I cannot help but be impressed with how powerful guided reflection is in supporting learning. I have been incredibly lucky to work closely with a mentor, Dr. Carrie Nolan who embodies experiential learning. She has guided my teaching practice towards experiential approaches over the last few years . Experiential learning is a process of doing and then reflecting on the doing and so I assign activities and then reflections liberally in my classes. I have some understanding of the value of reflection from an instructor viewpoint but it’s worth noting my experiences as a learner and how incredibly powerful I find reflection from this vantage point also.
I submitted a final paper in a course two weeks ago. At the time I thought this was a decent attempt at academic writing. I gave myself the time to work on it and felt good about my submission. I am now using that paper, to reflect on my academic writing abilities. It is amazing to me that two weeks later, I see problems with my writing that I could not see before. What I find even more interesting is how this process is prompting me to improve the very reflection I am writing as I understand the problematic parts of my first submission. This writing about my writing is creating a situation where I can act on the problems I am identifying in my past assignment while I write about them. I think this must be the best case scenario with reflection as a learning practice where the very act of reflecting influences the actions you take.