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DCU formally recognises and rewards the achievement of holistic education by accrediting a module in extra-curricular activities – the Uaneen Module. The Uaneen Module is a unique scheme that formally recognises the work done and learning acquired by students with University and outside clubs, societies, community work and extra-curricular activity in general. Depending on your degree programme, the Uaneen Module can be either a contributing 5 credit elective or a non-contributing optional additional 5 credit module. In both cases, successful completion means that you will be awarded credits that are included in the degree parchment. DCU is the first third level institution in the Republic of Ireland to reward extracurricular activity in such a manner. The Uaneen Module is managed and administered by DCU's Office of Student Life and is endorsed by IBEC. The Uaneen module is only available to final year students and is a year long programme.
+ Courses that Offer Uaneen as a Contributing Module
AF BA in Accounting & Finance
• ALIS / ALISI BA in Applied Language and Intercultural
• ALIST / ALTSYA BA in Applied Language & Translation Studies
• BCL / BCLYA Law & Society
• BS / BSE / BSI Bachelor of Business Studies / Exchange / Intra
• CCS / CCSYA BA in Contemporary Culture & Society
• CS BA in Communication Studies
• ENGLIC BA Languages for Int. Communications
• EPL / EPLYA BA in Economics, Politics and Law
• IBLC / IBLFG / IBLFS / IBLGS / IBLJ
• BA in International Business & Language
• IR / IRYA Ba in International Relations
• MMA BSc in Multimedia
• SSH BSc Sports Science & Health
+ Uaneen Module Requirements
Students are required to attend one compulsory workshop in each semester. Students will submit a Log of Activities, a reflective assessment form and a short 500-700 word reflective essay in semester 1. During semester 2, students will submit a 4,000 word reflective portfolio that critically reflects on skills and competencies they have gained through their years of involvement in DCU Clubs and Societies and voluntary work. During the year, students will be expected to attend short tutorials to assist them in writing their portfolios.
+ Uaneen Handbook
+ What is Reflective Writing?
Reflective writing is evidence of reflecting thinking and critical analysis of your own experiences. Reflecting thinking involves:
Looking back at an event or experience
Analysing in-depth the event or experience - trying to explain what happened, how you felt about it at the time, your emotions during the event or experience, other people’s perspective of the event or experience, what you learned from the situation
Thinking carefully about how the event or experienced changed your perceptions and behaviours and how you would apply that learning in future similar events
Reflective writing is NOT descriptive - it should be written from a personal perspective and critically analyse the learning you achieved. Reflection is an exploration of events and focuses on emotions and feelings as an event or experience happened. Reflective writing should consider anxieties, errors and weaknesses as well as strengths and successes.
The Uaneen module expects students to have the ability through reflection to ‘think forward’ and to have an understanding of how their actions and behaviours affect their community involvement and civic interactions now and in the future.
Structuring Reflective Writing There are loads of models that you can use to help you write reflectively. Here is a guide to some of our favourite ones to help you start thinking about writing reflectively:
What (description) - give a short description of what happened and who was involved. Description in any reflective writing project should use up no more than 1/4 of your writing.
So What (interpretation) - what was important, relevant or useful during the event or experience. How can you explain it? How can you interpret it? How can you get meaning from it?
Now what (outcome) - what did you learn? How can you use this learning to influence your future behaviours?
This is an effective way to answer competency based questions and helps you break down your thoughts in clear sections.
STARS stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result, Self-Reflection.
Situation - Briefly describe what happened, who was there. Task - What was the aim, what was your role, what did others do? Action - What did you do, how did you contribute? Result - What results were achieved, what did you learn?
+ An Example of Good Reflective Writing
I have always been involved in sports from a very young age. Through my involvement with my sport over the years, I have learned many skills that I continue to build upon. One skill I have learned through my sport is time management. When I came to DCU first, I was so keen to get involved in as many clubs and societies I could and I signed up for more than I could manage. I was beginning to have less time for my sport and I realized as the weeks went by that this was impacting on my wellbeing. I was used to physical activity and I felt that not attending regular training was making me feel sluggish and not at my best. I was also finding it difficult to concentrate on my academic work as my commitments to clubs and societies was beginning to take up so much of my time. By Christmas of my first semester, I felt burned out and overwhelmed by college life. I didn’t feel confident doing my Christmas exams as I felt I had stretched myself so thin I couldn’t give proper attention to anything. After Christmas, I made the decision to cut back on the amount of clubs and societies I was involved in and to again begin regular training with my sport. I drew up a schedule for myself and filled in it with my lectures. Then I filled in my training over three nights of the week. I made a commitment to give myself every Sunday off to give myself a chance to rest. Then I decided which society I felt I could dedicate myself to two nights a week. After making my schedule, I felt I was in better control of my time and that I could balance my academics with my social life and feel now that I have a good balance in my life. This makes me feel happier and more in control. Self-reflection - Critically analyse what happened, what you did, what you learned, would you act differently in future in a similar situation, how will your learning influence your future reactions, thoughts and behaviours.
Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle
** Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle is designed to help people learn from their experiences and to consider different aspects of that experience. Learning is a continuous experience and that is why the arrows between sections are constant. Some things to consider as you look at each section of the cycle are:
Description - short description of what happened, who was involved, what did you do?
Feelings - how did you feel as it was happening, how did you feel afterwards, how do you feel now? How do you think others involved felt?
Evaluation - What was good about the event or experience? What was negative about it?
Analysis - This is where you reflect on all the positive and negative effects of the experience, what you learned from it, how you feel about what happened, if you adjusted your behaviour or thinking, what skill did you learn as a result.
Conclusion - This is where you critically think about what else you could have done in the situation. You should consider how you would act in a similar situation in future, how you can use your new skill you learned.
+ Description or reflection?
In simple terms, writing is either descriptive or reflective. Descriptive writing will not contain any emotional reactions, thoughts, feelings or any plans for future improvement.
Reflective writing will consider feelings during/after an event or experience, your evaluation of what happened, a conclusion about what you learned about yourself as a result of the event or experience and an action plan for how you would behave differently in a similar future event.
The Uaneen Module is a reflective model and descriptive writing should take up a very small part of your portfolio. To help you get a better understanding of how a reflective portfolio should read, please see the examples of previous portfolios on this page.