Theorising a model for teaching and assessing reflective learning in higher education

Mary Ryan, Michael Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of reflection in higher education and across disciplinary fields is widely recognised and it is generally included in university graduate attributes, professional standards and programme objectives. Furthermore, reflection is commonly embedded into assessment requirements in higher education subjects, often without necessary scaffolding or clear expectations for students. Despite the rhetoric around the importance of reflection for ongoing learning, there is scant literature on any systematic, developmental approach to teaching reflective learning across higher education programmes/courses. Given that professional or academic reflection is not intuitive, and requires specific pedagogic intervention to do well, a programme/course-wide approach is essential. This paper draws on current literature to theorise a new, transferable and customisable model for teaching and assessing reflective learning across higher education, which foregrounds and explains the pedagogic field of higher education as a multi-dimensional space. We argue that explicit and strategic pedagogic intervention, supported by dynamic resources, is necessary for successful, broad-scale approaches to reflection in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-257
Number of pages14
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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