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Study Skills: Reflect on your learning

Resources to help students with study and study techniques

The content of this page has been sourced from Silvia Tolisano's blog post: Amplify reflection.

Reflection is an important component of the learning process. It can NOT be seen as an add-on, something to be cut if time is running short. We have all heard John Dewey’s quote:

“We don’t learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on the experience”
Read the entire blog post for greater context.

Bloom’s Remembering – Reflection: What did I do? Bloom’s Understanding – Reflection: What was important about what I did? Did I meet my goals? Bloom’s Applying – Reflection: When did I do this before? Where could I use this again? 

Bloom’s Analyzing – Reflection: Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did? 
Bloom’s Evaluating – Reflection: How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve? 
Bloom’s Creating – Reflection: What should I do next? What’s my plan / design?


A Making Reflection

Being able to reflect is a skill to be learned, a habit to develop. Reflection requires metacognition (thinking about your thinking), articulation of that thinking and the ability to make connections (past, present, future, outliers, relevant information, etc.).

Keywords & Prompts Four Dimensions of Reflective Learning by Karen Barnstable . Also look at 40 Reflection questions to help you look back, forward, inward and outward by Edutopia.

I. Thinking Back II. Thinking Forward III. Thinking Inward IV. Thinking Outward

In addition to inherent components of reflection, which traditionally have been viewed as internal (thinking about one’s own learning and that thinking primarily benefiting ourselves), we need to take a closer look at amplifying reflection by sharing our reflection transparently (learning how to articulate and make our thinking visible to others and the learning benefiting ourselves AND others). 


SOLO Taxonomy by John Biggs and Kevin Collis “SOLO, which stands for the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome, is a means of classifying learning outcomes in terms of their complexity, enabling us to assess students’ work in terms of its quality not of how many bits of this and of that they got right.“

There are five stages Prestructural – incompetence (they miss the point). Unistructural – one relevant aspect Multistructural – several relevant and independent aspects Relational – integrated into a structure Extended Abstract – generalized to new domain These stages can be looked at through the lens of reflection purpose:

What? Describe the experience; outline what happened that compelled you to think about and change your behavior (i.e. learn).

So What? Describe what difference it makes; outline what impact or meaning it has for you (or why it should matter to others).

Now What? Describe what’s in store for the future now that you’ve learned from this experience; outline what you are going to will do to continue learning.