“We are inclined to think of reflection as something quiet and personal. My argument here is that reflection is action-oriented, social and political. Its ‘product’ is praxis (informed, committed action), the most eloquent and socially significant form of human action.”
–Stephen Kemmis, “Action Research and the Politics of Reflection” in David Boud, Rosemary Keogh and David Walker, eds.,Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning
Reflective Journaling for Instructor
This short exercise encourages instructors to reflect after each class session about what went well, what did not go as planned, and possible ideas for the future. The exercise includes specific prompts and can help instructors clarify strategies for effective teaching.
Personal Reflection and Intersection
In this activity, students are asked to read a report on a relevant topic and reflect on both how the report handles the topic as well as how the student personally responds to the report. This allows students to critically consider how they personally fit into the public discourse on a relevant class topic.
Reflection Exercise after a Film or Guest Lecture
This activity can be used to encourage reflection after a film screening or guest lecture. It involves both personal reflection through writing or drawing, and group reflection through small-group and large-group discussion.
Personal Analysis of Profession
This exercise asks students to anticipate the challenges and opportunities they may face in their intended profession or social role. It involves creating a personal profile and then sharing it with a partner and the class.
“This I Believe” Essay
Students are asked to write a short essay on their personal philosophy, in order to encourage reflection on why they do what they do. This activity can also help with group bonding and getting to know students.
Cover Letter for Papers
Students are asked to write a cover letter with essays/papers. The cover letter encourages students to take a step back and reflect on both the essay and their writing process. It can be used for a starting point for revision.
Critical Incident Questionnaire
At the end of a classroom discussion, students complete a very short, five-minute questionnaire. The process allows the students to reflect on what they discussed and how they discussed it, and to think about their responses.
Students are given seven minutes to create a portrait of other students using found branches, paper and black ink. Students are introduced to new materials and processes that they might be nervous about. It gives them a taste of working quickly and confidently, in spite of their hesitation and helps to boost their confidence and enthusiasm.