How to Enhance Experiential Learning Through Critical Reflection

two things before we begin first of all this building for most of you know what this is this is our golden rock it has all of our faculty events on one side on the other is highlights specific events throughout the semester the reason that we’re towards the end of this semester but I put this up to you now so you can be on the lookout for this in the spring and then publish every semester experience all the units keep a look out before you leave today she would fill out one of these the isolation form itself on your table and legal would read at the front desk this helps us to maintain some quality control in degree at the bottom the question number form is really important to us what can we be doing here at the CPE to help address back Thank You Jeremy and it is just great to be here with you today I am a big partner and fan of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Maryland I do workshops with them every semester and really enjoy that interaction so I am really happy to be able to have the opportunity to engage with you today around the topic of critical reflection and I actually broadened the topic so I know it says there specifically related to experiential learning but I really want to talk today about how did deepen learning in all courses whether or not there’s an experience or learning component through critical reflection and so it’s one of my one of my very favorite topics to talk about because I think it really is it really it really applies to all of the areas that we that we teach in do um do it do we assume that everybody knows each other it would be good to quickly go around and do some introduction let’s quickly go around and just just give us your your name and the department you’re with I would love that because that will really help me as well so please start great thank you that’s terrific it’s also really wonderful that there’s such a nice blend of academic and student affairs here that seems to be really so much more natural here at USC than it is in other places so just know that and appreciate that and I know it has something to do with your reporting lines but it’s obviously got more to do with it than that so in addition to the service-learning courses the many service-learning courses that I’ve taught over the years I have I’ve recently taught two courses that involve critical reflection in a very big way one is the second year doctoral seminar for students in our Student Affairs higher ed program and that course is around professional issues in which they select the issues that they think are most important for them to learn about and decide how they’re going to go about learning that and how they are going to be critically reflective practitioners and faculty members around those issues and then the second is a capstone course that I teach for undergraduate students who’ve been very involved in service and leadership and civic engagement throughout their years and it’s called now quat question mark composing a life of meaning and purpose so the academic content of that course is social change we study social change strategies they do a service-learning project that involves one of the social change strategies and reflect on its success and also do a lot of reflection about making meaning of what they’ve learned in their undergraduate experience and then how that’s going that that meaning is going to inform decisions that they’re going to to make throughout their lives as they compose their lives of meaning and purpose so what I got into teaching that course because I heard way too many students who’ve been through service learning experiences even things like I learned a lot from working with the community like so what

does that mean and I heard students you know who study abroad well I just learned so much from being in another culture well you know we really need to prompt students to go much much much deeper than that so the students just very often come away from our courses with a vague sense of the impact that their experiences have had on them but not really aware of their own learning what it is they’ve learned how they learned it and the implications of that for being lifelong learners so so for me that there’s a real missed opportunity here for students to learn about and use their own learning processes their own reflective processes to develop the metacognitive skills that enable us to question and make meaning of our experiences and our acquired knowledge so that’s what leads me to critical reflection so I am here to talk with you a little bit about what is critical reflection to offer an overview of the various forms what does it look like in the classroom and then quickly walk you through the steps of designing and facilitating critical reflection in in classes and even out of certainly in out of class experiences as well I’m very informal so if you have a question or something to share this please don’t don’t hesitate to raise your hand and we’ll build we’ll just go for it and since this is a workshop on critical reflection I’d like to walk the walk a little bit by asking you to take a moment to reflect on on these questions so think a little bit about what are some of the myths that faculty members hold about critical reflection because trust me we do and what doubts or anxieties you know do you have about facilitating critical reflection in your classes or the experiences that you work on with students and then so what’s the most intriguing thing to you about engaging students in critical reflection or so why did you come here to this workshop besides the good food and the good company so so take up take a couple minutes and just just think about those so I know some of you are still writing and thinking and eating and that’s all good but uh so what are some of those myths so what came to mind you could just kind of shut them out yeah that I’ll tell you this is a true story from my my nap what class so again these are juniors and seniors mostly seniors who’ve been very active and in community service and service learning and leadership and I the first day of class we went over what is critical reflection some of the stuff we’re going to talk about right here today and I asked okay so how many of you have had at least one class you’re here at the University of Maryland where you would say you’ve engaged in in this this critically reflective process how many how many raise their hands zero zero and so I think that that is a very accurate shirt if there may be a myth but but in in some cases it’s also accurate yeah what else what other what else what do you think faculty members kind of think that there is no time for this yeah I have no time for that that’s right we got a covered material no time to reflect yeah forget that yeah oh it’s fluffy is another one it’s really fluffy that’s not academically rigorous stuff yeah cannot assess it that’s right like assessing you know a low you know can you assess a love like you too great a love letter and that went on asking students to to talk about their feelings here they can that we want them they can

