Lisa Perreault


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Title: Understanding Reflection: Using the Reflective Learning Journal

Switch course alternative.png Mini-Course Topic & Purpose

The topic of this mini-course is to help educators learn about reflection to improve student learning and understanding.

The purpose of this mini-course:

  • To gain an understanding of the essential concepts about reflection in student learning.
  • To build upon prior knowledge and experience in order to develop a foundation of conceptual knowledge.
  • To understand the importance of students working through a prior experience to find new ways to solve problems and make decisions.
  • To develop an awareness of the challenges students may face during the process of reflective thinking and learning.

Switch course alternative.png Learning Outcomes

1. According to Dewey (1933), reflection is an active process of learning through a process of self-awareness. It is a review, an analysis, an evaluation, and an activity about an experience. Through reflection, the learner is able to take action for the next experience. The knowledge you gain from this course is useful for educators at all levels of education (Intellectual).

2. You will learn about the basic concepts, knowledge, and skills about reflection. The Gibb's Reflection Model is a six step thinking process which encourages the learner to think beyond the superficial and develop deeper thinking about the experience. This is useful in the classroom or online earning (Cognitive).

3. In group discussions, you will have an opportunity to share your perceptions about what it means to reflect and how students are able to benefit from using it (Verbal).

4. In this course, you will actively participate in a reflective journaling experience. This will help you understand the reflective thinking process from beginning to end (Attitude).

5. An effective strategy for promoting reflective thinking is the reflective learning journal. This is a method of writing about an experience and receiving feedback from the educator and/or from their peers (Motor).

6. During the course, open communication both orally and written, will be used to help you develop your interactional skills (Interpersonal).

Switch course alternative.png Learners' Needs Assessment

Marble.jpg Instructional Opportunity:

Training educators about the advantages of how reflection will help their students develop their thinking, learning, and problem-solving skills. The mini-course instructor will be known as the course facilitator who facilitates and guides educators to learn about reflection in teaching and learning.

Marble.jpg Who are the learners?

The target learners are educators in K-12 or in higher education who are interested and motivated to learn about this topic. Important learner characteristics for this course are: years of teaching experience, level of prior knowledge and experience with this topic, and use of technology. The secondary learners are the students of these educators.

Marble.jpg What will they learn?

Educators will learn and understand reflection as an active learning approach and how it is applicable to student learning. Educators will learn the definition, basic concepts, and the Gibb's cycle of reflection. They will also learn how to use effective strategies and techniques that facilitate student reflection and how to assess student learning using a rubric.

Marble.jpg Instructional Context

This course is taught using synchronous learning in a conference-room setting using with multimedia technology to support teaching and learning. The technology is supplied by the conference facility. The learning environment is a comfortable, interactive setting to encourage participation. The group size is about 20 educators. The time frame for this conference is about 4 hours. There will be beverages and snacks available for all particiapnts.

Marble.jpg Instructional Approach

This course will consist of didactic lectures followed by active, collaborative, and coperative learning. There will be open interactions and discussions among the group of educators. The educators will use recall to assess their understanding of the basic concepts. Course instructor will be a facilitator of the group discussions by providing guidance and feedback. A variety of instructional strategies will be used to engage students in active learning and to encourage interest, motivation, and participation in the course. Technology will be used to provide instructional content: PPT and youtube video. Other instructional strategies will be small group discussions and role playing scenarios. Educators will receive a list of resources useful for reflective learning journal tools.

Marble.jpg Instructional Goals

The course is designed to facilitate on-going activities and strategies to promote interest and motivation for this important topic. When the educators complete this mini-course, they will be able to explain how reflection is used and strategies that will be helpful for their students.

Switch course alternative.png Learners' Performance Objectives

Through a systematic approach of analyzing the educators needs, Wiggins & McTighe's 6 Facets of Understanding is used to assess the educators understanding of this mini-course.

1. Educators will be given a pre-assessment about their teaching background and their interest in learning about reflection (Explain).

2. Educators will be shown a video about a teacher-student interactions and asked to interpret the process of reflection (Interpret).

3. Educators will discuss in small group discussions how they would use reflection with their students (Apply).

4. Educators will demonstrate how to use a reflective learning journal and to design a rubric.(Demonstrate).

5. Educators will share their perceptions and feelings about the value of using reflection (Empathize).

6. Educators will self-assess their understanding of this topic in a post-test assessment (Self-knowledge).

Switch course alternative.png Task Analysis

In this mini-course, developing meaningful tasks will help educators identify how to use reflection in their teaching experiences.

Pre-Assessment & Self-Assessment:

How does assessment contribute to understanding the target learners?

Your task is to provide basic demographic information at the time of course registration and a self-assessment of your knowledge about reflection for student learning.

Unit One:

What is reflection?

Your task is to learn the essential concepts about reflection in student learning and understanding.

Unit 2:

What is Gibb's Cycle of Reflection?

Your task is to learn and understand the steps in the cycle of reflection and how to apply them to a teacher-student learning experience.

Unit 3:

What is a Reflective Learning Journal?

Your task is to learn the various strategies for using a reflective learning journal.

Your task is to learn the importance of a rubric when assessing students' reflective learning journals.

Your task is to learn how to develop a rubric that would be useful for assessing students learning and understanding.

Post-Assessment & Evaluation:

How does the educators' feedback affect their learning outcomes?

Your task is to complete a post-assessment questionnaire that shows your understanding of the content of this mini-course.

Your task is to complete a mini-course evaluation to provide your feedback about the overall course and how it contributed to your learning and understanding of reflection.

Switch course alternative.png Curriculum Map

Mini-Course: Understanding Reflection: Using the Reflective Learning Journal

  • This mini-course curriculum encompasses how educators can incorporate reflective teaching and learning to facilitate student learning and performance.
  • Educators will actively experience how to use reflection personally and professionally. The units consist of an overarching question followed by learning objectives and activities.
Image reflective curriculum map.png

References and Web Resources