February 16, 2016
Blog Post #2
The first few weeks of class were challenging to all of us. Our group stated off as a group of 5, but during the first weeks, two members have decided to drop the course. we were positive that our diverse backgrounds and skills are compatible for us to work efficiently as a team. We have divided our work based on each of our strengths and objectives by using the asset based community development approach (Mathie, Cunningham, 2003). Byfocusing our attention on our skills and abilities to instead of on our small number of members we are more likely to contribute to Young Agrarians objectives and goals.
Objectives and achievements from January 11th to January 25th:
Our objective for the first week was to get in touch with our community partner, Sara Dent. After some reorganizing and rescheduling, we succeeded in arranging a Skype meeting to discuss Young Agrarians’ goals and objectives for this class project.
Although this conversation enhanced our excitement about working on project, it has also created a sense of confusion about how to synergize our goals, those of our class and those of Young Agrarians.
Another objective that we wanted to achieve was writing our first blog post, that was due on January 18th. Initially, we found this a bit challenging, because we had not been successful in arranging a meeting with Sara before the blog post submission deadline. However, we were able to express our interests and passions, as well as our individual hopes and goals for our project. We felt that we succeeded in writing the blog post and our grade strengthened that feeling.
Objectives and achievements from January 25th to February 5th:
In the following two weeks we worked hard to write up our proposal However, in our tutorial session on February 1st, we realized that our objectives were too broad for the scope of this course and would require significant reductions to be made. It was difficult to exclude some of our goals for the project since we want to be of as much use to the Young Agrarians as possible- however, there is only so much time in the semester. In our tutorial class, we decided that our group would be providing a literature review to Young Agrarians of successful environmental dashboards and of indicators that should be included on them. In our final Skype meeting with Sara on February 8th, she reassured us and let us know that this was a sufficient goal for this semester and the literature review would really help their company out.
We managed to effectively edit and submit our project proposal by the due date on February 5th, and we are confident that it provides us with more direction and that it represents the goals of all stakeholder in this project. Yesterday, we received a grade and feedback for our proposal. Our group is quite pleased with our grade and agree with the feedback that we were given.
You can view our project proposal here.
A Moment of Significance
Based on the “what, so what, no what” model by Rolfe et al., our group has identified a moment of significance since our last blog post and we have outlined the process of our decision-making and how we would act differently in the future (2001).
Since our previous blog post, our group has been getting along very well although we find ourselves very busy with the workload from our courses. In the past month, our main goa was to complete our project proposal which combined the aims and objectives of our group, our community partner and our teachers. We found the making of this proposal to be very difficult and confusing and there were many times where each one of us felt frustrated by the realities of our project. At one point, we felt that our community partner wanted us to complete more than we would be able to within our given time period. Additionally, our in-class discussion with our TA, has left us feeling even more confused about our goals and objectives for the project. In response to this situation, our group approached the head of our class, William Valley, to give us guidance and clarify the goals of the proposal. A few days later, we skyped with our community partner again to clarify the objectives of group and we synergistically found a realistic and appropriate goal for this project. Our group agrees that while this was a stressful situation, especially since we had a timeline to follow to hand-in the proposal, this was a positive experience since it taught us how to problem solve in a stressful situation under a timeline.
In this situation, our confusion had created a messy situation for us, but it has forced our group to ask for clarifications from others; we talked to Will and Sara. Without their help, we would have made the wrong assumptions to solve our problem which would have made our report less concise, more difficult to work with moving forward, leading us to get a lower grade. Our group was motivated to ask others for clarifications because we knew we could not complete our project proposal without them. However, if we were to do it again, we would suggest making preliminary clarifications with the teacher and our community partner before we do the bulk of the work on our proposal. That way, we won’t need to make as serious of edits, essentially writing it twice, therefore saving us time and unnecessary frustration. On the other hand, we are grateful for the messiness that was created, because, as Tim Hartford explains in his Ted Talk titled “How messy problems can inspire creativity” (2016) some of the best results arise from confusion, uncertainty and messiness. Research by Frank Jakel and Cornell Schreiber shows that introspection, essentially self-reflection and self-monitoring, extensively help an individual or group surpass their blocks when problem solving (2013). Our group agrees that self reflection is important in learning and in problem solving, which is why we are relying heavily on our group meetings and our blog posts to reflect on the progress we have made and on possible improvements to our work habits. Since our group does not have extensive experience working on project proposals, we could rely on our own experiences of problem solving and finding creative ways to resolve stressful situations.
