Reflection is the structured and intentional consideration of experiences in light of particular learning objectives.

When planning a service learning course, faculty should identify several points in the semester when reflection can be incorporated. Assigning journals, short papers or field logs (or blogs) is not the only way to invite students to reflect. Often, the most effective forms of reflection are structured in-class exercises and activities.  Examples>>

At its best, reflection embodies "the four C's":

  1. Continuous

Reflection should be iterative. In other words, it should happen more than once. Students' interpretations and understandings of their experiences grow and evolve over time. At the very least, students should be asked to reflect on their service learning near the beginning of thier experience and again near the end. It is even more effective to incorporate regular service learning reflection opportunities into the course schedule (monthly, biweekly, etc).

2. Challenging

3. Contextualized