Reflection for learning

I continue to share brief lessons from the modules in Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching, a free massive open online course (MOOC) designed for new teachers, those who wish to enhance student learning or teaching practice and emerging leaders in higher education. The MOOC is currently open for enrolment. Sign up at and use the following join code: 64BHPE.

Reflection for learning is Module 8. It is the final module in the ‘New to teaching’ pathway through the course.

Developed by the Reflection for Learning Circle — Marina Harvey, Kate Lloyd, Anne-Louise Semple, Greg Walkerden, Kath McLachlan and Agnes Bosanquet (Macquarie University) — the module offers opportunities to explore different reflective activities and consider how you can apply them to your own learning and teaching context.

Reflective practice is valuable for both students and teachers

The practice of reflection offers a way for you to make the most of your teaching and learning activities. Reflecting on the many new experiences, challenges, and opportunities of teaching will improve your ability to respond effectively to situations and incidents, and for students to meet the intended academic learning outcomes, and develop graduate attributes that will serve them throughout life. Reflection is useful for making sense of the sometimes competing expectations of the lecturer or tutor, the university, peers, and others involved in your teaching activity. Reflection may provide a quiet time to step back from the pressures of study, work, and life to sort and process and learn from the experience or activity and your thoughts and feelings.

Reflective practice supports outcomes for academic learning, lifelong learning and skills development.

Image: The role reflective practice plays for learning (Harvey, et al. 2010, p. 144).

Take the time to practise two of the many reflection activities from the module:

Three Senses Reflection Activity

Watch this 2.23 min video and be guided through a short reflection activity.

Critical Incidents

Watch this 3.18 video which prompts you to think about an incident that was significant for your learning or teaching practice.

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