Using reflection to influence practice: student perceptions of daily reflection in clinical education

Amanda R. Emke
Daniel A. London
Douglas P. Larsen
Soort article
Original Research
Practice-based learning,
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Purpose Reflection is a key element in learning from experience, but the impact of most programmes of reflection on daily practice remains unclear. We investigated students’ perceptions of adding a daily written reflection assignment to a clinical rotation.

Methods Third-year medical students on a single two-week rotation completed daily reflections analyzing their performance. Programme evaluation used a 33-question anonymized survey. Quantitative data were summarized and qualitative responses coded for recurring themes.

Results Twenty-six students completed the survey (90 % response rate). Eighty-five percent of students felt that the daily reflections had a positive impact on their learning from clinical experience. Seventy-seven percent of students reported that the programme changed their awareness of their thoughts and actions, and 80 % felt that it improved their recall of experiences. A greater sense of mindfulness and focus on self-improvement were major themes that emerge from students’ descriptions of the role of daily reflections in their learning.

Conclusion Overall, daily reflections demonstrated a positive learning influence. This exploratory study suggests students may benefit from more frequent, short reflections as opposed to more typically spaced reflective assignments.


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