The Final Reflection Paper is your chance to reflect individually on your whole experience of this semester – the readings, journals, discussions, and papers as well as the service project – and distill your learning about the project, your part in it, and what you have learned for the future. As usual, the best papers will take an honest, hard-nosed look at what you and your classmates have done, compose a thoughtful analysis, and bring in the most important, relevant concepts and specific details to support your thinking. You should report in detail what you think went well in the project. At the same time, there is no shame in acknowledging what you (and the class) have not done well, only in not reporting it and showing that you have learned from it. Often the best learning emerges from our errors and shortcomings, while some successes can mask activities where we didn’t do things so well but were just lucky in a positive outcome.
Your paper should cover at least five dimensions:
A. Successes and Setbacks (20%)
Identify for the whole enterprise project key areas of success and shortfall. Do the same for your division and subgroup. Be persuasive and specific. A well-reasoned analysis will explain the reasons for successes or setbacks and spell out what key factors – internal to the group as well as external factors – contributed to achieving goals or falling short.
B. Concepts Pertinent to Explaining Results (20%)
You should provide an in-depth analysis of several concepts in the class that help explain results. This is important so you can draw out general, abstract ideas that can be important, not just in this project, but in future activities. For example, maybe you have a new appreciation for such things as, “Face-to-face is the best way to get people to commit to some task,” or “There are situations where Interpersonal Influence is better and others where Personal Dominance is better,” or “Having a compelling vision and goal is critical,” or “Small groups can have advantages over large ones because . . . “
Note that your application of conceptual material will be evaluated separately from successes and setbacks, but your analysis from the conceptual standpoint will probably be integrated into the section of the analysis of the latter (A above).
C. My Part in the Project (25%)
What are you proud of in your contribution to the project? What could you have done differently or more of or less of? If you were a smart, experienced business person making a judgment about your contribution to this service project, how would you rate yourself on the following question? Why?
Again, be honest with yourself in this section, with good specifics. You will be assessed on your analysis of what you have learned, not on your shortcomings.