Activity: reflective writing

Week 1 Activity 

(to be completed by Friday 17 May)

Throughout the 5 weeks of this course, we hope that you will reflect on your learning and share your reflections with other MOOC participants. For those of you who have selected to be assessed, tutor feedback will be provided. 

What to write: guidelines

Your reflections are your own and personal to you. But, for this course, they should be professional as well. Your reflective writing should therefore focus on whatever is most useful to you in your role or anticipated role at this time. A successful MOOC - and professional communities - rely on open sharing of ideas and resources, so we hope you will share your reflections.   What do we mean by "professional, scholarly reflection?"

If you are unsure about what to focus on, then you might try the following suggestions. 

We suggest that in this first week you reflect on your overall experience to date as a teacher. Even if this is not your "job" or you have not yet been in a role with that name, you have probably taught someone at some time: a colleague, a parent. Think about teaching adults.

Notes to yourself at the start

Are there any aspirations, reminders or thoughts you have now as you embark on this MOOC that you might find useful to record in order to have them for later review?

Reflections on past experience

Focus on your own learning experiences, how do you learn best? How have your own learning experiences influenced how you teach? Next week's activity will focus on how writings (or other media) by others have influenced your work.

What kinds of students have you taught? What have you discovered from the experience?  What strategies and techniques do you employ to help students learn? Why do you use these strategies and techniques?

To aid your reflections think about the The UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in Higher Education 2011 - . The areas of activity and the professional values may help frame your reflections.

Where and how to share your reflections

The ideal place is in your blog, which many authors and educators find an excellent tool for sharing their reflective writing. Don’t forget to tag your blog posts with the tag for this MOOC - #fslt13. And, Aggregate your blog.

Alternatively, you could post your reflection to the forum called "Discussion about the reflective writing activity", which has been set up for this activity (see Week 1) or you could simply upload to the peer feedback area.

Peer Feedback

Peer feedback is intended to be a supportive and appreciative activity that helps develop practice by thinking critically not in a negative way but in the way of where does this take us? You might find these questions useful when you frame your response:

  • what are the most interesting points raised in the statement?
  • what questions are you left with after reading this statement?

Getting the Badge

To get the badge and peer feedback, you need to submit to the Reflective Statement peer feedback workshop.

1. Click on the Reflective Statement Workshop area.

2. Link to your reflection by:
a) providing a web link (url) to your reflection in your blog or discussion board or

b) submit a document (attach it) with a brief note in the text window.

3. You will be randomly allocated up to four other peer reflections to review and provide feedback.

4. Go back into the Reflective Statement Workshop area and read and provide feedback on your peer's reflections.

Later in the course

At the end of Week 5, we will suggest that you draw on your interim reflections and writing to reflect on what you have learned from the course, update your initial reflections in the light of what you have learned on the course and consider what your next steps for continuing professional development might be.

Extending this activity

Instead of confining your reflections to week 1 and 5, you might consider writing and sharing your reflections on a weekly basis. Developing the habit of weekly reflection will support your teaching practice; sharing your reflections will help you to make connections and network with others in similar contexts; and weekly reflections in this MOOC will inform your final reflections at the end of Week 5.

The most distinctive of these very good teachers is that their practice is the result of careful reflection . . . They themselves learn lessons each time they teach, evaluating what they do and using these self-critical evaluations to adjust what they do next time.

(Why Colleges Succeed, Ofsted 2004, para. 19,  quoted in The Reflective Teacher  by Jenny Moon)

Last modified: Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 04:02 PM