How might deliberate practice in self-reflection enhance learning strategies?

These experiments present participants with multi-modal strategies for evaluating one’s performance or comprehension. Specifically, the brief exercises explicitly identify next steps for improving aspects of performance. The call to future action underscores the value of building the reflective muscle required to actively respond to our internal back-talk. The exercises played with tactics for deliberately establishing modes for amplifying the back and forth between candidly reflecting on learning and proposing strategies for enhancing performance.  


Description A set of ongoing interventions, this project intentionally deploys multiple contexts to explore self-reflective strategies. Early in-class experimentations informed the ‘Reflection box’ prototype that we initially introduced at a Design Thinking for Educators workshop for 300+ K12 teachers and administrators. The boxes offered a make-your-own reflective kit by which to translate and own the content being delivered in the conference hall. The materials participants could place inside their box translated the content diagrammatically, materially and emotionally. The provocation to experientially translate the workshop content concluded with a call to action and a commitment to what they would take away and apply in the following week. 

Approach Early interventions evolved through classroom playtests — both as formal assessment exercises and quick exercises repeatedly integrated into lessons to ensure spaced learning. These design probes (cultural artefacts designed to gather participant insights and values) sought to explore the most provocative, engaging strategies for prompting not just reflection but future action. Taking an action research approach each intervention was explicitly evaluated through observations, surveys one-month post and follow up group interviews. The next generation artefacts were iteratively responsive to what we learned through the previous design move. This opportunistic approach resists predetermining a single metric for analysis. For example a never-foreseen insight for one person was that the reason the reflection boxes became her way into packaging the workshop content was not due to our intentional encoding of the experience but because the incidental photo she took of her box offered a summative form of retrieval that called out details of the day.

Principal Investigator Lisa Grocott
Research Associates Mai Kobori and Jacqueline Cooksey
Research Assistants Siri Betts-Sonstegard, Myriam Diatta, Christopher Patten, Maggie Ollove, Aly Blenkin, Bridget Sheerin, Diala Ltief.

Background Image: Materials laid out for building reflection boxes — participants from the Swedish Ph.D students.