Teaching Philosophy


published on May 7, 2019

Michael Flierl, Russ Hamer

Designing Student Reflections to Enable Transformative Learning Experiences

Many philosophy instructors want their students to change the way they think about and act in the world. Reflection can be one way to bring this about, yet it is common for student reflections to fail to enable this desired transformative learning experience. Our research investigated how instructors can design better reflective assignments to cultivate a more transformative learning experience for students. Using thematic analysis, a qualitative research method, we analyzed student reflection data to identify themes and patterns of student work. Findings include concrete guidelines for cultivating better student reflections, including: designing for reflection, explicitly limiting summary, and incentivizing students to make specific claims while bringing personal experience to bear.