Unit 4 Notes: Looking Back, Looking Forward....

Unit 4 Notes

Reflective Practice

reflection

One goal of this unit to explore the notion of being a reflective practitioner. This will have different meanings to everyone; our ways of accessing self-awareness and conducting self-study will be very individualized. You may also find formal or informal processes at your workplace that invites or supports reflection (e.g., course evaluations, quarterly meetings, workshops, retreats, annual performance reviews, corridor chats, or even working with an instructional designer on a course re-design smile)

In a way, this whole course has been an exercise in reflective practice. All along, we have:

  • reflected on and discussed our teaching practices
  • participated in activities, reflected on them, and given/received feedback on facilitation
  • reflected on our own facilitation/mini-session, and submitted a reflection piece (FLIF) about it
  • kept a blog (which is simply a way to engage and share in reflective practice)

In the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook Senge et al. (1996) describe reflecting as:

…becoming an observer of your own thinking and acting. This phase might start with a postmortem about a previous action: How well did it go? What were we thinking and feeling during the process? What underlying beliefs (what "theories in use") seemed to affect the way we handled it? Do we see our goals differently now? (p. 60)

These kinds of questions help develop a deeper understanding of experiences and identify situations and/or aspects of themselves that can be improved.

Reflective practitioners reflect on the "what, why, how and when" of their experiences. The crucial element is the individual's willingness to honestly examine an experience, his or her part in it, and what decisions need to be made as a result.

Goloboy's (2003) article on the “Top Ten Secrets of Successful Online Educators” serves as a summary of some of the key points we've covered in this course. As well, it is a helpful article that can be used to stimulate reflecting thinking.

How do (or will) you build in time for reflective practice?

Video: Doug Hamilton (1:37)

Video: Jen Walinga (1:39),/p>

Video: Alicia Wilkes (1:11)