A note on reflection
Reflection refers to the iterative process that we engage in when we want to look back at some activity or decision we've made, to think about what we've learned from it, and how we might use it in the future. Reflection is a powerful tool in teaching and learning -- think of it as a dot-connecting mechanism -- and outside of academics, reflecting is a common tool among professionals and organizations as a way to establish values, goals, and future actions:
• What did I do? What is significant about it?
• What was important about what I did? Did I meet my goals?
• When have I done this kind of work before? Where could I use this again?
• Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did?
• How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve?
• What should I do next? What's my plan?
(From "A Taxonomy of Reflection" by Peter Pappas)
Reflection is also difficult. It requires honesty, self-awareness, and the ability to think critically about the conditions of our work and its outcomes. Through this process of action-reflection-action, we can often assess our past action and efforts with an eye toward integrating it and improving it in the future.
Reflection and your WRD Digital Portfolio
Your WRD instructor may ask you to frame and to reflect upon your work in the context of the course's learning outcomes. She may ask you to reflect on your writing and revision process. She may ask you to make connections between the work you've done in this course and the writing you did in high school, with an eye toward future writing-intensive courses, and even your professional goals. The nice thing about portfolios is that they can be designed to do all of these kinds of reflecting and showcasing.