Deep Learning Comes from Reflection

Photo: Nicole Pasia

At UW, you have taken classes, met new people, worked or interned or volunteered, made choices about how to spend your time and what interests you’ll pursue. Taken together, what have you learned?

Many educators believe that you haven't really learned from an experience until you've reflected on it. Reflection involves thinking back over an experience to pull meaning from it. It's reflection that helps you harvest insights from your experiences and make connections among them. There are places at the UW where deep reflection is built into your learning, like the Jackson School Task Force and the Husky Leadership Certificate, but you can practice reflection anytime and reap its benefits.

Reflecting by Asking Questions

You can reflect on previous experiences by asking yourself questions such as these:

  • What have I done that has been surprising? Scary? Delightful?
  • When was I the most creative and why?
  • What experience sparked my curiosity?
  • What experience has been the most challenging? The most rewarding?

You can also incorporate reflection into your everyday life, whether in class or as part of a community:

  • What are three things I learned today?
  • What are two ways I will act on what I learned?
  • What is one thing I want to know more about?

Don't let the idea of reflection seem daunting (or time consuming); get in the habit of asking questions and making connections between what you see, hear, read, and experience. This will deepen your learning and guide your next steps.

About the Husky Experience Toolkit

The Husky Experience Toolkit is designed to help you make the most of your time at UW, wherever you are in your university career. The articles address four interconnected dimensions of the Husky Experience: Know Yourself, Know the World, Make Your Way, and Weave it Together.