Reflecting on a Course Activity
This video will walk you through a sample of a student reflection using the three stages of the "What, So What, Now What" model.
Yanping (reading assignment): For this assignment, you are asked to write a two-page reflection on your group work experience in this class. How did you approach the group work tasks, and what did you learn from this experience? Based on what you learned, what will you do differently in future group work tasks? Use the “What, So What, Now What” model to organize your paper. Be sure to provide specific examples and show how your experiences led to your learning.
Ugh. I’m dreading writing about my group work experience (sighs). Oh well, here goes.
Stage 1. What: Describe what happened. Focus on your actions and experiences.
Hmm...our group task was to write a literature review. In our meetings, there was lots of talking, but we couldn’t agree on how to do the task. I gave my ideas, but no one listened. Finally, I gave up trying to contribute. I could see the project was failing, but I felt helpless to do anything about it.
After a few frustrating meetings, we all decided to work on our parts individually and then we gave all the pieces to one person to stitch together and edit. I didn’t have any say in the final paper. The worst part was getting our grade. C-.
The professor said our paper was disjointed and difficult to read. All that hard work for nothing.
Stage 2: So what: What was important about this experience for you? How does this experience connect to course concepts? What did you learn?
I spent a long time being angry at my group. But now that I think about it, I did learn some things from this experience.
First, I learned that communication can make or break group work. Without a good way of communicating and sharing ideas, we were lost. I also learned that my communication style is not as assertive as some others. That meant I wasn’t heard.
Third, I learned that giving up or taking a passive role doesn’t solve anything. It just makes things worse.
Stage 3: Now what? How have you changed or grown because of this experience? How will you think or act differently in future situations because of this experience?
Okay...well, the next time I’m in a group, I’m going to suggest that we start by writing down some ground rules about how we’re going to communicate and make decisions. I think having this conversation up front could help the group stay on track later on.
I’m also going to try to be more patient. I’m going to try to be a better listener for others and try to build on their ideas to help the group move forward. I’m also going to try getting the group’s attention before trying to speak.
For example, I could raise my hand or ask “Could I make a suggestion?” before adding my ideas.
Finally, discuss the value of reflecting on your experiences this way.
Hmm….this reflection process was valuable in that it helped me take something positive from a difficult experience.
By reflecting on the What, So What, Now What, I can see what I learned from the experience and how I might apply that in the future.
For more reflection paper advice, examples, and templates, visit writeonline.ca
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