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Reflection is the structured and intentional consideration of experiences in light of particular learning objectives.

When planning a service learning course, faculty should identify several points in the semester when reflection can be incorporated. At its best, reflection embodies "the four C's":

  1. Continuous – Reflection should be iterative. In other words, it should happen more than once. Students' interpretations and understandings of their experiences grow and evolve over time. At the very least, students should be asked to reflect on their service learning near the beginning of their experience and again near the end. It is even more effective to incorporate regular service learning reflection opportunities into the course schedule (monthly, biweekly, etc).
  2. Challenging – Reflection should encourage students to question pre-existing paradigms, assumptions, and interpretations, not just to report or narrate their experiences. 
  3. Connected – Reflection links the service experiences to the academic content of the class. 
  4. Contextualized – Reflection should be tailored to the specific course students are taking and the specific type of work students are doing in the community.

Reflection Handout (Project)

Reflection Handout (Placement)

Find reflections on various topics below:

Reflection on The Role of Service

Reflection on Volunteering vs. Service Learning and handout

Reflections on Description, Interpretation, Evaluation

Reflections on unlearning our privilege--article and reflection

Reflection on white privilege--article and reflection

Reflection on social issues and their causes

Reflection on learning outcomes and action plans

Case Studies for Reflection Assignments

Service Learning Reflection Activities

Different Kinds of Reflections

Article on The "Reductive Seduction of Other People's Problems"--great for reflection

Aids for Evaluating Reflections: 

IUPUI Service Learning Reflection Rubric

Criteria for Evaluating Reflections

AAC&U Integrative Learning Value Rubric

Find additional resources on reflection at these links:

Guidelines and Strategies for Service Learning Reflection

Northwest Service Academy Reflection Toolkit (PDF, 138KB)

Campus Compact - Structured Reflection