What is reflection?

Reflection is a metacognitive process, which means it involves thinking about our thinking. At university you may be asked to reflect on your thinking involving a task, a process or your practice. This is a form of analysis with a focus on you, your thinking, behaviour and actions. This module provides some reflective models which may assist you undertake reflective tasks. It also illustrates how our thinking may be limited by cognitive biases.

How do I reflect?

Reflecting on a process or your practice may involve consideration of what happened, why, how you felt or how it impacted you, and how you may respond or adapt in the future. You may be asked in an assignment to use a specific model for your reflection, but the fundamental components involve: describing the event/ situation/ process/ concept; interpreting or analysing it; reviewing or thinking about the outcome and how you may change in the future.

image illustrating the process of reflecting, from Description to Interpretation then to Outcome

When completing a reflective writing task at university, follow the structures required for your assignment. You can find examples of reflection in different fields through the Approaches to assignments in your faculty page.

How do I avoid cognitive bias?


Central to a reflection of our own thinking are cognitive biases. These are preconditioned perceptions and judgements of the human mind and the basis for how we can deceive ourselves and make errors in our reasoning. Cognitive biases can be sexist, racist, homophobic, or may relate to how you gather information or make judgements. Awareness of your cognitive biases can provide a powerful insight into your own thinking. Here are some examples:

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Reasoning Identifying Analysing Evaluating