write about their feelings but we also want them to write and tell us about and reflect on what they think about their feelings and where they came from and how whether they want to you know hold on to those values that they’ve always had or not so yeah yeah yeah exactly other myths anything else out there yeah so the second doubts anxieties like a little nervous about this yeah okay you can’t do this in a large class I ain’t gonna work others we will come back to that one but yes oh yeah there girl I take it out there and I’m gonna be I’m gonna lose control and again I’m not gonna be able to cover that material there you said it there you said it those are those are those are really yeah certainly ones I’ve heard before okay so what’s kind of exciting about it so what you know what what brought you here to want to want to learn more yeah it’s how we learn about ourselves as learners and we want our students to be lifelong learners right yeah yeah what else yeah yes love those aha moments you know and you know it really does give us one of those those rare opportunities to watch them grow yeah that’s fabulous definitely absolutely definitely because if students are critically reflecting on course content I also encourage them to critically reflect with me about the course and I learn a tremendous amount from that’s not just you know you know a ticking off a few boxes and an evaluation at the end of the semester it’s thinking about what not only you know what did I learn in this class but what is it about how we went about learning that debt that informs me who I am as a learner and and to develop those you know that the practice you know of critical reflection it’s great yeah it’s absolutely true there are so many Smits those missed opportunities that that students we you know we think that you know we’ve given them the kernel of what it is that that they can learn and and then we leave it up to them and and you know particularly if we’re talking about you know students early on first-year sophomores more structures needed we need to guide that reflective process structure it so well there’s a lots of exciting things that I hope you will leave with with with many many more so so let’s get down to it so just what is it she’s talking about here so simply put critical reflection is the powerful process of making meaning out of a purposeful combination of experiences and they don’t have to necessarily be experiences outside the classroom classroom based experiences reflective experiences an academic content it adds depth and breadth to meeting by challenging those simplistic conclusions that we hate to hear comparing varying perspectives examining causality and raising more and more challenging questions so without critical reflection a students can come away from our courses with oversimplified views of very complex issues or cling to their own single perspective without considering a wide range of others it really makes makes students challenge their Opry oryx of assumptions and develops those critical and integrative thinking skills which are obviously central to to the college experience more specifically critical reflection and I use this definition with my students is the process because it is a process it’s not a product it’s a process of analyzing reconsidering and questioning so really critical verbs they’re analyzing reconsidering and questioning our experiences prior to the class as well as in the class and in the future within a broad range broad context of issues and then content

knowledge related to to a particular course you know we always hear experience is the best teacher but you know what that’s not necessarily the case experience without reflect should I mean it can be a very problematic teacher students can in fact learn the wrong things it is possible to reinforce our stereotypes if we don’t have the opportunity to really learn about issues and people who are different from us again to develop those simplistic solutions to complex problems and how many times have we seen this one just general generalizing inaccurately based on really incomplete data so those of us who teach service-learning courses have heard statements like I have heard while homeless people would be able to get off the street if they just get a job would that it would be that simple so I really love John Dewey’s definition of critical reflection again I use this with my students I introduce it on the first day of class and in both my classes the classes that I teach and I I I refined is his definition to be very nuanced and really useful and for Dewey so critical reflection is the active persistent and careful consideration again I love those adjectives active persistence and careful consideration of any belief we might hold or a supposed form of knowledge and their supposed form of knowledge because we’re where then we’re really are challenging students to examine their knowledge that make a metacognitive process so in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends so again III think this is a wonderful definition of metacognition it comes from how we think by the way which is in your in your reference list so I like to turn now to a model that produced by our colleagues Eiler Giles and Schmiedt again in your in your handout that has guided many of us in beginning to think through the process of how the critical reflection might work in in our classes many of us have used it in service-learning for years but