Reflective Journals

'I did not realise how useful my reflective diary would be, I constantly referred to it when completing application forms.......and it helped me focus my answers for job interviews and provide work based examples'
- Student on GO Wales placement.

Reflective journals

  • often form a substantial part of the assessment of the work experience, either directly or indirectly
  • are a very useful self assessment tool if used well

 Recording in your journal

  • Journals are of limited value if you just record activities you have done while on placement. To gain the full benefit, you need to reflect on the learning that has taken place
  • Spend some time each week on your journal
  • Use the opportunity to reflect on both the transferable skills that you are developing, as well as the course-specific skills you are putting into practice in the work place
  • Reflective practice takes time to learn. Get feedback from your supervisor/mentor/placement tutor as to how you are going. Use the journal as a starting point for discussion
  • Below are some guidelines as to the questions you could ask yourself when thinking about your experience.

  Questions you could ask yourself to aid reflection

  • In what areas/ situations do you feel you have made progress? Specifically what have you learned? What strengths can you identify?
  • What has contributed to this progress? What have you learned about the way you learn?
  • What would you do differently next time? What other options were there in that situation? What would have been the consequences of another action?
  • Has another similar incident arisen again and how did you react?
  • Think about some events/ situations that have taken place and how you felt at the time, e.g. confident, tense, frustrated, certain, doubtful etc. Use these reactions to identify strengths, and areas that need development.
  • Have you identified any areas of weakness? Are there potential situations where you can work on these? How will you go about it? Is more support needed (from industry/university) to assist development?