Community-Engagement: Impact of Reflection on Student Learning

In 2002, James Zull wrote that “[t]he art of directing and supporting reflection is part of the art of changing a brain. It is the art of leading a student toward comprehension” (p. 164). Reflection is a key component to the learning cycle and is one of the five criteria for courses with community-based learning (CBL) designations (whole-course or add-on options). In conjunction with other classroom learning experiences, reflection offers opportunities for learners to develop meaningful relationships with the content, classmates, and community. Additionally, reflection on community engagement experiences promotes cognitive and metacognitive growth in learners; leads to deeper understandings of the content; fosters the development of a civic consciousness; promotes the integration of academics with non-academic professional lives; educates learners about social issues that affect communities; and, promotes intra- and inter-personal learning and work habits. Done well, reflection holds learning experiences, including community-based experiences, to a firm academic standard and transforms abstract thinking into infinitely flexible analytical expertise. In this workshop, participants will learn various ways to foster reflective practices, deepen reflective understanding, and assess reflective practices.

Facilitator: Karen McComas (Center for Teaching and Learning)

(NOTE: This workshop is one of the required components for CBL certification.)