Reflection-in-action is actively reflecting, or thinking about a task, or job, while in the midst of it, and then making adjustments in order to improve that task's procedure as a result.
Clear expectations spelled out in a rubric should guide the student into seeing common problems as well as a good performance.
It should describe the key elements of the document and describe a low, middle, and high level of performance.
While for some, reflection comes naturally, most students must learn to reflect.
According to Donald Schon (, 1987), reflection occurs in stages.
Self-assessment occurs when students assess their own work, either finished or in-progress.
This process can benefit faculty by saving them time (since self-assessments are not graded), and it can benefit students as well.On the right side, the good and bad moments within the writing process might be recorded, the analysis, questions, and/or pertinent portions of a conversation with a fellow writer who provided feedback.On the left side, notes, answers, and/or comments about the first set of notes are recorded. Logs are a way for students to reflect in action or to reflect between drafts (constructive reflection), that is, as they write.Perhaps the most effective journal type for reflection is the double-entry or "Dialectical Notebook" as described by Peter Elbow and Pat Belanoff (, 2nd ed., 1995).With this method the writer divides a page by a center line, or two facing pages in a side bound spiral notebook, in order to put two pieces of writing in "dialogue" with each other.Or the writing specific questions can take center stage.Following are some examples of questions often asked in self-assessment prompts: Through guided reflection and self-assessment, students learn more about who they are as writers, thus gaining the skill necessary to think through their own composition problems critically, and improving their abilities to edit and proofread their own work.At the same time students are making these gains for themselves through self-assessment, they often provide teachers with valuable insight into how students learn individually so that teachers might improve their own practice. The mini essays, journals, or dialectical notebooks could be used in peer response groups to generate conversations about writing and to provide ideas for the more formal reflection-in-presentation.Since the formal self-assessment will most likely accompany a larger work that will be graded, a simple completion grade for the self-assessment is all that is necessary.Or the mini essay could be a letter or memo to the instructor about the writing process, for example, introducing the document and describing how they wrote it, what problems they solved, and how well they achieved their purpose or targeted their audience.Once students have practiced reflection and perhaps shared with you or with peers, they will be ready for a more formal, written form of self-assessment. A good rubric helps students understand the criteria used to judge writing.