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The reflection stimulated in students upon their own work and progress is one of portfolio assessment’s most oft-cited virtues. However, students are not often asked to reflect in this way, so giving them some specific prompts can be helpful.
For significant assignments, ask students to share their thoughts with you about their work, in writing. (Limit this request to important assignments or experiences--asking for too much reflection can make it seem like busy work.)
Prompts for reflection can about student expectations of or preparations for the experience, how the experience unfolded in various ways, what the student felt was most difficult, most useful, most important, and what the student learned that would guide them to have a better experience next time.
This is an example of a reflection assignment provided by UT Professor of Chemistry David Laude, to demonstrate what the nut-and-bolts of a reflection assignment can look like.
Name: ______________________ UGTA: ____________________
Inquiry 1 Topic: _____________________________________________________________
Give yourself a grade. If you were assigning a letter grade as a college teacher in an honors course, what grade would you give your own inquiry 1 (A through F): _________
Explain the reasoning for your grade.
UGTA reflection. Candidly assess your interaction with your UGTA. Was he or she a help or a hindrance to you in creating a good inquiry. If they were a hindrance, what can be done to turn him or her into an asset for the next inquiry?
Time Management. Did you give yourself enough time to do a good job on the inquiry?
Yes ___ No ____
Will you make any modifications to the way you manage your time in performing Inquiry II? In particular, what aspect of Inquiry I surprised you in terms of how much time it took you to complete it. What will you do to become for efficient?
Independent Inquiry. What do you think of independent inquiry as a way to learn? If you don’t care for it, is this because it is fundamentally a flawed way to learn or is it because of the way you were programmed to learn in K-12?
The Internet and Learning. Did you rely on solely on what was already in your head in writing up the report or did you go to written sources (books, journals, internet) to supplement and develop a better background? If you didn’t get help, what might you have learned about that would have made for a better discussion of your results? Write down a URL that you did use, or should have used.
Getting ready for Inquiry II. What were the most challenging issues for you with Inquiry 1 (consider, for example, idea development, background knowledge, poor experiment design, inability to assess data, etc.) What do you plan to do so that this is not a problem on Inquiry 2.