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Building reflective practice into student learning

Georgina Fyfe
Curtin University of Technology
Over the last two years I have gradually introduced reflective practice into the curriculum of two first year service units for Medical Imaging students. I now provide opportunities at the end of each class for students to assess their learning and to suggests reasons to explain their assessment ranking. After each lecture, prac and tutorial students complete a quick assessment, such as the example below, taken from one of their tutorial quiz sheets.

Personal Grading for this tute sheet

I also ask them to reflect on their performance in each practical test through the semester, to identify areas of weakness and suggesting strategies to overcome them. Students who choose to use this well can accumulate information about factors which influence their focus, and also have a record of areas of the syllabus which will require more revision than other areas.

With the students' permission, I collated summary information from reflection activities and have asked for feedback in end-of-semester evaluation. I asked the students at the end of the last semester if they used the reflection boxes to help their learning. Some did not find them useful but the majority said they did, and one unsolicited comment stated:

"...wouldn't have done reflection if we didn't have to, but it did help"
One surprising result of the collated information is the number of students who gave internal rather than external reasons for performance. For example, instead of blaming the boring lecturer or the difficulty of the subject matter, many students identified their own lack of focus, tiredness or distraction as key reasons for lowered learning outcomes.

At the round table I propose to share the strategies I have used for incorporating reflective practice into student learning, to present summaries of collated student information, and to facilitate discussion about the effectiveness of these strategies in helping students to learn.

Author: Georgina Fyfe, School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University of Technology

Presentation format: Roundtable

Please cite as: Fyfe, G. (2002). Building reflective practice into student learning. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/fyfe-abs.html

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Created 3 Dec 2001. Last revision: 1 Feb 2002. HTML: Roger Atkinson [ rjatkinson@bigpond.com ]