Reflection is an essential component of process by which students learn through experience.
THIS RESOURCE INCLUDES INFORMATION ON:
- The D.E.A.L. Model for Critical Reflection and the What? So what? Now what? reflection framework.
- Examples of activities that can be used to facilitate reflection on student experience.
- Frameworks for assessing the quality of students’ reflection.
REFLECTION IS A KEY COMPONENT OF STUDENTS’ EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING.
DEFINED AS A COGNITIVE PROCESS WHICH REQUIRES ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT ON THE PART OF THE INDIVIDUAL, REFLECTION INVOLVES EXAMINING ONE’S RESPONSES, BELIEFS, AND PREMISES IN LIGHT OF THE SITUATION AT HAND.
THE INTENTION OF REFLECTION IS TO INTEGRATE NEW UNDERSTANDING INTO ONE’S EXPERIENCE.(ROGERS, 2001)
CONDITIONS OF HIGH-QUALITY REFLECTION
Scholars have outlined several important aspects of the reflective process that should be attended to if students are to achieve high-quality reflections:
- Reflection should be connected to learning outcomes (Beard & Wilson, 2013).
- Reflection should be continuous (Eyler et al., 1996).
- Reflection activities should draw on personal experience as well as be situated within the broader community (Eyler et al., 1996).
- Reflection activities should be guided by a deliberate connection between theory and practice (Bringle & Hatcher, 1999; Eyler et al., 1996).
- Reflection should involve personal changes to the learner and emphasize consistently setting new goals (Zlotkowski & Clayton, 2005).
- Learning is strengthened when activities emphasize inductive (e.g., experience followed by academic learning) and deductive (e.g., academic learning followed by experience) reflections (Rogers, 2001).
TYPES OF REFLECTION
Distinguished based on the timing of the reflection, depth of the reflection, and the motivation behind the reflection, various types of reflection have been defined.
A combination of reflection types is recommended for optimal student learning. Please view the image below for an overview of the different types of reflection.
THE D.E.A.L. MODEL FOR CRITICAL REFLECTION
KUH’S REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR HIGH-IMPACT STUDENT LEARNING
Assessing Reflection Quality
TWO FRAMEWORKS TO ASSESS REFLECTION QUALITY
Below you will find two methods to assess reflection quality.
CRITICAL THINKING STANDARDS:
- Integration – Experience related to learning.
- Clarity – Expand on ideas and provide examples.
- Accuracy – Facts correct and supported with examples.
- Precision – Specific information.
- Relevance – Relevant to central idea.
- Depth – Reasoning beyond conclusions.
- Breadth – Consider other points of views of other forms of interpretation.
- Logic – Makes sense.
- Significance – Addresses major issue raised by reflection.
- Fairness – No bias or distortion in reflection.
(Ash & Clayton, 2009)
REFLECTION EVALUATION FOR LEARNERS’ ENHANCED COMPETENCIES TOOL (THE REFLECT RUBRIC):
This tool assess the five main criteria (y-axis in the figure below):
- Writing spectrum.
- Description of conflict or disorienting dilemma.
- Attending to emotions.
- Analysis and meaning making.
Across the six levels (x-axis in the figure below):
- Habitual action (non-reflection).
- Thoughtful action or introspection.
- Critical reflection.
- Transformative reflection and learning.
- Confirmatory learning.
Other Reflection Assessment Frameworks:
- Reflective Judgment Model (King et al., 1994).
- Boenink et al.’s (2004) Instrument.
- Kember et al.’s (2008) Questionnaire.
- Hatton & Smith’s (1995) Levels of Reflection.
- Wong et al.’s (1995) Coding Scheme.
- There are various types of reflection including reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action.
- The D.E.A.L. Model for Critical Reflection includes: describing, examining and articulating learning.
- A variety of activities can be used to facilitate reflection.
- A popular framework for assessing reflection is the REFLECT Rubric.
References and Acknowledgements
Ash, S. L., & Clayton, P. H. (2004). The articulated learning: an approach to reflection and assessment. Innovative Higher Education, 29(2), 137-154.
Ash, S. L., & Clayton, P. H. (2009). Generating, deepening, and documenting learning: The power of critical reflection in applied learning. Journal of Applied Learning in Higher Education, 1, 25 – 48.
Beard, C., & Wilson, J. P. (2013). Experiential Learning: A Handbook for Education, Training and Coaching (3rd ed.). London, UK: Kogan Page Publishers.
Bringle, R. G., & Hatcher, J. A. (1999). Reflection in Service-Learning: Making Meaning of Experience. Educational Horizons, 7(4), 179-185. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1024&context=slceeval.
Eyler, J., Giles, D. E., & Schmiede, A. (1996). A Practitioner’s Guide to Reflection in Service-Learning. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University
Kember, D., McKay, J., Sinclair, K., & Wong, F. K. Y. (2008). A four-category scheme for coding and assessing the level of reflection in written work. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(4), 369-379.
King, P. M., & Kitchener, K. S. (1994). Developing reflective judgment: understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access To Them, and Why They Matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Rogers, R. R. (2001). Reflection in Higher Education: A Concept Analysis. Innovative Higher Education, 26(1), 37-57.
Stirling, A., Kerr, G., Banwell, J., MacPherson, E., & Heron, A. (2016). A Practical Guide for Work-integrated Learning. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Retrieved from http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/HEQCO_WIL_Guide_ENG_ACC.pdf.
Volpe White, J. (2015). Reflection Handbook. The Center for Leadership & Civic Education, Florida State University. Retrieved from https://www.ufsa.ufl.edu/uploads/cls/reflection_handbook.pdf.
Wald, H. S., Borkan, J. M., Taylor, J. S., Anthony, D., & Reis, S. P. (2012). Fostering and evaluating reflective capacity in medical education: developing the REFLECT rubric for assessing reflective writing. Academic Medicine, 87(1), 41-50.
Wong, K., Kember, D., Chung, L., & Yan, L. (1995). Assessing the level of student reflection from reflective journals. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 22, 48-57.
Zlotkowski, E., & Clayton, P. (2005, April). Reclaiming Reflection. Paper presented at the meeting of the Gulf South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, Cocoa Beach, FL.
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The resource is licensed for re-use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License” using the following citation:
Stirling, A. (2019). Reflection. Presented at the Experiential Learning Hub. Retrieved from https://experientiallearning.utoronto.ca/faculty-staff/plan-and-implement/course-and-program-development-resources/reflection/