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Reflecting on reflection: increasing health and social care students’ engagement and enthusiasm for reflection

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As continuing professional development is now mandatory in the UK for health and social care professionals, teaching reflection skills is commonplace in many higher education institutions. However, getting health and social care students to engage with activities developing their reflection skills has been problematic at one Scottish university. This paper describes action research carried out to improve first-year university students’ enthusiasm and engagement with reflection on an inter-professional module. Teaching and learning activities were based on the principle of constructive alignment. Students were given an interactive lecture and two tutorials; each successive tutorial consolidated knowledge and skills gained from the previous learning activity. Responses from a small percentage of students to an online questionnaire indicate students saw the reflection activities as advantageous, however, a majority felt both tutorial activities did not improve their confidence, with peer feedback having less impact than tutor feedback. Further iterations of the action research cycle will be undertaken to improve students’ engagement.

Keywords: action research; assessment; constructive alignment; learning outcomes; reflection

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Psychology and Allied Health Sciences, School of Health and Life Sciences,Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens RoadGlasgow,G4 0BA, UK

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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