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Understanding Reflective Practice (40 credits at level HE4)

An introduction the concept of systematic and critical reflection. You will explore your role in your work place by reflecting on specific critical incidents that provide an opportunity for learning - what, when, and why you do things and how this affects you and those around you.

40 credits at level HE4


You will establish a learning journal to collect evidence and express your thoughts about events in your work practice.

You will begin to explore second-order reflection by looking over your previous journal entries to write a deeper reflective overview and sharing this with other student researchers to benefit from their experience and critical friendship.


Content will be largely determined by the student researcher when relating their focus for inquiry in the work-context to the intended learning outcomes for the module. It is expected that this content will be inter-disciplinary in nature and draw on academic and professional sources including work-colleagues and online community experience and know-how. In addition, specific topics common to the professional theme of the course and other topics relating to the knowledge about action inquiry will be identified and supported by experts participating in hot-seat discussions, where student researchers ask questions and experts respond.

All resources required for the delivery of the module will be available online. In addition, learners will identify resources in the workplace, in libraries, and online that is relevant to their own inquiry.

Topics that may be encountered include:

  • Reflective practice
  • Identification of ‘critical incidents’ from your workplace


Learning will be supported through an online community of inquiry where student researchers, course staff and invited ‘experts’ will engage in discussions, debates and group activities to explore key concepts, ideas, relevant topics and offer moral support.

Student researchers are expected to develop study habits which enable learning and contribute to assessment through:

  • personal reflection in a learning log;
  • regular participation in the online community and
  • creative reporting to form a 'patchwork' for assessment.

Student researchers will:

  • identify a focus for their inquiry around issues or opportunities to take action for improvement that they have identified in their work practice;
  • plan an inquiry with learning activities that address each of the intended learning outcomes of the module;
  • undertake their inquiry and share selected parts with student researchers for critical feedback;
  • for each learning activity, create a product for assessment in the student researcher' choice of genre and media;
  • evaluate the inquiry;

Learning facilitators will:

  • promote community discussion on potential focii for inquiry;
  • privately agree student researcher commitment to inquiry proposals;
  • draw out issues arising in inquiries for community discussion;
  • model critical feedback in the online community;
  • make summative assessment of student researchers' work, noting strong points and points to consider with targets for improvement.

Assessment will be through an e-portfolio of work which will address each of the learning outcomes. It will include a summative commentary identifying the individual student researchers learning in relation to the intended learning outcomes for the module in a coherent account of their learning journey.


 Learning Outcomes
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
Assessment Criteria
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of reflective practice Describe the ideas of reflective practice referring to illustrations from your work experience
2. Identify critical incidents in the workplace Use a learning journal to capture evidence of events in your work practice and select a critical incident with justification
3. Construct reflective commentaries based on critical incidents Create your reflective commentary on a critical incident from your work practice using the genre and media of your choice and share it in the online community
4. Identify actions that arise from reflection List potential actions with advantages and disadvantages


Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:

Patchwork media: an assessment e-portfolio of learning activities with a summative commentary identifying learning achieved related to intended learning outcomes. 


  • Bolton, G. (2001 ‘Reflective Practice: writing and professional development’, Sage
  • Moon, J. (2004) 'A Handbook of Reflective and Experiental Learning: Theory and Practice', RoutledgeFalmer
  • Moon, J. (1999) 'Learning Journals: A Handbook for Academics, Students and Professional Development', Kogan Page
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