Reflective work

Jobs Live Inform Top tips on reflective writing for social work students Many students are verbally very reflective, but struggle to explore this in writing. Reflecting allows us to consider different perspectives, consider why something is happening, and learn from our experiences. Supporting students on social work placement to develop their skills in reflection is one of the most important tasks for practice educators and supervisors. In a new guide for Community Care Inform, part of the forthcoming practice education knowledge and practice hub, Siobhan Maclean of Kirwin Maclean Associates provides a comprehensive guide to different models of reflection, promoting reflective practice through supervision, and quick tips to use with students.

Reflective work

Reflective work

A reflective journal - often called a learning journal - is a steadily growing document that you the learner write, to record the progress of your learning.

You can keep a learning journal for any course that you undertake, or even for your daily work. This page is mainly about reflective or learning journals for online courses, such as those run by Audience Dialogue.

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Students from other institutions including the Open University are also welcome to use these ideas, though the conditions for marking and submission may be different. A reflective journal is not Focus more on your reactions to what you've read, and what you've been reading. On a learning log you might write down the times and days when you read something.

A log is a record of events, but a journal is a record of your reflections and thoughts. Who benefits from a reflective journal? The fact that you are keeping a record of what you learn is an incentive to keep pushing ahead.

There's an old saying "you don't know what you know till you've written it down" - and several research studies have found this to be true. By telling yourself what you've learned, you can track the progress you've made.

You also begin to notice the gaps in your knowledge and skills. How to write a reflective journal A hundred years ago, distance education didn't exist, and textbooks were very expensive to buy. Therefore, students had to attend lectures and write notes while they listened.

Most of those notes simply recorded the contents of the lecture. The act of writing the notes, and deciding what to write, was a major factor in students' learning.

These days, you don't need lecture notes for online courses, because a there are no lectures, b the notes are already on the web site, c books are relatively cheap, and d because you are doing an online course, you must also have access to the entire Web.

So instead of lecture notes, we use reflective journals. The emphasis is different, but the purpose is similar: Entries in a reflective journal can include: Points that you found specially interesting in your reading, and would like to follow up in more detail.

Questions that came up in your mind, because of points made in material you read on this topic. After an online class immediately after it, if possible it's a good idea to reinforce your learning by trying to remember the main things you learned.

Think "What were the three main points that were new to me, in the material I read today?

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Notes from other material you read as a result of the course - whether this was publications cited, or relevant material that you happened to read such as newspaper articles.

A record of everything you read in this subject area, while you're doing the course, with a sentence or two on the main points an article was making and how useful you found it. Your reflections on this course, and how well it is meeting your needs. How your learning in this course is related to what you're learning in other ways.

Thoughts that aren't yet fully formed, but that you want to refine later.

Who benefits from a reflective journal?

This could include your feelings about the course and your progress in it, and theories that are developing in your mind. Each time you submit your reflective journal, think back over everything you've done since the last time.

Which sources did you learn most from? Which did you learn least from, and why was that? Did you know the material already? Write a paragraph or two about the sources of your new learning. What form should it take? Some people prefer to write at a computer keyboard, while others prefer to write by hand.

Depending on your preference, a reflective journal could take any of these forms: A pad with very small pages - about the size of a shirt pocket or mobile phone. Every time you have a thought about the course, write it on a separate sheet of paper. Later, you can tear the pages out of the pad and sort them so that similar notes go together - e.Shop safety vests in the jobsite safety section of Find quality safety vests online or in store.

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Reflective work

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