What reflection assignments are right for my course?

Critical reflection assignments range from casual conversations to daily journals to multi-page essays. Choosing the appropriate reflection assignment depends on the students’ experience, the activity’s learning objective, and your assessment commitment. This database provides guidance for designing reflection exercises and sample assignments from a variety of courses and activities. Critical reflection improves student learning in a myriad of contexts by creating transferable links between knowledge and practice (Chickering 2008). It is our hope that these tools simplify and facilitate the inclusion of critical reflection into a wide variety of courses at the University of Puget Sound.

Database Content

Design Models
These representative experiential learning theories rely on critical reflection for transformational experiential learning.

Reflection Types
There are 6 categories of Critical Reflection Assignments. In each category, you will find sample assignments and assessments as well as suggestions for which experiences these reflections work with best.

Design Checklist
This checklist helps you identify which model and which reflection category best meets your learning goals and your students’ learning experience.

Sample Assignments
Reflection assignments for specific Puget Sound Courses and Campus Activities provide useful templates in the design process.

Web Resources
Universities across the country encourage high impact practices which benefit from the inclusion of reflection. These useful websites and publications provide further ideas for the creation and application of critical reflection assignments.

This guide was written during the summer of 2016 as a web-based resource for the University of Puget Sound community. A pdf version of these linked pages from the Experiential Learning page on the University of Puget Sound website is available on request.

I benefited greatly from consultation with the members of the Experiential Learning Leadership team (Renée Houston, Landon Wade, Alana Hentges, Lynnette Clair, and Arielle Hill-Moses) and participants in the Faculty Reflection Workshop at the University of Puget Sound. Users of this manual will benefit in particular from the reflection examples provided by Professors Tiffany Aldrich MacBain, Nancy Bristow, Dan Burgard, Julie Christoph Nelson, Lynnette Claire, Monica DeHart, Tanya Erzen, Renée Houston, Diane Kelley, Jill Nealey-Moore, Amy Ryken, and Jess Smith and co-curriculum leaders Alana Hentges, Skylar Bihl, Justin Canny. Special thanks to Arielle Hill-Moses for her editorial guidance and web design.

I take full responsibility for any errors or omissions and welcome all comments and corrections.

Feel free to contact me at enunn@pugetsound.edu.

Elizabeth Nunn, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Departments of Economics and International Political Economy
University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, Washington