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Towards reflective project management: Introducing the Portfolio-in-Practice

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/12/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)118-130
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This qualitative study set out to explore the relationship between the practice of reflection in a project management MSc. programme and reflective practice in the workplace. We propose that students who learn and practice reflection in an academic programme can transfer these skills to reflection-in-action (Schön, 1983) in their project management roles, thereby contributing to the development of reflective project managers. Reflection in the context of post-project reviews forms an essential element in project management. Research has shown that this element is often the exception or omitted altogether due to time constraints (Anbari et al., 2008; Fuller et al., 2011; Nicolaisen & Driscoll, 2016). This study proposes that students who learn and practice reflection in an academic programme can transfer these skills to the project management workplace. Guided by the principles of phenomenography, online survey data were collected from 30 students and postgraduates along with 10 faculty members. The study found that despite initial apprehension students considered the reflective learning process to be useful and three quarters felt they could apply the reflective learnings to their practice after the first module of use. Towards the end of the programme almost half indicated their intention to continue with reflective writing practice post-graduation. Instilling the practice of reflecting on an education programme has two goals. Firstly, to reflect on the learnings of the programme work, at and across modules. Secondly, to bring those learnings forward to a real-world environment, encouraging not just our own development as reflective practitioners, but also the development of reflective project teams. To support these goals, we propose a new model: the reflective learning portfolio-in-practice.

Bibliographic note

This research was undertaken as part of the PhD in e-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University. I am pleased to acknowledge the contribution of tutors and peers in supporting the development of this study and its report as an assignment paper.