Designing for Flexibility

Taking risks & celebrating failure:

tools and strategies for encouraging critical reflection

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[CC FlickR image by uniondocs]


Through these topics we have encouraged you to stop, reflect and critique practice.
Just as we, as VET practitioners, benefit from time to reflect on our actions, approaches and directions, so too should our learners:
  • What worked? When did you feel you were on the right track?
  • What didn't seem to work? Why? When did you feel uncomfortable?
  • What were you thinking/feeling when ...?
  • What was your intention in doing or saying this?
  • What have you learned from this situation?

In this topic we'll look at some tools and strategies to scaffold reflective practice in learning designs.


Read/revisit Michelle Martin's post - Becoming a More Reflective Individual Practitioner
As we complete our series of topics on designing for increased flexibility in learning, teaching and assessment take some time to reflect upon what has challenged and inspired you.
Complete a post on the highlights and things you will take forward.
Consider your own professional development plans. Where do you feel you need to, or would like to, learn more?

Regardless of the AQF level of your course, it is possible to build reflective thinking into your learning design. Even though reflection becomes easier the more you know about a topic adult learners bring a wealth of life experience and existing knowledge, beliefs and transferable skills that can act as a great resource.
There are a range of multimodal tools to enable this. Which of these could you include for use with your students and course?
Honest, open, confident reflective thinking and analysis, including self-assessment, requires a learning context and culture that both encourages and supports risk taking, creative thinking and multiple viewpoints.
How might this be better encouraged in VET?

But does risk taking NEED to be analysed? Read Danah Boyd's post below for an alternative viewpoint.

Background reading

Thinking critically about critical thinking - B. Jean Mandernach IN Insight 2006
What is reflective practice? - Joy Amulya, MIT
Reflective thinking
Adding Creativity to the Critical Thinking in Reflection
Application of Blogs to Support Reflective Learning Journals
Danah Boyd - The Unintended Consequences of Obsessing Over Consequences (or why to support youth risk-taking)


This topic will be discussed in a synchronous Adobe Connect session.

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[cc FlickR image by Langwitches]