Practicing Reflection

Simple strategies for reflecting on one's learning before, during, and after learning activities.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Using a variety of reflection phrases and strategies before, during, and after learning experiences can provide students opportunities to plan, monitor, evaluate, and deepen their learning.

Method Components

As students undertake an activity, the teacher fosters reflection practices before, during, and after a learning experience. This process can be conducted individually, in small groups, or in whole-group instruction. These strategies can be deployed as a stand-alone activity or as part of a lesson.

Suggested reflection strategies and activities

  • Before learning: Setting the goals, activities, and desired results of the project
    • Examples of activities include:
    • Students develop a clear and simply stated learning goal or desired result, preferably written or sketched out, for something they would like to learn.
    • Students complete reflection stems about their plans for learning, such as:
      • What I know already is . . .
      • What I need to know is . . .
      • I will know I understand all this and can use what I learned when . . .
    • Provide students some examples of completed reflection stems and learning goals.
    • Students brainstorm criteria for what a good learning result would be for their own learning goal or challenge (see the Idea Generating micro-credential), with an option to develop these into evaluation rubrics they can use to monitor their progress.
  • During learning: Reflecting on learning and growth as it happens
    • Examples of activities include:
    • Students regularly review and update their planning reflection stems and success criteria (or rubrics) to check-in during the course of learning and record progress.
    • Students regularly write reflections on their progress, setbacks, frustrations, and elations in a reflection journal or regularly record a 30-second check-in audio or video that captures where they are in their learning journey and what they need to do next. (Students can choose to keep these private or share them with the teacher or other students.)
    • When providing teacher-to-student or student-to-student critiques and feedback, use phrases such as:
      • I like . . . to comment on what the student is doing really well
      • I wonder . . .to add some ideas on how the student might do something differently to make the work even better
  • After learning: Reflecting on learning and growth after completion
    • Students complete reflection stems such as the following to evaluate their learning process:
      • The new things I have learned are . . .
      • I still don't really understand . . .
      • Now I would like to learn about . . .
      • Next time I would . . .
    • Students present their work to the public in exhibitions, demonstrations, learning fairs, and other venues that provide ways for the participants to give constructive feedback to the students.

Suggested preparation

  • Students discuss the value of reviewing and reflecting on their learning, exploring how it helps them learn things better and deeper and which strategies they already use and find helpful.

Suggested review

  • Students discuss how the use of reflection strategies could be improved next time around and consider other ways to apply reflective strategies to their learning and their own lives.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

When students reflect on their learning activities, their understanding and sense-making deepens, their choices of strategies for further learning improve, and their ability to monitor, assess, and guide their own learning progress grows.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1, 3, and 4 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Activity Description: What kind of project activities did you and your students engage in to become more proficient in applying reflecting strategies to improve learning? Please describe the learning activities and strategies you used.
  • Activity Evaluation: How do you know your students increased their proficiency by engaging in the Practicing Reflection activities, and what evidence did you collect that demonstrates these learning gains?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Please submit work examples from two students (writing, audio, images, video, and other products) that demonstrate progress toward the Practicing Reflection competency, including such items as completed reflections phrases during the course of a project, samples of student-created reflection evaluation rubrics, student and teacher critiques of work, examples of their reflection presentations, and other relevant items.

Part 3. Student reflections

For the two students whose work examples were included above, submit their student-created reflections on the Practicing Reflection activities they experienced. Use the following questions as guidance (200-word limit for each reflection):

  • How did using the reflecting strategies help you gain a better understanding of what you do and don’t know and manage your learning process better?
  • How did this learning activity change your view of the value of taking time to reflect on what you’re learning and your view of yourself as a learner?

Part 4. Teacher reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as guidance (200-word limit):

  • What was the impact of engaging your students in the Practicing Reflection activity?
  • How will experiencing these project activities shape your daily future teaching practice?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Practicing Reflection
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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