Teach and/or support learning
How students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)
Reflective practice in higher education refers to the process of critically examining and thinking about one's own experiences, actions, and decisions in order to learn and grow. Reflective practice can involve a variety of activities, such as keeping a journal, writing essays or reports, participating in group discussions, or engaging in self-assessment. The goal of reflective practice in higher education is to help students develop critical thinking skills, improve their understanding of themselves and the world around them, and enhance their personal and professional development. Reflective practice can be an important part of many higher education programs, and can be facilitated through the use of reflective assignments, activities, and assessments.
Reflective practices have been shown to have a moderate effect on learning (➕➕➕➕) 1. Further, research with healthcare professionals (including students) shows that reflective practice improves diagnostic decision making (➕➕➕➕) 2. The effect of reflective practices on learning is greater when students engage in reflective practices for 8 or more weeks (➕➕➕), they reflect using discussion forums, present at case conferences, and create concept maps ➕➕➕, and they discussed their experiences with their peers (➕➕➕➕) 1. Regarding diagnostic decision making, reflective practices are more effective when students reflect using structured questions and prompts (➕➕➕) 2.
This evidence summary is based on two meta-analyses. The first explored reflective practices in higher education 1. This meta-analysis included experimental and quasi-experimental research, included 23 primary studies, had a low heterogeneity score, included students from a number of disciplines and backgrounds, and reported a low-risk of publication bias (fail-safe N = 1015). For these reasons, this study was rated as high-quality (➕➕➕➕➕). The second study explore diagnostic decision making in healthcare professionals, including students 2. The paper included controlled studies, analysed 44 primary papers, reported low heterogeneity, and included a number of healthcare professions (from students to specialists). No publication bias calculations were conducted. Regardless, this quality of this meta-analysis is still rated high (➕➕➕➕).
1 Guo, L. (2022). How should reflection be supported in higher education? A meta-analysis of reflection interventions. Reflective Practice, 23(1), 118-146. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2021.1995856
2 Prakash, S., Sladek, R. M., & Schuwirth, L. (2019). Interventions to improve diagnostic decision making: A systematic review and meta-analysis on reflective strategies. Medical Teacher, 41(5), 517-524. https://doi.org/10.1080/0142159X.2018.1497786