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How is reflective writing assessed?

Reflective writing is often assessed through learning logs or portfolios which act as a diary, or record of your experience.

You may be asked to write an individual reflective commentary or use a group wiki to make reflective comments about collaborative learning (where students support and learn from each other with the tutor guiding, but not necessarily leading the process) or online blogs. Online blogs may be shared with other students, or private between student and tutor.

The assessment criteria used in your module should make it clear what learning outcomes your tutors expect your writing to demonstrate and how they judge, or grade the extent to which you have demonstrated you have achieved those learning outcomes.

Reflective writing: linking theory with practice

Reflective writing allows you to make personal links between theoretical concepts and real life experiences.

For example:

A trainee teacher might talk about a recent teaching placement and reflect on a new module he has designed, and how it made use of Vygotsky's concept of zones of proximal development or sociocultural theories of scaffolding.


A Management Studies student doing a group project and presentation might reflect on the relevance of Tuckman's stages of group dynamics in her experience of group work.

Reflective writing is the same as any form of academic writing. It is important to read and understand the assessment criteria for each module. What is the tutor looking for and how do they expect the quality of the reflective writing to demonstrate it?