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Post Placement Analysis Promoting Tools for Reflection. Angela Tomkins University of Gloucestershire 20 th October 2006. Context. Meta…from PDP to CPD Enabling students to think more critically about themselves and their experiential learning through PDP and student peer support

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post placement analysis promoting tools for reflection

Post Placement AnalysisPromoting Tools for Reflection

Angela Tomkins

University of Gloucestershire

20th October 2006


Meta…from PDP to CPD

Enabling students to think more critically about themselves and their experiential learning through PDP and student peer support

Fund for Development of Teaching and Learning Phase 5

3 key themes for discussion today
3 key themes for discussion today

To optimise experiential learning

To facilitate reflective thinking on this experiential learning

To promote ‘tools’ to encourage reflective thinking and writing

employers perspective
Employers’ perspective

Employers used to ask potential employees what they had done implicitly, what skills they had acquired. Now they ask what it is that students have learned from their experiences and, implicitly, how well equipped they are to learn and continue learning.

Universities UK (2002) cited in Scottish Funding Councils for Further and Higher Education (2005)

student employability profiles
Student Employability Profiles
  • Leisure – take responsibility for own learning and continuing professional development and reflect critically on what is required to work in leisure (page 99)
  • Hospitality – be reflective and self critical and perceive self in relation to others (page 91)
  • Sport – know how to learn, adapt to changing circumstances, self appraise and reflect on practice (page 132)

Student Employability Profiles A guide for Higher Education Practitioners (2005) The Higher Education Academy, CIHE Graduate Prospects

the common theme is
The common theme is…


The art of reflecting is one which causes us to make sense of what we have learned, why we learned it, and how that particular increment of learning took place. Moreover, reflection is about linking one increment of learning to the wider perspective of learning – heading towards the bigger picture.

Race, P. (2002) Evidencing reflection: putting the W’ into reflection (ESCALATE Learning Exchange)

the meta model
The Meta model

Developing a model to enable student progression in self awareness through experiential learning


level 1
Level 1

Self management

giving students time management skills and confidence in academic and planning skills for coping with learning in Higher Education

level 2
Level 2

Self identity

building on skills audits, identifying strengths and challenges and beginning to develop skills in reflective writing and understanding of how one’s own learning occurs

level 3
Level 3

Self authoring

enabling students not only to know and understand themselves but also have the ability to articulate their skills and competencies in the employment market

stages of reflection
Stages of reflection
  • Thinking about doing something (preparing for…)
  • Doing it – reflection in action Schon (1983)
  • Reflection on action Schon (1983)
  • Thinking about the future (employability…)

(non linear)

meta model
Meta model

Introducing the ‘idea’ of a profession and what this means for undergraduates (LR103)

…. Employers’ forum comprising a series of case studies written by employers to highlight skills required in specific workplace scenarios (in progress)

…. Delivered using WebCT and class based discussions

…. Contributes to formative assessment (encourages reflections on case studies in relation to professional requirements of the industry)

tools for reflection
Tools for reflection

Learning diaries

Critical incidents

R cards

Learning sets


level 2 mid placement briefing

Level 2 Mid Placement Briefing

Improving reflective writing skills

our experiences of students diaries
Our experiences of students’ diaries

Some students

don’t know what to write

see it as a ‘tick box’ exercise

see it as a waste of time

don’t see the value of learning through reflection

trialling r cards a tool to support reflective learning
Trialling ‘R cards’ - a tool to support Reflective Learning

In busy work environments “R cards” give students a tool which helps them to reflect on real issues and to structure their learning




……and easy to use

With thanks to the Institute of Reflective Practice

reflective learning
Reflective Learning

Capturing the moment

  • The reflective card…

carried around day-to-day at work

A business size card carried around with you and filled in ‘live’

Concentrates on reflecting on COMMUNICATION skills

communication skills
Communication Skills

Focusing on communication skills

Written communication e.g. emails, reports, business letters, marketing materials

Verbal communication skills e.g. dealing with customers, making an oral presentation

how does it work stage 1 reflection in action
How does it work? Stage 1 Reflection in Action
  • You capture a real event – not something seen through a ‘retrospectivescope’ e.g. dealing with a customer complaint
  • What to capture (refer to Communication Competency sheet)

Visualise this scene!

recording your immediate responses
Recording Your Immediate Responses

Positive Experience

  • Was this a positive or negative experience for you?

Low motivation

High motivation

  • How far do you feel motivated to learn from or ignore (deal with it and forget about it) this situation? In other words are you highly or lowly motivated to change in this particular scenario?



Negative Experience

further immediate responses
Further immediate responses

In line with my values

  • How far did you feel confident or inexperienced in this situation?


Feel inexperienced

  • Has the event made you question your values, or has it reinforced them? E.g. I feel it is important that the customer has a good experience, or I don’t care.

Feel confident


Made me question my values

stage 2 reflection on action
Stage 2 Reflection on Action

Single side of A4

What have I learned about myself

experience/motivation and values/confidence

How I learn

What action am I going to take?

What would I like to discuss with my tutor?

How will this impact upon my Personal Action Plan

post placement analysis towards self authoring
Post Placement Analysis towards ‘self authoring’
  • At Level 3 students build on this reflective thinking and planning, and demonstrate clearly what they have learnt and what they have to offer:

→to prospective employers

→to Levels 1 and 2 students using a variety of peer support methods

  • This helps to develop a very sharp and focused skills-based CV and to show what they understand about themselves and how they learn.
storytelling as a tool for encouraging reflective writing
Storytelling as a tool for encouraging reflective writing


Listening to stories that reveal how experienced practitioners (in this instance post placement students) work with complex situations can provide insights into practice realities as appropriate responses are shared and the skills needed are identified

Mc Drury, J. and Alterio, M. (2003:86) Learning through storytelling in Higher Education London Kogan Page

creating social environments to encourage reflective thinking and peer support
Creating social environments to encourage reflective thinking and peer support
  • Meta Mingle
  • Learning sets
  • New Mentoring module beginning February 2007
for more information
For more information
  • Contacts

Angela Tomkins (module tutor for those modules discussed today)

John Buswell (Meta project director)

Sue Watkins (Meta project manager)