Moving forward, our group has agreed that we need to meet up another day a week besides the Monday class time to clarify among our group the goals of each component of our project. This way, we can try help each other and avoid doing unnecessary work or working towards the wrong objectives. If we have trouble meeting the needs of our group, community partner and teachers, we need to be respectful of each stakeholder in our project and try to better understand their perspective. That way, we can understand why they have a certain perspective and we can better achieve all of our goals.
In order to have an efficient research method, our group have decided to come up with several objectives and strategies to tackle these. This will help us in our individual literature research process.
Our upcoming objectives involve the work that is needed to be done during the Reading Break. Our primary primary objective is for each person to conduct literature research on the three pillars of sustainability: Environment, Social and Economical aspects. We have divided our research to be based on our interest. Laura is responsible for the environmental aspect, Hadas is responsible for the economical aspect and Jesline will conduct research on the social aspect. We believe that by dividing our work, we will be more efficient in our research. We have created a list of points that will guide us through our process. This includes to:
– Identify and assess the different environmental dashboards that were developed by other farming organizations.
– Identify gaps in the knowledge about the 3 pillars of sustainability: environment, social and economic the development of our dashboard. Achieving this objective aligns both with our objectives for our project goals, as a group, and with our individual objectives for our individual academic and experiential review papers. Finding these will enable us to recommend areas that require further research to Young Agrarians.
– Analyze the survey results of 58 farmers, who are members of Young Agrarians. We hope that by doing this, we will be able to conclude from existing knowledge about agroecological farming in other global regions, about agroecological farming in British Columbia specifically.
– Summarize key points from previous work that has been done by university students as a thesis project regarding farming and the environment. As we learn about current general farming trends, practices and the environmental impact of these in British Columbia, this too, will help us write recommendations to Young Agrarians for their environmental dashboard.
Our strategies to help us achieve our goals of this project:
– Create a table in Google docs that summarizes key points of the scholarly articles/ papers and peer-review journals that we use to gather information for our environmental dashboard, to be shared with Sara.
– Create an efficient literature individual research strategies.
– Divide our group tasks specific our individual goals.
– Weekly Skype meetings with Sara to ensure that we are reaching our target goals.
– Set up a tentative meeting time for our group outside of class to compile our research materials.
|Jan- 25 (Monday) 10:30 – 11:30 a.m
|Feb 1 (Monday) 11:00 – 12:00 p.m
|Feb 8th (Monday) 11:00 – 12:00 p.m
|· Updates about project proposal: goals, objective and aim of the project
· Sara gave us more of her resources – thesis paper, surveys, websites links
|February 12th (Friday) Blog Post due||· Update on our weekly objectives, achievements, challenges|
|February 26th (Friday) Experimental Review Outline due||· Division of Labor: Laura (Environment), Hadas (Economic) and Jesline (Social)
· Update each other on our research findings
|March 11th (Friday) Blog Post due
Extended to Sunday
|· Update on our weekly objectives, achievements, challenges
· Use the Moment of Significance Change framework
· Listed some of our strategies to tackle upcoming assignments
|March 18th (Friday) Experimental Review Final copy due|
|April 1st (Friday) Blog Post due|
|April 4th (Monday) Final Project Presentation|
|April 11th (Monday) Final Project Report due|
We will also review our proposal report and make improvement based on the feedback we received, such as planning a timeline for researching existing surveys and dashboards, a creating strategy for analysis of the information that we find and thinking about how we are going to present our findings.
In order to achieve our objectives, we have come up with several strategies. First, we will manage our time efficiently and will not procrastinate by using the timeline attached. Although all of us will be busy during the reading break studying for our midterm exam, we have decided to set up 2 hours every day to conduct our research. In addition, by the end of week, we will update each other about our research and findings through Skype meetings. We will use Google docs to compile all of our documents with a short summary about the description of the paper. Finally, we have agreed to remain flexible with everybody’s commitments and help each other out whenever they need it,
Harford, T. (2010, December 21). Tim Harford: How messy problems can inspire creativity[Video file]. Retrieved from http://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Week_04
Jakel, F., Schreiber, C. (2013). Introspection in Problem Solving. Journal of Problem Solving, 6. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=515c5f77-6ed8-4518-bdcc-553b2abebfa9%40sessionmgr110&vid=1&hid=106
Mathie, A., Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset-based community development as a strategy for community-driven development. Development in Practice, 13(5), 474-486. doi:10.1080/0961452032000125857
Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001). Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.