it’s also very useful for us and you know it in all all types of courses across disciplines so critically Hritik or reflection is continuous we were just talking about this this morning in the context of of you 100 of value 101 rather we call it you 100 on my campus so I was getting confused of you 101 about so how important it is not just to do to go through the whole course do a service project and then tack a reflection paper on at the end the students will know that they will know it’s tacked on at the end so I think for the deepest learning to occur reflection needs to be ongoing again we’re talking about developing the lifelong habit and practice of critical reflection so it should occur throughout the course and not just at the end in a final paper it should be connected because connected reflection builds bridges among content learning personal reactions or reflections and first-hand experiences either in the field in a lab in the classroom and when intentionally connected with academic content students find that field experiences can make theories real can turn statistics into people in situations and raise questions that just might not otherwise be raised and then critical reflection is also challenging because it poses old questions in new ways is intentionally designed to reveal new perspectives and raises new questions more and more new questions again reflection always opens more doors than it closes and again if that’s one of those things that makes faculty I’m not going to do that so it avoids those simplistic conclusions that we were talking about and it’s also I think really important too we talked about this a lot in talking aboutyou 101 to really carefully assess the level at which our students are we got it we got to teach the students that we got and we need to make sure that we are not not giving them reflection that is too challenging or they’re not going to they’re not going to take the risks that that learning requires we’re not going to we’re not we’re not going to get them to do that and if the reflection is is is too simplistic for them and they just don’t you know they don’t really think that this is challenging enough then we’re not bringing them to UM as the director of our Center for Teaching Excellence at Maryland likes to say to their learning edge they’re just going to give you back those stock answers if we’re not challenging enough so it’s that balance

of challenge and support and then critical reflection needs to be contextualized to ensure that the form and process of reflection are guided by the context so the topics and activities that we choose for reflection need to be meaningful in relation to the course content and the experiences that students are having and link to the learning outcomes of the course because students again will pick up really really quickly if the learning outcomes are here and the contents here and the reflections over there so we really we really need to be integral and what will look more about that and you also I think we also need to be need to be be thoughtful in the way of um context of what else is going on in students lives see we’re not gonna get the deepest reflection the day before spring break so we’re probably even in the middle of you know midterms or the day before last last class before finals but also about what’s going on in the world as I was teaching my mind nap what class and I came in and we’re gonna take a which you’re gonna take a really deep look at some of the issues with why American democracy might not be working as well as we’d like it to so that was gonna be the content of the class so for that day and it was back in February and my students came in and I started talking about democracy and they one of them looked at me and said we want to talk about Trayvon because the whole Trayvon Martin business had just unfolded and on things it was just spinning you know out all over the news and we want to talk about trial eyes they were so focused and so concerned that if I had forced them into reflecting about you know you know American democracy they might not have they wouldn’t been with it and so we took some time and I asked them what were their concerns and then and then eventually tried tried my best to relate it to what to the course content and get back to it but if we hadn’t if we hadn’t learned yeah if I didn’t realize what was really going on for them then I think you know they would have gone here and I could have been going there and you’re not gonna get the kind of you know of reflection that that that we are after so so in summary reflection is critical when it’s carefully and intentionally designed you’ll hear that a lot careful and intentional designed to generate learning by applying theory to practice examining causality and raising deeper and deeper questions it deepens learning yeah by challenging simplistic conclusions comparing different perspectives and questioning acquired knowledge and beliefs and then it also documents student learning by producing evidence of learning and assessment so that contradicts that myth right there so questions so far before we move on to look at what critical reflection really can look like in the classroom yeah please yeah go for it go for it yeah sure right up there the example like before they yeah what what a learning opportunity and then again to that teacher then models for students what a reflective teacher would be yeah that’s terrific that’s great so as I’m as I go on keep in your mind what’s a missed opportunity there was one is one great example missed opportunity for student learning that’s occurred in the context of your courses or your work with students outside the classroom so just kind of thinking well you know what what did they not get that we hoped and thought that they would get

