succeed lite guide to reflection
|Site:||Solent Online Learning|
|Course:||Successful Study Guide|
|Printed by:||Guest user|
|Date:||Thursday, 1 October 2020, 9:07 AM|
Table of contents
Reflection - reflective thinking and writing - is an important part of university life and work. The ability to reflect on your experience and knowledge, and use that to make improvements, is a key part of university-level thinking and work.
First of all, do you know:
To reflect, and write reflectively, you need to know:
- how to write reflectively:
including the difference between reflective and academic writing, how to structure your writing and what to include
The next chapter answers the question "What is reflective thinking?"
What is reflective thinking?
To think and write reflectively you have to:
- Experience something
- Think about what happened
- Learn from the experience
- Apply what you have learned
As a student, and in the workplace, you will be asked to be reflective. Thinking or reflecting on the world around you, your experiences and actions will help you to develop and improve your skills.
The next chapter covers How to think reflectively.
Reflective thinking and writing
How to think reflectively
Kolb's Learning Cycle (1984) has four elements of a loop which you can start at any point, though normally you start with an experience:
Figure 1: Kolb's Learning Cycle
The four elements of Kolb's Learning Cycle:
- Experience: doing it
- Observations and reflections: reviewing and reflecting on the experience
- Development of ideas: learning from the experience
- Testing ideas in practice: planning, trying out what you have learned
|Example of using Kolb's Learning Cycle:
Schön (1983) presented the concept of 'reflection in action' and 'reflection on action':
|Reflection in action||Reflection on action|
Schön's theory is that there are two types of reflection, one during and one after an activity or event.
|Example of using Schön's model:
You can put these models into practice through your reflective writing.
Reflective thinking and writing
How to write reflectively
Creating a piece of reflective writing is different to other academic writing as it is more personal and you are writing about your experiences.
The table below lists the differences between reflective and academic writing.
|Personal account||Impersonal account|
|Consider your personal views||Consider the views of others|
|First person||Third person|
|Contemplates||Argues and justifies|
|Finds solutions to problems||Compares and contrasts|
Structure for reflective writing
Figure 2: Reflective writing structure - three Ws
When you write reflectively, use the three Ws:
- What? (description)
- What happened?
- Who was involved?
- So what? (interpretation)
- What is most important/interesting/relevant/ useful aspect of the event/idea/situation?
- How can it be explained?
- How is it similar to/different from others?
- What next? (outcome)
- What have I learned?
- How can it be applied in the future?
- Don't just describe – explore and explain what happened.
- Be honest – it's ok to admit to making mistakes as well as success. But you should also show how you understand why things happen and what you are going to do to improve.
- Be selective – you don’t have to write about everything that happened, just key events or ideas.
- Look to the future – reflect on what happened in the past and how it will have an impact on future ideas or activities.
Finally, do check how your lecturer wants you to structure your reflective writing, as they may want you to write it in a particular way.
This is the final chapter of the book.