The techniques used in reflection include observing, thinking, talking, listening, asking questions, writing and reading.

See handout on Reflection

Reflection is the key to service learning; it is the ingredient for transforming experience into learning. It is crucial for integrating service with the academic concepts presented in class.

Students need to think beyond the specific tasks that they are performing and use some of the ideas examined in class to understand their experiences.

Reflection is most effective when it is timely. Students are encouraged to reflect on their service learning activity each day that they are involved in the service. Many students find it useful to keep a learning journal.

Some questions to ask yourself when reflecting in your journal:

  • Why am I doing service in relation to this course?
  • Why is this community partner a good site for service learning with this course?
  • How does the service activity relate to my classroom learning?
  • What are the underlying issues that need to be addressed?
  • How does my service make a difference, and to whom?
  • What am I learning: about course content, about myself, about the community?