so just keep that in mind kind of as we as we as we go on so so I will I do want to talk about the modes of of critical reflection and again they’re not mutually exclusive but they’re kind of for generally more general modes that we talked about speaking writing activities and media and so speaking can take many forms I mean there’s the obvious ones class discussions and presentations but there’s also I’m asking students to teach a class and this could even done in a larger class because they can work in teams and providing thought leadership so for example in the now what class we study social change strategies so each of the students becomes the thought leader on a particular social change strategy and so I give them the structure and they come in be prepared to talk about you know what the strategy is what its when you know what situations it’s best used in what are its pros and cons what are some examples throughout history and current practice that that has been used that that and then and then I’m so and then too they feel they feel the quote day feel the questions and of course I’m there to support and help them but so a lot of we you know how much reflection goes in to our preparation for classes and leading students in reflection you know an outside class activity so that’ll give you an idea of the kind of reflection that they would then go through in preparing for that I also like to another you know kinda speaking activity I like to engage students in is is the elevator speech so the so you you put yourself in the position that you are gonna have one minute to convince somebody of something that’s very important to you in whatever field you’re gonna go into so you’re at a you’re at a scientific conference and you have one minute to ride up the elevator in the hotel where the conference is being held with with um somebody from NIH who has the potential to fund your big idea so you have one minute to explain that idea so the kind of reflective process that would go into that or you’re you’re you’re you know a nursing student and you get to ride you have the opportunity by chance to ride up the elevator with the doctor and so you have the opportunity you have a one minute to explain to that doctor why what you think the patient needs might be different from what the doctor does and so so it really so students can do this individually to share their their speeches of you know with one another and polish each other’s and you can give them even like a little you know through four question rubric you know what was the point you got how confident when you know was the speaker and so but great reflective process goes into thinking about what I’m what I could say in one in one minute that’s something you could really really do inside a class debates and deliberation are both great examples we were talking about this earlier also with Dan Friday’s talking with Dan Friedman about the context of doing that in in in you 101 where students could either debate an issue or deliberate and just to learn the idea of you know if we’re talking about public problem solving while it’s done through you know through citizens deliberating you know about the problem in a debate you know we try to defeat the other person we try to win we put our best ideas out there we try to beat them as we’ve seen unfortunately too much of lately but deliberation we put out our best thinking to invite others in to help us improve it and we take the best of yours and the best of mine and we put it together we try to come up with a common solution so we get a great in-class activity for you know for students to you know to you know to consider and then sometimes even you know after either a debate or deliberation then students can put their solution particularly with deliberation in into into writing and write a letter to the editor of a local or influential national publication or or write a letter to a politician or other elected official so all kinds of great stuff there writing is usually the predominant form of reflection that we think of in academic courses and so if in fact clear concise expository writing is one of the course goals then writing would be a great form of elective inflection to use and so journals we often think of but there’s also problem analysis case studies essays again those letters to the editor press releases drafting legislation and so the double-entry journal is is a tried and true method if you’re interested in this after you hear my little description you can just google double-entry journal and you’ll find lots of formats online so although there are there are lots of ways to do it and it generally we provide prompts to the students for one page of the

journal they write about their subjective reflections so you know what do I think what do I feel after doing this or experiencing this or reading this and then on the other side of the journal so if that’s on the right-hand the left-hand side we would provide prompts for more objective reflections analytical thinking and writing and and then students then can see that reflection can be both about our feelings and values and then about them more analytical yeah Kari oh let’s see give me I know I know you’ve told me a little bit about what you seem to give me an example something like that mm-hmm oh yeah okay that that’s helpful so on the subjective side if that’s usually in Starbucks example the students can actually get a drink at the Starbucks so how did you feel you know how did you feel that you were treated did you like this experience you know would you go back what would make you go back you know what didn’t you like and then on the objective side say that they have read I would relate it to material that they had read and I will ask them okay so you just read this this author’s perspective on what’s the best way to you know manage customer service so how did that theory hold up in practice did you see it did it work because one of the things that’s really outstanding for students in any field is is to provide you know a theoretical piece have them test it either you know through experience doing or you know and then I’m then to reflect on you know on whether that theory held up you know in in practice yep yep absolutely and so so some one of the guidelines that one of my faculty colleagues looks at if we have time we’ll look at that example you know in a little bit and she has requires – she teaches a course on the psychology of domestic violence so in the spring semester the students learn about that the statistics the theories behind you know why we have a domestic violence and what are the societal implications and all those things a lot of this a lot of the numbers and stuff and then in this and they’re also there their advanced psychology students so then they go in the