Reflection for learning: understanding the value of reflective writing for information literacy development

Pamela McKinney, Barbara A Sen
2012, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 110-129


Reflective writing has long been acknowledged as an important aspect of personal and professional development. There is increasing evidence of the use of reflective writing assessments and activities in the context of information literacy (IL) education, particular in higher education (HE). Writing reflectively can help students to understand their own IL development and engage in deeper learning. Students on an undergraduate business intelligence module at the University of Sheffield completed a piece of reflective writing about their IL development as part of the assessed work for the module. This writing was mapped against a model of reflection and a model of IL to understand the depth and spread of reflection offered by these students. The results showed that students had chosen to reflect in some but not all areas of IL, and the depth of reflection was variable. However, the aspects of IL where students were reflective illustrated that the learning outcomes of the module had been met. Mapping reflective statements against models of reflection was found to aid in the analysis and assessment of the reflective writing. The analysis undertaken by the researchers supported their own reflective practice as scholars of teaching and learning.


Reflection; pedagogy; teacher’s reflective practice; Seven Pillars

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