A taxonomy of emotion and cognition for student reflection

introducing emo-cog

Marina Harvey*, Chris Baumann, Vanessa Fredericks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Reflective practice can support student learning by enabling praxis: the bridging of the theory of the classroom with the students’ learning experience. Students’ written reflections are the most common mode for practising and documenting reflection. Available typologies for coding the level of student written reflections focus on the cognitive domain. The coding of student reflection data from four locations (Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong and South Korea; n = 760) revealed that the focus on the cognitive domain could not capture the role and contribution of the affective domain of reflection for learning. This study conceptualises and presents our new two-domain emo-cog taxonomy, together with empirical evidence to substantiate a new way of thinking about reflection for learning. Emo-cog identifies multiple levels of affective responses along with traditional cognitive reflections. Emotions are found to make a significant contribution to student reflections. Learning is clearly a matter of head and heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1153
Number of pages16
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number6
Early online date24 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • cognitive domain
  • emo-cog
  • emotion
  • Student reflection

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