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Reflections

You are expected to be a reflective practitioner, and taking the time to write personal reflections is a powerful way to hone your skills. Therefore, you are asked to produce five reflective pieces during our studies in the Spring semester. The calendar specifies the points of the semester at which these will be evaluated. As a professor, I will use the reflections to understand your progress and to inform my mentoring, but it is important to realize that the writing itself is autotelic.

Each reflection should be created as a rhetorically effective, self-reflexive deliverable. Conventional essays are welcome, but so are sketches, charts, screencasts, etc. Choose the communication mode that best fits what you are expressing. If it's interpretive dance, dust off your leotard. You are encouraged to share your reflections publicly, since this will allow for feedback from a wider audience. For example, you could blog your reflection on your team's project site.

The key to a useful reflection is metacognition: thinking about thinking. As you reflect upon your experiences, consider not just what you were doing, but more importantly, what you were thinking. How are you framing the problems at hand? What are your assumptions?

If your reflection is a conventional document, email it to me: plain text should be in the body of the email, and rich text should be attached as PDF or OpenDocument format (ODF preferred). For public reflections, email me the URL and, if the post allows comments, indicate if you would prefer my feedback to be private or public.

In preparing your reflections, consider the following questions:
  • Human-Computer Interaction
    • How did you incorporate user-centered design, and what was the impact?
    • What was the impact of physical prototyping?
    • What did you observe during user testing, and how can you improve these testing processes?
    • How did interaction with your community partner impact your designs?
  • Mobile Development
    • How did working in a resource-constrained environment impact your interface and application architecture?
    • How did the Android Developer Guide impact your design decisions?
  • Teamwork
    • How does this teamwork experience compare with other large team or individual projects you have worked on?
    • Does the risk matrix help you efficiently use your team's resources? Do you think your team should be reviewing the matrix more often or less often?
    • How do the different team member roles coordinate to improve the project?
  • Meta-reflection
    • How did writing reflections impact your learning this semester?
For more information on effective writing, I recommend Heuristics for Invention/Development by Prof. McNely.
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