spring they go into a battered women’s shelter and they actually do some so you know something something some group work there and then so the reflection papers that she has them right – we – page reflection paper each week and she says no more than one paragraph can be about the what so what you experienced how you felt only one paragraph of description the rest has to be analysis so you can we can be that specific and and and we should be we really should be particularly more structure more scaffolding more specificity for students early on you know as freshmen and sophomores for sure so I would and then I got lots of other examples but I’ll go on it just what run through the other two modes so activities or reflection through action works well for many students by providing variety and if it’s done in groups it helps to develop teamwork skills so again it goes back to your learning outcomes so if one of the of the learning outcomes for your for your class or or project is for students to learn how to to work collaboratively to solve problems or to you know to get something done as a group then you might want them involved in activities as far as you know reflection if it’s if writing is preeminent then equation might go with writing speaking in a communication class and that’s that’s how you might one of the criteria you might use – you know – to determine but you know so there’s any number of you know of ways to do that having students work together in teams on problem-based learning works really well so problem-based learning I know some of you are very familiar with it it’s sort of like the the more intellectual cousin of case study and case study we got to give students all the facts and sometimes even the solution that’s what we do in

law school we give them even you know the the resolution and they have to analyze you know why why that came about what were the factors that brought that resolution about in problem-based learning we give them you know meant many fewer facts and much less guidance and they and asked them to give them but we basically give them the kernel of a problem and have them come up with potential solutions and then the reflection can be about which you know which of the solutions and what might we take from this solution or that solution works very very well in large classes because you can divide students up into small groups and then each can share what they think is the best element of their solution and they can as you know the larger group you know put something together so that works that works really really well as well scenario simulations and role plays work are just excellent so here’s an example from engineering so students are given a scenario in which individuals have different perspectives on the same situation and each each student has a role takes a role and they enact the scenario and the roles are sometimes that have conflicting interests or objectives and so the engineering examples of the students in this in this intro to engineering class as a real-life class actually design and build a playground in a neighborhood and so the the roles that the player the students take might be children parents older neighbors who might have a very different perspective on the playground then the children elected officials school personnel the owners of local businesses and then after after the roleplay students critique and evaluate the role this also can work it can work well in in a class of 300 students because you could have you know seven or eight students in acting the role in front of the whole group and then other students in groups critiquing you know the scenario so so it’s certainly there are lots of things that can work in in large classes so the last example I’ll mention is is media and it all this offers opportunities for students who sometimes might find it more difficult to reflect really deeply on values you know on their long head held our family’s values through nonverbal means so collages drawings photo or video essays really effective musical compositions art forms poetry I mean all of those can be very effective and and and also will reflect them different talents that students have and another thing you can do is give students an option they have to reflect on a particular topic or issue but they could do it in different ways and so they could do it through artistic means versus a presentation versus or written or written paper so that’s certainly something that that that you that you can do so the use of media becomes even more powerful because students can then revisit what they did earlier in this early and the semester they can do it look at it immediately and then later on and sometimes they really can see some differences in how they felt earlier you know versus later written writing can you know can work for that as well so questions about the forms of reflection you think org or our examples that you’d like to share well let’s go on to the steps and so I’ve kind of and say you have a curriculum map in your handout so it kind of guides you through the steps of developing critical reflection in your in a class or in a in a program so so the steps they look they look pretty simple about identifying your learning outcomes and designing activities obviously to achieve the outcomes actually doing it engaging the students and then the assessment so of course they’re very simple words wrapped around a complex process so let’s take kind of a little quick closer look at what at what that looks like so critical reflection is something you would want to consider for outcomes around some of the more complex dimensions of reasoning like things like developing enhanced understanding questioning received knowledge as well as theories and assumptions examining causality and evaluating potential solutions to complex problems so you wouldn’t invoke critical reflection for things like acquiring basic data or memorizing facts and yeah sometimes we do need to do that when we need to learn something we have

