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Making Reflection Fun

As the semester is winding to a close, many of us are moving into the final reflective phases of our classes. Reflection is a powerful way to deepen student’s learning. Below are suggestions for simple reflection activities that require little to no additional grading. Even better, many of them are fun activities that help build classroom community. While these ideas have a service-learning lens, they can be applied to a variety of teaching contexts.

  • Hand touches library books on shelf Social Media Post: Have students write a social media post where they capture what they have learned from their Service-Learning (SL) or community-engaged experience. They can then share these posts with one another and comment on each others posts.
  • Word Cloud: Students put a word that represents what they are learning into a word cloud generator and then students share why they put their word into the cloud, or which word resonated most with them.
  • Speed Date: Make an inner and outer circle of students and have the outer circle ask questions of the inner circle. The questions could pertain to your community engagement project. Example questions: what is the rose and thorn of your SL experience, what are you learning, or what dispositions are you bringing to your SL experience?)
  • Google Polls and surveys: In class students rate how much they are learning in their service-learning experience 1-10. The instructor then projects the graph so that students could see the range of experiences and reflect on where they fall on that spectrum and why. Follow this with questions of ways they could improve the experience in order to move their number higher. This puts the onus of the experience on students.
  • Journals: Students journal about their experiences. Over the semester these journal entries could scaffold into a larger reflective essay about their community-engaged learning.
  • Discussion: Students participate in a discussion board with one another or an in-class guided discussion.
  • Reflective Letter: Students write a letter to future students to reflect on their own learning. This letter can help guide future students in how to be successful in the class.

There are many creative ways of approaching reflection and Service-Learning. Perhaps you will have a chance to try one or two of these activities before the semester ends.

Written by:

Elizabeth Barnes