Reflection is an essential component of service-learning. Reflection helps students make connections between their service experiences, their academic coursework, larger social issues, and personal development. Common forms of reflection are writing (such as journal entries or essays) and discussion, but reflection can be done in many different ways.
We offer the following resources for faculty, students, and community partners to use in the reflection process. We encourage students to use these for personal or out-of-class reflection, and we encourage faculty and community partners to use these as resources in facilitating reflections. Some of these documents are oriented toward reflection facilitators, but students can use them as well. Resources marked with an asterisk (*) are oriented toward reflection facilitators and are least likely to be of use to students.
Catholic Social Teaching Reflection (PDF , DOC)
This offers spiritual topics for reflection, adapted from Catholic Social Teachings. This may be especially helpful for ethics, theology, and philosophy reflections.
Electronic Journaling: Using the Web-Based, Group Journal for Service-Learning Reflection by Steven D. Mills (PDF )*
This article describes the use of web-based group journals as an alternative to individual private journals for service-learning reflection.
FACE Assessment (PDF , DOC)
This is a reflection on Facts, Assumptions, Challenges, and Expectations to prepare oneself for a new service experience.
Facilitating Reflection: A Manual for Leaders and Educators by Julie Reed and Christopher Koliba (HTML )*
This is a useful and comprehensive guide for reflection facilitation.
General Reflection Activities (PDF , DOC)*
This contains the "What? So What? Now What?" activity and other interactive group reflection activities.
How Do You Define Service? (PDF , DOC)
This is a way to examine one's personal definition of service. This is an excellent group activity.
Modes of Rhetoric from Kerrissa Heffernan, Brown University (PDF , DOC)*
This explores different rhetorical modes that can be used for reflection.
O.R.I.D. Model of Reflection (PDF , DOC)
This format for guiding reflection presents students with increasingly complex questions. O.R.I.D. stands for objective, reflective, interpretive, and decisional.
Preflection Questions (PDF , DOC)
These sample questions can be used as a preflection before a service experience.
Reflection in Service Learning: Making Meaning of Experience by Robert G. Bringle and Julie A. Hatcher (PDF )*
This article offers a philosophical basis for reflection, different forms of reflection, ways of assessing reflection, and outcomes of reflection.
Reflective Writing (PDF , DOC)*
This describes the benefits and types of reflective writing and offers sample activities.
What? So What? Now What? (PDF , DOC)
This presents a reflection question format (What? So What? No What?) with sample questions.
Boise State: Reflection
Boise State University has a good section on reflection, with a description of its importance and many sample questions and formats/activities.
Campus Compact: Reflection *
This web page is a resource for educators on using structured reflection.
*These documents are oriented toward reflection facilitators and are less likely than the others to be useful for students.