GoogleTranslate Service

A reflection on reflection

May 28th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Reflection is increasingly seen as a key process in learning, particularly for work based or practice based learning. This involves reflecting of what you have done and what it means. Reflection may be especially important in making explicit tacit learning and in scaffolding new knowledge and ideas.

Yet reflection is not always an easy learning process. It may be particularly sterile when learners are told to go and reflect! Whilst it is possible to teach or practitioner the skills involved in reflection – active listening, questioning, commentating – reflection is difficult to undertake on demand.

Furthermore, the forms that we use to report on academic learning – essays and papers – may either not be particularly conducive to immediate reflection or may be far too time consuming – especially for work based learners.

Personally I see reflection as a conversation, with myself or with others. And that works best for me out of the office or at the end of the day. That is when I think on what I have done and what it might mean. I often sit in my local pub with my iPod Touch or just a back of an envelope and furiously scribble notes or more often somewhat chaotic mind maps. The fact that I often never look at the results (and sometimes cannot read them anyway) does not seem to matter – it is the process which counts.

This is where I think audio can come in. I have been greatly impressed with the Jisc funded Sounds Good project.  The main aim of Sounds Good was to test the hypothesis that using digital audio for feedback can benefit staff and students by:

  • saving assessors’ time (speaking the feedback rather than writing it)


  • providing richer feedback to students (speech is a richer medium than written text).

The project has in general been extremely successful. But if speech is a richer medium for staff providing feedback then why not for students reflecting on learning.

And the increasing availability of easy to use recording technologies utilising mobile devices makes this process simple. Anyway here is a short audio reflection on e-portfolios and data security and on using audio for reflection!

Here is an audio comment from our colleague Jenny Hughes “Reflections on Reflection”:

3 Responses to “A reflection on reflection”

  1. If the reflection is to be audio and the feedback is to be audio, why don’t we move from asynchronous to synchronous and do it face to face when we can?

    Anne Marie

  2. Graham Attwell says:

    Interesting point Anne Marie. And of course in formal education feedback is often oral and simultaneous. But one of the big issues for work base learners is that they do not have access to tutors at times which are convenient for both.

    I also think that the act of recording the ‘reflection’ is slightly different to that of a conversation – it is more intense and forces thinking back – what did I learn – what does that mean. So it has added value … and can help in the learning process.

  3. jen hughes says:

    My response left on audio……

  • Search

    Social Media

    News Bites

    Graduate Jobs

    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers

    Post-Covid ed-tech strategy

    The UK Ufi VocTech Trust are supporting the Association of Colleges to ensure colleges are supported to collectively overcome challenges to delivering online provision at scale. Over the course of the next few months, AoC will carry out research into colleges’ current capacity to enable high quality distance learning. Findings from the research will be used to create a post-Covid ed-tech strategy for the college sector.

    With colleges closed for most face-to-face delivery and almost 100% of provision now being delivered online, the Ufi says, learners will require online content and services that are sustainable, collective and accessible. To ensure no one is disadvantaged or left behind due to the crisis, this important work will contribute to supporting businesses to transform and upskilling and reskilling those out of work or furloughed.


    The European Commission has published an annual report of the Erasmus+ programme in 2018. During that time the programme funded more than 23,500 projects and supported the mobility of over 850,00 students, of which 28,247 were involved in UK higher education projects, though only one third of these were UK students studying abroad while the remainder were EU students studying in the UK. The UK also sent 3,439 HE staff to teach or train abroad and received 4,970 staff from elsewhere in the EU.

    Skills Gaps

    A new report by the Learning and Work Institute for the Local Government Association (LGA) finds that by 2030 there could be a deficit of 2.5 million highly-skilled workers. The report, Local Skills Deficits and Spare Capacity, models potential skills gaps in eight English localities, and forecasts an oversupply of low- and intermediate -skilled workers by 2030. The LGA is calling on the government to devolve the various national skills, retraining and employment schemes to local areas. (via WONKHE)

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

  • RT @socialtheoryapp Just published: Taking education to account? The limits of law in institutional and professional practice…

    About 10 hours ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via Twitter for Android

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories