What I Learned in the Course

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What Content Areas Did the Most to Advance Your Learning?

There are four content areas that most advanced my learning, which include research as the foundation of the program, qualitative and quantitative research, and determining growth edge. The content area on research as the foundation of this program helped to realize the important role that research plays in solving problems that affect humankind. In the light of this view, I was able to deduce the crucial role that research plays in informing action; fostering growth and evolution of the key economic sectors; and in shaping peoples’ understanding and view of the world around them (Babbie, 2010; Fisher, 2007). Simply stated, this content area helped me in acknowledging the crucial role that research plays in knowledge acquisition, informing actions, and presenting solutions to issues facing humankind. The content area relating to qualitative and quantitative research helped to advance my knowledge regarding the most appropriate form of research that can be employed according to the nature of the problem. An important insights obtained from this content area relates to research integrity, which lays emphasis on researchers using verifiable and authentic research tools (Gulati, 2009). I was able to understand the criteria for determining the integrity of a piece of research, which include dependability, transferability, credibility, and trustworthiness. The last content area that has advanced my learning relates to determining a growth edge. Because of this content area, I was able to determine my growth edge, which I believe is a crucial step in my professional development journey. My growth edge denotes my enhanced ability in applying the information that I have learned, adopting appropriate course of action based on the learned information, and taking new responsibilities as regards the issues that I studied.

What Are You the Most Proud of as You Complete This Course?

As I completed this course, the one thing that I am proud of is that I have acknowledged the value of research in solving societal issues. Throughout the course, I have come to realize the capability of research in advancing new knowledge and providing solutions to issues affecting humankind. In the course, I discovered that, when research is executed systematically and with integrity, almost any kind of societal problem can be addressed, or at least recommendations made that can be used in improving the situation. I can state that this course has been helpful in increasing my knowledge in research practice and my scientific enquiry skills. I can frame any research problem in any field and make recommendations to solve the identified problem in any field. Simply stated, this course was a fit with my goal of personal growth and making significant contributions to the profession.

What Did You Enjoy the Most? Why?

The aspect that I enjoyed the most in the course relates to the critical appraisal of a scholarly or academic article. For a resource to be deemed scholarly, a detailed coverage of the issue has to be provided. A scholarly article is often written by an expert in the field and is subjected to peer review (Ritchie & Lewis, 2003). What I really enjoyed about this aspect is that the assignment required identification and description of the strengths and weakness of the academic article. I likened this assignment to peer review. The feeling of performing a critical appraisal, or at least a peer review of a scholarly article was great, and I experienced what it takes an article to be considered scholarly and be published in a reputable journal. As a result, through the assignment, I am better equipped if in the future I will seek to contribute in a scholarly journal.

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Looking Back, What Was Your Most Significant Growth Edge as It Concerns Topics and the Rigor of Completing the Course? How Have You Developed and Changed?

My most significant growth edge with respect to the topics and rigor of completing this course was to hone my research practice skills, which was an area in which I needed to grow and refine my skills while conducting a credible and reliable research. Despite the fact that I had basic research knowledge and prior experience in doing a research, I believe that my prior skills and experience were not refined enough to conduct a piece of scientific research that can satisfy the standards of a credible and reliable research. During the course, I have developed and changed in a number of ways. The first notable growth area relates to my enhanced ability in searching, analyzing and summarizing information, which are crucial skills needed in conducting a credible research (Ritchie & Lewis, 2003). Another notable growth area relates to my enhanced ability to make recommendations from the findings of a research, applying the newly learned information, and taking the appropriate course of action to help in addressing the problems that the research sought to solve. From a personal standpoint, I believe that my growth edge will depend on any research studies I undertake in the future in advancing knowledge in the field.

What Surprised You the Most about Yourself and How You Approached the Course?

I was amazed with how easy it was for me to find a research topic. It never occurred that my experience in the military would be helpful for this program. My research topic is something that is of personal importance to me, and it is a source of pride because of its personalized nature. This implies that my research topic would result in personal satisfaction with the course. I am enthusiastic about coming up with new ways that can be used in improving the management of homeland security.

What Did You Learn about Yourself that Will Aid Your Progress throughout the Program?

