Making Connections February 26, 2010 Hot-off-the-Press Blog Postings
Responding to In Transit <ul><li>Cara: I found the Learning to Reflect article most interesting because the faculty utilized reflection practices with students in a math class- one of the populations of students at Rutgers who find eP reflections difficult to write.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Science students also “find the eP difficult to use. Often, they ‘don’t know what to write,’ and ‘don’t see how it fits with what they learn in class.’ We need to change our practice .” </li></ul><ul><li>Paul: Any loss in time teaching students to slow down a bit to reflect on their calculations should in the long run pay off in increased understanding and retention .” </li></ul>How must we change our practice so that reflection becomes an integral part of the course curriculum?
<ul><li>Lili: Modified, scaffolded assignments and coaching prompted students’ use of systematic approaches where data supported arguments. Students met with teachers to increase their opportunities to ‘ think aloud .’ </li></ul><ul><li>Laura: </li></ul><ul><li>What I found most valuable about the articles was the concept of ‘reflection in action’ versus ‘reflection on action.’ What appeals to me most about ‘reflection in action’ is the idea of engaging students in the learning process ....Reflection in action provides students with the opportunity to think about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and in many cases, the process they took to get from ‘point A’ to ‘point B’... It also gives the student the ability to make connections across courses and across disciplines . </li></ul>How do we intentionally and systematically reveal what students know? How do we balance modeling reflection and eliciting actual student reflection?
Fostering Reflection in and on Action <ul><li>Laura: When reviewing a student’s work, looking at the process a student took to arrive at an answer is just, if not more important, than the answer itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Barbara : To prepare students [for the NCLEX-RN], we have multiple choice exams...; however, this provides a false sense of there being only one right answer ....To prepare them for practice we focus on clinical judgment – reflection is a major component of the post-clinical and post-simulation conferences.... Just as students need structure and guidance to perform deep reflection- faculty need strategies and tools that support and guide reflection .” </li></ul><ul><li>Marnie: Increasingly, faculty mentors are using ‘ group studies ,’ where students present their drafts to classmates and get peer feedback to provide more opportunity to clarify and reveal each student’s learning... </li></ul><ul><li>Tracy : We employ a method that we call ‘ Critical Inquiry .’ Students are asked to read texts multiple times, are taught to annotate , and to use those annotations to form thoughtful questions . We emphasize the questions , rather than the answers. The questions eventually become the springboards for the writing process... </li></ul>
Your Suggestions for Faculty Development <ul><li>Discussions need to take place on a regular basis at faculty, department, and discipline meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Bring samples of reflective assignments to department meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors to work one-on-one with faculty </li></ul><ul><li>There needs to always be a pragmatic element to faculty development. It has to be rooted in specific classroom/departmental/college issues rather than theoretical discussions. </li></ul><ul><li>Make the point that reflection is interdisciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>It still takes courage to deal with the answer if you ask the question, ‘ What is actually going on?’ </li></ul>