to have something you know to use in our something to reflect about so we need some knowledge we need some facts so it’s not necessarily ideal for you know for that specifically but certainly can enhance student learning about those that and help put it into context for them because you know facts without without context we know it’s not it’s not relevant we don’t we don’t let that’s nothing that’s not important for us and then step two is again designing those reflection activities to achieve the learning outcomes so if this really involves making choices that are informed by the learning outcome so when I I work with a group of faculty fellows on my campus who are designing service learning classes but whether it was a service-learning class or another kind of we spend the first three sessions that we work together and these are two-hour sessions developing learning outcomes that can be assessed because one of the questions one of the issues that came up earlier is you know how do you or one of the myths is you can’t assess it well you can’t assess it if you don’t have your learning outcomes stated in accessible terms so we can’t assess whether someone understands something or other but we can assess whether they can articulate it or demonstrate it so that’s so we want to use those actions those action verbs and and then designing activities that then need to be related to the context and also on the abilities of the students so it’s it’s very effective over the course of a semester to combine several different kinds of reflection activities or mechanisms to offer a variety as well as to recognize students different learning styles and so again I would refer you to the curriculum map as you want to as you might want to work through this whole this whole process and then of course comes – well we got to do it and so as we provide students with prompts for reflection which can be done in many forms so questions topics open-ended sentence stems quotes all these work really well are ideal what we want to do is to guide students step by step incrementally to higher levels of complexity of thinking analyzing and reasoning so to give you an example from from my class from the now what class that I was telling you about on the first and again these are juniors and seniors so very early in the semester I asked them to write a two-page reflection on why do you want to change the world well they know that they can do that but later on as we do more reflection and more thinking and more reading later on in the semester I asked them okay you’ve written out why you want to change the world how is that change since the beginning of the semester and it does and then open the door for that and then I asked them why does it matter to know why and that’s the metacognitive piece because you really get them thinking about their thinking to think them to get them to think about what brought them to write what they did in this case why they want to change the world and it’s that metacognitive piece that really really gets them thinking so yeah of course Carrie you have a list here let me peek and see and and and very often these are our based and eat you in your curriculum or in your in your content area rather than yeah I’m looking to see yeah there are as a matter of fact I would say for general prompts I would look at at the bout Keo and Walker I certainly ash Clayton and Atkinson up the second one down yep that could that would might have some and I love Giles and Schmidt that’s where the four C’s of critical reflection come from I’ll ER ey le are Giles and Schmitz all right let me see if there’s anything else here you know here’s another great one on the back Paul and elder the miniature guide to critical thinking critical thinking org is a great website that’s the foundation for critical thinking and there’s some really good examples on there as well so those are some that I would that I would that I would go for

yeah sure no a great question okay so I would so in order for for this this scaffolded continuous reflection to work we need to be providing feedback along the way there’s no they can’t they just do it and then do it and then do it we need to have have the feedback sick meal cyclical and so I spend I spend a fair amount of time every week grading I do two-page reflection papers required to page reflection papers and I spend a fair amount of time giving feedback to students and very often the feedback that I give them is in the form of deeper questions so they’ll state something and I will ask them why or where did this come from or you know do you really mean this and so then I look for that again in the next essay and so so the essays are that I require each builds on the next and I asked them I look for them to incorporate the feedback that I give them and yes it is time-consuming but you know sometimes I think it’s also I also do do a do formative assessment like at the end of a class where I’m thinking hmm let’s sure they got this so I’ll just say you know tear off a you know a piece of paper and you know right on there you know what’s your biggest takeaway from today’s class or what really worked for you from today’s class are like what do you think you know you came in and you’re more confused about now than you were when you came in or whatever the question is that comes to your mind you don’t have to plan this in advance and you collect those and they can be anonymous or not that I give them the option to put their name on it or not if they want to but I learned a tremendous amount from those and sometimes I do change things up based on what they say and I will come in the next week and say well you know we were going to do this you’ll see what says on the syllabus but I think I want to change that up a little bit based on some of your feedback from last week and so that tells them that I’m listening and I’m critically reflecting on my own practice so so we’re walking the walk and boy do they know when you’re walking the walk or if you’re just talking the talk oh man can they pick that up really fast so the last step of course you know we can’t get away without assessment and that has already come up as an issue and very very common question like how will I know it when I see it and so there are many ways to assess reflection and rubrics really work well there are some great critical thinking rubrics I give my students at the very beginning of the semester I do two things this for the first class we spend almost the whole class talking about what is critical reflection and what does it mean to make meaning and I give them a