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Experiential Learning and Reflection

On August 19th  Maureen Drysdale came to NMC and talked about using reflection to enhance student learning. Two days later, the Experiential Learning Institute (ELI) held the first EL Fundamentals course for a deeper dive into the components of EL.  The theme throughout both of these experiences is that reflection is a crucial and necessary part of the learning process. It is in reflection that we take our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, observations, and information, and generalize them.  We then apply those generalizations to other situations in the future.  

Experiential Learning InstituteOne of the ways that Dr. Drysdale taught us to reflect was using questions. We know that well-designed questions can help students deepen their insights as well as practice a variety of habits: listening, empathy, good communication, and critical thinking. One way we can start to craft effective reflective questions that promote learning, and not just recall,  is to start to think about what part of the whole person we are attempting to engage. Questions can address various domains with the intent of achieving specific learning outcomes. 

Please review these examples of reflection questions from the EL Fundamentals course offered through the ELI. When you are using different types of questions to promote reflection you are helping students to make meaning, and discover all of the different domains of being an engaged, curious, and flexible learner.  Ultimately, the teacher that promotes a reflective classroom is helping their students to grow their capacity to produce meaning and learn from their own experiences. If you would like more help with EL or reflection please come to the new ELI office hours:

  • Tuesday 12:30- 2:30 in JB127
  • Thursday 11:00-1:00 in SH115
  • Or by appointment – email el@nmc.edu 
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