The course played a crucial role in awakening my interest in research. Initially, I had a different view of research and was not optimistic about importance of it in solving problems facing humankind. As a result, this course has played a crucial role in rekindling my hopes regarding the value of research in coming up with solutions to problems by collecting information systematically, using analytical thinking and interpreting information (Walliman, 2001). Given the awakened interest in research practice, I viewed the course as an opportunity to refine my research skills through a number of ways such as the use of qualitative and quantitative information, reviewing sources, and framing the literature review among others. Research is a crucial aspect of the program, and this course helped in renewing my interest in it, which implies that this course will play a crucial role in aiding my progress throughout the program.

Now that You Have Explored Some Literature in the Area of Your Tentative Research Topic, What Are Your Thoughts about the Topic Now? Will You Refine the Topic? Will You Change It?

My tentative research topic is concerned with the issue of law enforcement cultures of investigation and interdiction, which is somewhat a controversial and sensitive issue that has not been addressed in various platforms. After literature review, I realized that vast literature on the issue focus on outlining the rules of engagement that are applicable in the police culture with respect to interdiction and processes. Existing literature also offers crucial information regarding the police culture and the application of the rule of law; however, there is little emphasis on explaining the deteriorating culture of interdictions and investigation among law enforcement officials. The initial focus of my research was comparing investigation and interdiction; however, a gap in literature has been identified, which will be used in refining the research topic to incline towards understanding the factors contributing to the deteriorating culture of investigations and interdictions.

How Can Research Inform Practice?

The primary role of research is identifying a problem and come up with ways that can be used in addressing the identified problem; therefore, it can be argued that research has the primary objective of informing practice. For research to inform policy, it has to be relevant, timely and reliable to the issue of practice that is being investigated. The findings of research can influence practice through what is known as evidence-based practice, which refers to practice that is shaped by empirical evidence affirming the effectiveness of a particular approach. According to Monette, Sullivan, and DeJong (2005), there is the need to capture what evidence says regarding the nature of practice that is effective, in order to help practitioners make informed decisions.

What Approaches, Habits, and Techniques Did You Admire in Your Classmates? How Will You Adapt the Best of These into Your Own Practices?

The habits that I admired most among my classmates are their collaborative culture. My classmates have built a collaborative culture among themselves, which is characterized by open communication and readiness to help when needed. My classmates are free to seek help and equally ready to offer help when needed; the support system among my classmates is superb. Another admirable habit among classmates is honesty and openness in the sense that their peer reviews of work are honest. Other habits that I admired about my classmates include flexibility in the sense that they can balance their obligations effectively; optimism in terms of positive thinking; motivation; persistence; and strong work ethic. These habits are equally needed in my practice. For instance, flexibility will play a role of facilitating work/life balance (Boyd, 2004). Similarly, a strong work ethic is needed for hard work, and collaboration helps in fostering creativity (Boyd, 2004).

Answer the “so What” Question: How Will Your Research Shape the Future of Management?

My research will provide crucial insights as regards to why the culture of interdictions and investigation is deteriorating among law enforcement officials; therefore, my research will make important recommendations on ways through which the culture of interdiction and investigation can be improved.

What Key Things Did You Learn from This Course?

The key things learned from the course include the crucial role that research plays in the acquisition of knowledge and informing action; selecting relevant and useful sources for the research topic; developing a comprehensive literature review; conducting a credible research that draws upon integrity; and determining a growth edge.

What Might Be Your Ideal Mentor in Terms of: Traits, What You Are Looking for, Your Communication Style Preference and Frequency of Meetings or Contact with Mentor?

With respect to communication style preference, my ideal mentor should use the directed style. The directed style has been established to be effective during the beginning of the mentoring relationship, and especially, when the relationship needs strong direction. The directed communication has also been found to be suitable when a person being mentored is venturing into a new accomplishment area (Cho, Ramanan, & Feldman, 2010). The directed communication style is usually one-sided, with a mentor directing a person being mentored through offering a step-by-step approach, helping a person being mentored to access resources, prescribing the method that can be used to achieve success, and sharing individual experience. Nevertheless, as time goes and my experience increases, I would prefer the use of co-directed communication style. With regard to the frequency of meetings, my ideal mentor would have frequent meetings; this is especially crucial at the early stages of the mentoring relationship when a person being mentored needs direction and guidance (Cho, Ramanan, & Feldman, 2010).

What Are 3 Strategies that Will Help You Manage Your Time for Successful Completion of This Program?

Effective time management strategies that I will employ to facilitate the completion of this program include using a to-do list that acts as a reminder of the activities to be done within a specific time and duration; setting goals to be achieved during the course; and the prioritization of activities in terms of importance and urgency (University of Kent, 2014)

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