rubric by which I am going to grade their their critical reflection throughout the semester and so what were so what what does it look like and I give them examples what does it look like or what I want then I also on the very first day of class I give them an essay prompt it’s you know short paragraph and I say write a write an essay I mean no more than two pages one to two pages in response to the prompt and it’s basically what the class is about so you know what are the values upon which you’re going to you know build you build your your life of a compose your life of meaning and purpose and I said it’s not gonna be graded but it will be assessed and so they do what they give them to me I read them I have a rubric that I use to assess them I give them in the second class I give them their essay back and I give them the rubric and I said okay so this is you know how you did and this is how I’m grading it and I’m gonna give you this same essay on the last day of class and I’m going to use the same rubric so you know exactly I don’t want them to spend their time second-guessing what I want them to do or what this critical reflection business is this is what it is and then I and then I and so I do grade the last one and and they then can see the comparison between their first score and their last and also what they wrote and how much more sophisticated and generally it is at the end and so they can see how they’ve have they’ve learned and grown and develop a habit of critical reflection it’s a little bit different yeah it’s a little bit different but it’s it’s it’s similar to that it’s really the whole class is really about looking very deeply at the values that you hold and deciding whether you want to continue to hold on to those values and whether they are going to be um the values upon which you’re going to compose your life your your your life of meaning and purpose so that really helps a lot rubrics really work so yeah there are some as a matter of fact

you know what I’ll do Jeremy if that’s okay I’ll send you a couple of rubrics so do you know who’s you know everybody who’s here today are that no that would be great does anybody have a blank piece of paper Oh write myself a note to do this and any kind of piece that will really help me oh thank you and that I will write myself the note but I want to give you an example of a really simple oh thank you carry perfect okay all right rubrics to Jeremy that’s all I need that is great so let’s take a look at an example of how all the quickly how this all this plays out in a real life course this is the course on the psychology of domestic violence that I mentioned and so the students there are learning outcomes I won’t I’ll read them to you here if you’ve got them in your handout that every learning outcome in the course is not designed to be achieved through critical reflection but these are three that are and it has to be it uses the terms to demonstrate understanding of the complex dynamics and effects of domestic violence the various approaches and then students will analyze there’s another one of those great action verbs for reflection will analyze the effects of gender culture race ethnicity etc on domestic violence victims then the students write a weekly service analysis paper two double-spaced pages as I mentioned no more than one paragraph of description I took that right from right from my colleague Karen O’Brien who teaches this class and that it must include multiple references so that’s how she describes what the paper is and that we’re talking about critical reflection on in this case it’s a service experience but it certainly wouldn’t have to be certainly could be just based on readings how so critical reflection on in this case the service experience related to the readings and she explains very very here she gives the students some examples of topics that they can write about she goes as far as to structure it that way and then here is the grading schema which I give you because I think it’s eminently adaptable to any equipment of course in any discipline for critical reflection so this is for the two-page reflection paper so four points is for an exceptionally thoughtful critique that truly integrates course concepts and research into an analysis of the experience or either the important words exceptional thoughtful truly integrates and analysis so students know exactly what she’s looking for three points well it’s a very good thoughtful critique that applies but not that integrative piece applies course concepts and research two points average to below average analysis that does not integrate course concepts and research in a thorough manner and then one point while you did it but you weren’t very thoughtful about it so very clear easy to use simple can be adapted in you know in in in a zillion ways and so I’m going to stop there will we have at least a few minutes and you knowing that this is a is a seminar on reflection I will give you these questions to think about won’t make you think about them now but you certainly can as we address any any kind of questions and here are their comments and feedback from from you all but kind of so like how do you feel now about them some of those questions we looked at at the very beginning so questions comments it occurs to you yeah or you can answer any of these if you want to and I need to start with a I think that would be a fabulous thing to happen and it could be as informal as you know a monthly brown bag or coffee in the morning and and just you know so what have you done what’s worked but I think that’s a great idea yay that’s great it’s a big topic for the faculty fellows that I work with related to service-learning it’s like what is

