Reflective practice: a meaningful task for students
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Reflective practice: a meaningful task for students

Anne Smith Director of nursing studies, School of Health and Social Care, University of Reading
Kirsten Jack Senior lecturer adult nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University

Aims To ascertain whether students found reflection to be a meaningful activity, whether there are perceived benefits associated with reflective practice and whether it is a valid process on which to assess the outcomes of a course relating to the competencies of specialist practice.

Method The attitudes of students attending a one-year degree course were examined using a focus group interview and a web discussion board. The evaluation of the focus group interviews and web-based discussion postings are discussed.

Findings Reflective writing is considered a key component of portfolio assessment because it provides evidence of skills development and increasing clinical competence. There was no consensus on whether or not reflection is a meaningful activity. The students’ learning style is pertinent to their perception of the usefulness of reflection.

Conclusion The findings indicated the scepticism with which some students approached the task, but they also identified that reflection had a positive impact on the practice of students more able to embrace the process in a meaningful way. There is scope to extend this work to examine the use of reflection in developing the growing body of practice knowledge that underpins nursing.

Nursing Standard. 19, 26, 33-37. doi: 10.7748/ns2005.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review