion of "real problems" tends to overwhelm the total time open to the set. So that it is vital not only that a set in place should consent to allocate some time for each of its conferences to a learning review, but that it establishes a self-imposed discipline for checking that it does actually set this time around aside.

The use of digital sets

Another good point known in this research is that the author has explained about conducting electronic digital collections through the medium of gadgets. However the question that has been elevated that whether this approach will replace face-to-face placed conferences in future. It could be argued that digital set is very useful in distance education and off campus courses but in the case of on campus studies it could be used as a supplementary tool rather than a substitute. To get this argument, matching to Dickenson, M. et al online or Virtual Action Learning (VAL) emerges as a variety of action learning in its own right associated using its own talents and weaknesses. In their research it's been revealed that the practitioners of the various approaches to VAL frequently focus on diverse prospective advantages from this way to do AL. Just like VAL should not necessarily be measured against face-to-face AL, so worry needs to be studied to make supposition that certain form of Action Learning is better than the other. There is a contradictory opinion about them that whether VAL is a substitute for face-to-face AL or whether they have advantages that could lead it to being preferred over face-to-face AL. they further claim that to be able to clarify the existing controversies the idea of VAL needs further research and exploration. Keevil, J. also highly supports the modern concept of doing Action Learning through VAL.

Weaknesses of the article

After an in-depth study of the existing article the following are the main weaknesses identified by this critique.

No description and explanation of the topic matter:

As mentioned before, the author didn't define and make clear the word action learning which is the core and important part of conducting research on confirmed subject. It would be better if the author could briefly determine and explain the term Action Learning so the readers could easily understand what action learning means. By skipping this essential part the reader may lose interest in reading the article and may find it difficult to fully understand the idea and its importance.

No evidence to verify and justify the use of most important data

Another weakness that is determined in the current article is the fact creator has conducted primary research to be able to gather information regarding the subject material but he didn't provide any evidence to justify the data used in his research. Likewise he did not clarify that what research method has been found in gathering information i. e. qualitative and quantitative research methods. Similarly it is also not clear whatever function of data collection is utilized e. g. questionnaires, interviews etc.

Ambiguity in clarifying the key aspiration of the research

Although this research has centered on Action Learning and has described in detail different action learning cycles and styles that use action learner in their curriculum, but it isn't clear that what's the main potential in conducting research upon this subject matter and what benefits can be achieved by readers out of this study.

No strong quarrels in justifying the main element issues:

From his research the author has identified lots of key issues in Action Learning sets, associated with orientation of members to Action Learning and packages; engaging focus on learning; identifying individual learning styles, real problems resolving, using learning logs and diaries, and providing his own learning experience but there is absolutely no strong discussion on area of the creator to justify the existence of these issues. The weaknesses that exist in detailing these issues by the writer are discussed below.

Hurdles in obtaining validation for Action Learning courses:

Another weak spot that has been identified by this critique is the fact that, in the author's viewpoint there are present obstacle in obtaining validation that are largely predicated on Action Learning and that such process can be discouraging. Here it would be more appropriate to state that instead of considering it as an obstacle, the procedure of obtaining validation can be an institutional requirement to be able to keep up quality education and quality guarantee.

No clarification of the Issues in how big is ALS:

The writer also point out the issue in size of the Action Learning place, but he did not clarify that if the place size is below the common level or surpasses the ideal amount of participants than exactly what will be the challenge. He further says about tool problem in facilitating large groups but it is unclear that the type of source problem could be experienced and how such problem can be maintained. Regarding to Craig Johnson there are no solid guidelines about the constitution of your action learning establish. He states that a band of between four and six fellow learners and also a facilitator is considered ideal. The institute of Control and management follows the same composition, such as ALS should typically composed of four to six people, it should never decrease the minimum of four and the highest number should not be more than eight if it's unavoidable. In any other case ALS will be inadequate and therefore will not likely meet up with the requirements for using Action Learning on an ILM Leadership program.

According to Institute of Command and Management Action Learning takes time, usually almost a year to yearly and preferably is backed by the utilizing company. For the purposes of management qualifications, the very least period of half a year is set, and a maximum of one year, to emphasis the time had a need to develop command skills and also the need to have a limit to the time specialized in the programme.

The benefits and shortcomings of changing packages aren't identified

The writer has described about changing units that should the customers of Action Learning placed stay in the same collection throughout the program of review or they must be changed? He does not mention that is it necessary to change sets or even to leave them unchanged? It would be more appropriate if the writer could point out the negative and positive aspects of both situations.

No image resolution is suggested for issues in set assessment

Although the writer has raised an extremely strong point regarding peer group examination method that is applied in evaluating the work produced by individual set members that this method is additional time consuming and affiliates less benefits, but he did not bring up any alternative method of assessment which could be less time consuming and more helpful towards achieving greatest final result e. g. learning and reflective logs etc.


In the article which is the topic matter of the critical analysis, the author has conducted a research about "effective learners in action learning sets". In his research the author has identified a number of personal connection with Action Furthermore the writer has also determined lots of issues in his research, such as engaging attention to learning, identifying specific learning styles, integrating the circuit and learning styles into action learning orientation to action learning; the utilization of learning logs or diaries by different corporations as part of Action Learning program; and personal learning experience.

The article has a number of strengths which worth taking into consideration, for occasion the author has identified problems in peer diagnosis in Action Learning that method is more time consuming and provides less gain. He has also identified new method of executing Action Learning Collections through the medium of digital camera. The author in addition has emphasised on using learning logs and diaries doing his thing Learning Models which is again a very important factor for assessing team performance.

The article also posesses range of weaknesses, like the author didn't define and explain the subject subject which is very important for clarification to the viewers, and no information has been given to verify and justify the utilization of major data that your author has found in his research. In the same way ambiguity is available in clarifying the primary aspiration of the study which is unclear to understand the main reason behind the author's purpose of performing research on this issue. Furthermore there are no strong quarrels on part of the author to justify the key issues which have been discovered in his research. Likewise the author has described issues in the size of ALS but no clarification has been given.

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