that reflection stuff and how did it go and oh my god I did want it it didn’t go out you know as Kerry and I were talking before as we were having lunch that you know what one of the things I loved about the Center for Teaching Excellence on my campus and certainly I see it here I already hear it and to see it here is that we can sit down with one another and talk about you know it’s really work today I feel so good and oh my god did this not work for me and and and you know and learn from each other and that’s what I love I love about it so so we can even critically reflect together yeah yeah I see I think that’s what it is and again it comes back to the learning outcomes so do we really need them to write that 20 page you know research paper at the end what if instead of that they wrote a five page paper at the end and you know we did you know more critical reflection throughout the semester I have this one really you know really really simple idea but idea but and and I guess you know I know some number the reflection activities can happen right inside the classroom and then the other thing is if there’s not time in class is this whole flipping the classroom phenomenon whereby why do we believe that students can only learn by lectures that we do in class I mean why can’t I mean we can record lectures week they can listen to TED Talks I mean there’s all kinds of things that they can you to learn course content outside of class and then use class time instead of delivering lectures you know I pitch you catch and in actually doing the activities that are based on you know based on the material I mean sorry there’s no reason why we why we can’t do that just we don’t generally think to do that well yeah I mean and you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him never make a fake and that’s you know part of a part of the issue I think I I think the preparation piece is really important and that’s why I say if we try to tack critical reflection on at the end of the semester they gonna have doesn’t really matter I’m you know I don’t I know that’s obviously not important but if we integrate it in the very beginning so how do you reduce resistance I I start with the learning outcome and the first day of classes I really go over them in a big way I said this is what you’re here to do and and you need to know that I have very carefully constructed this syllabus to enable you to the best of my ability and experience and I’m going to work really hard on this with you for you to be able to achieve these learning outcomes if this is not what you need or want to do at this point in your college career then maybe this isn’t the right class for you I also tell them that you know I I was at undergraduate too and there are some semesters I really needed to take an easy class I needed a gut cat gut course you know I had too much else going on I understand that that phenomenon but this is not it and so I think part of it is just against it just be really really level with them right at the very beginning so that they know what your expectations are and if they’re not if they’re not up for then they’re going to know that they’re gonna have to live with the consequences and so but it’s a whole nother a whole nother hour and a half session we could do about how do you deal with resistant students when they’re in class making it challenging for others to participate and learn that’s a whole nother session so I see one more more could you have one last question I know we’re gonna have to end or we can do it later we can we can we can talk after yeah absolutely oh great you will just make that is great yeah yeah Michelle other Sheriff

that’s a great question and is it really I am seeing more and more faculty members as our course where it becomes more and more sophisticated you use blackboard yeah you can do it on blackboard you can actually you can do blogs you can do class discussions online discussions do all kinds of things you know discussion boards but we’re moving to canvas in the in the spring and it’s even even more sophisticated for that so that it’s coming it’s coming more and more but you certainly could do it on blackboard yeah some some people find that students that it’s very effective to do online or in class reflection and ask students to reflect on each other’s comments right you know right in class and in my class we the now what class we do digital stories and the students reflect on their own digital stories but I had a situation where a student came to me and said I can do this assignment and do my digital story and present it to everybody and get their comments but it won’t be anywhere near as useful to me because if I’m gonna really do the kind of critical reflection that’s gonna be most useful to me I don’t want to share it with them and so I offer to the class the option for any of them to just show it to me in my office and do it that way if they wanted to so again it depends on you know what the foot but yeah you and and so that’s another it’s not one of those those things that faculty really has something about what if I tell me something up you know they were abused as a child or you know something really horrible you know and I I don’t know how to deal with it you know and and so again that’s that we we and you know we were to Kerry and I were talking about our you know our students talk about suicide or you know hinted I mean so so we need to yeah I mean you need to be prepared we’re opening the door now for you know for critical reflection but again we’re not you know in most academic courses we’re not necessarily talking about feelings or inner emotions we’re talking about critical analysis of material and experience so again it depends how you frame it but and if it’s the critical analysis that there’s no reason why they can’t share it but if we’re talking about you know our deep personal values and you know why you know why my grandfather’s racist now they might not want to share something like that you know what they might want to reflect on so yeah so again it’s all that’s why I think your support group is so great because so many of these questions are going to are not going to come up until you’re in the middle of it they do exactly what am I gonna do with that it is I think that’s that’s a certainly great way to go about it so well thank you all very much I really learn from you and enjoyed your so thanks so much for coming there is more food yeah yeah that that’s how they learn you know you get deeper and deeper that’s great wow what a great group yeah perfect so I guess I can um oh yeah you’ve got Mike now before I walk out this fine piece of equipment I’m most familiar with some of you worked it for you before you had time so I didn’t give you this talk or make this announcement during the election classrooms so if let’s have like oh I don’t know if you’re having that problem you see tea but