Reflective learning involves conscious thinking by examining or absorbing an issue which triggers a past experience and helps to gain fresh insights into a new knowledge or skill. It enables learners to build on their prior knowledge. It plays an important role in personal development programs and in understanding the experiential learning process. Before reacting to a situation, reflective learners think about new information and they try to figure out a solution to a problem on their own.
Thus, reflective learning is associated with profound thought intended at better understanding and gaining a better perspective by going over something several times. It can be undertaken in many forms; either individually or in a group, through writing, orally or through images. It is a method which provides learners the time to assimilate what has been taught and work towards improving themselves during the course of their work.
Here are some of the benefits of reflective learning:
- Improve concentration and focus as they are important qualities of a good learner.
- Foster creative skills, developing critical thinking skills and meta-cognitive skills.
- Help develop an action plan for the future, to gain an understanding and develop skills of professional practice.
- Help learners to differentiate between thought, context and situation, and help examine their feelings and responses.
- Support learners to focus and participate in individual development, develop self awareness and analytical skills.
To improve the current performance of employees, reflective learning is used by employers in certain contexts. It may be captured and evaluated during work in different forms. A structure in which you can capture opinions or recollections, and a formal record that can be reviewed as additional insights could provide evidence of an individual’s progress.