26 Sample Reflection Exercises

Some sample reflection exercises are included on the following pages. The first is from A Practical Guide to Work Integrated Learning [1] and the other is from Camosun College.

 

 

Sample Reflection Exercises

Daily Bag Drop

  • Each person in the class designs a paper bag to hang in his or her workplace environment.
  • Design blank cards that have “Positive experience at worksite ____________”, “An area to improve: _______________ ,” and  “Goals for next time: _________________”  written on them, followed by an appropriately sized blank space for the student to fill in with text.
  • Following each designated shift at the student’s worksite, the student will sign and date a card and fill in the blank spaces to recognize a positive experience that occurred during placement that day, a challenging experience that requires improvement or an alternate resolution, and the steps that the individual will take to improve practice during his or her next opportunity at the workplace.
  • At the culmination of the work experience, the student will empty the bag and recount the various positive aspects, challenges and improvements that he or she made throughout the work-integrated learning opportunity.
  • These cards could also provide the foundation for a written analysis or discussion with the class.

Two Things

  • Each individual is required to record two things following every opportunity/shift in the workplace that has been significant for his or her learning.
  • The individual will then record the ways in witch these aspects can be applied to future practice or integrated with other knowledge learned in the classroom.

Field Notes

  • Students are to create a small reference book that details one interesting aspect of the work experience, improvements that have been achieved, something useful that the students have learned, and new terms or goals for future action for each letter of the alphabet.

Collaborative Drawings

  • Students break up into groups of 3—4. Provide the students with a large piece of paper and writing utensils.
  • Request that the students collaborate to create a drawing that represents their experience and learning throughout their work experience.
  • Ensure that all students have a personal piece included in the drawing that is relevant to their experience.
  • Each group is then required to describe their drawing at the front of the class. Included in this discussion should be each individual student’s personal part of the drawing, as well as the ways in which each of the personal aspects of the drawing connect with each other to address a higher-order theme or topic.

(Adapted from Volpe-White, 2015)

 

 

The timing of the reflection is also important. Instructors should develop strategies to encourage continuous reflection both during and following the work experience.

It is also important to assure appropriate distance between the learning experience and reflection (Fade, 2002; Rogers, 2001, as cited in Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, n.d.). For post-experience reflections, enough time should be allowed to pass so that students can look back on their experience, but not so much time that details of the work experience may be forgotten. [2]

 

The activity directly below is included with permission from Camosun College.

Activity (Word)
Activity (PDF)


  1. Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (n.d.). A practical guide for work-integrated learning. Retrieved from Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario: http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/HEQCO_WIL_Guide_ENG_ACC.pdf
  2. Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (n.d.). A practical guide for work-integrated learning, p. 73. Retrieved from Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario: http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/HEQCO_WIL_Guide_ENG_ACC.pdf

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Sample Reflection Exercises by Nicola Soles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book