Critically the retrospective commentary was seen as a vehicle for reflection; reflection on what has been learnt, how it has been learnt and what strategies could be employed to develop learning in future. The patchwork approach puts the individual into the learning process rather than the content. The retrospective commentary or ‘stitching’ is a place where it is appropriate, legitimate and customary to explore the experience of learning. Legitimacy here is particularly important since many of the learners come with experiences of formal learning where perhaps exploring weaknesses is not ingrained.
Through dialogue with the undergraduates on the BA LTR, the patchwork approach needed to be clearly explained, discussed and conceptually mapped, if learners were to benefit from the process, rather than to face confusion. Where researchers expressed a lack of understanding about the process their appreciation of its benefit was much less, reinforcing the need to be explicit about the purpose of this approach to the learners undertaking it.