Hrm Reflective Essay

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Development of Student Skills in Reflective Writing
Terry King University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Abstract: Due to the increasing importance of critical reflection as part of the key skills agenda in higher education in the UK, staff and students need to develop an awareness of the stages of reflection and how these may be employed to develop better quality reflective writing and more controlled and informed assessment of that writing if required. This paper considers the role of reflection in the learning process and its link to deep learning in taxonomies of learning objectives. A simplified model of the stages of reflection is used as the basis for two workshops where staff and students are encouraged to consider the importance of reflection, the development of reflection from the most simple observations to higher levels, where issues and problems may be resolved, and then evaluate pieces of reflective writing for quality. An analysis of the initial results of student work after these workshops shows that the key factors in improving the quality of student reflection are time to reflect, reinforcement of the process and stages of reflection, an institutional culture of reflection and assessment. In conclusion, the paper discusses a future student-centred initiative and considers how the development of a culture of critical reflection depends not just on awareness but also has curriculum and resource implications. Keywords: Reflection, Assessment, Higher Education 1. Background In the UK, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has been responsible for setting National Standards for Key Skills for all university students. Level 4 key skills have been specified (QCA, 2001) for all undergraduates in the six areas of: • communications, • information technology, • application of number, • working with others, • problem solving • and, improving one's own learning and performance. Consultations are taking place on a draft set of Level 5 key skills...

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