Reflective practice for professional/career development

CDL learning outcomes focus on developing an individual's self-awareness and motivations, investigating personal own values, desires, strengths, as well as knowledge and understanding. As such reflective practices  are often used as a major assessment tool, as reflection allows the student to capture and investigate  their own personal responses and understandings.

Reflection  asks students to :

Examine what they have learnt  and the ways in which  they learnt it.  

Connect real world experience with theory or beliefs.

Identify  new knowledge they have developed

Propose how this will change their understanding or action in future.  

Resources for Reflection

Reflective practice goes hand in hand with a career portfolio to assist students to start building a professional presence. It assists them to make new sense out of the things they have been learning, the tools they are using, and the activities they are engaged in.

Reflective practice for career learning and development also involves imagining the future when the student has graduated and is in the workforce (or applying for roles) and connecting their learning in a way that is useful to the achievement of their employment and professional goals:

  • Changing the mindset from themselves as ‘student’ to ‘professional’ (this may include reducing the emphasis of what mark or grade they achieved, and looking at how relevant this was in terms of industry expectations)
  • Viewing coursework and assignments in a way that employers in their industry will find attractive
  • Using professional language to describe university activities
  • Looking at themselves as multi-faceted individuals with an evolving professional personal
  • Being objective rather than subjective about their achievements
  • Looking at themselves through different lenses, in a range of situations in and outside of university
  • Developing insights into their unique set of employability skills, knowledge, personal qualities, experiences and achievements
  • Valuing themselves in a meaningful way, so they can demonstrate that value to others

Professional reflection techniques include:

  • Asking yourself questions and answering them honestly
  • Identifying ways you have grown and changed over a set period of time (a week, a month, a year)
  • Pinpointing small successes and giving them meaning
  • Observing the small, incremental steps you are taking towards achieving your goals
  • Thinking about ways you can work towards filling in gaps in your knowledge, skills and experiences
  • Investigating your internal thoughts and processes as well as the things you actually do and say.