How to evaluate the effect of a reflective-practice promoting workshop

Consider a workshop designed to foster reflective practice.  How to evaluate the effect of the workshop on reflective practice?  This could be evaluated by asking participants to record when they undertake a post-workshop reflection process.  This process could use guidelines recorded on an individually customized and evolving template (along the lines below).

As noted, the substance of the reflections is private—participants are not asked to share this.  However, submission of the googleform allows assessment of the frequency of participants undertaking the process and of substitution of new guidelines.  These data could then be used to compare the effect of a given workshop in comparison with previous versions of the workshop or with other kinds of professional development workshop that also aim to foster reflective practice, and to compare the same workshop run with different nationalities or experience/status of participants.

Comments are welcome on this method, especially if readers a) know of other efforts to evaluate the effect of a reflective-practice promoting workshop, or b) have reservations about how meaningful the results would be.  A pilot workshop in which this post-workshop reflection process will be piloted can be viewed at http://cct.wikispaces.com/CRPF.  Comments on that workshop are also welcome.

TEMPLATE for post-workshop reflection process

——————-

Yourfirstname Yourlastname

Instructions:

  • To create a page like this, click on http://cct.wikispaces.com/-/RPF/RPF/YourlastnameInitial in the browser window. Do NOT edit that page, but replace YourlastnameInitial in the URL with your lastname followed by your initial. Once this substitution is made, take the option to edit the resulting new page.
  • To edit your page any time after it has been created, click on left icon on menu strip at top right to reveal the Edit button. Click on this button to edit. Remember to click the save button when you are done.
  • The first time you edit the page, insert your name where the placeholders are above, then substitute for the six placeholder guidelines below those that you have generated for yourself during the workshop.
  • After the workshop, use this template whenever you are ready to pause and take stock before proceeding either: from one phase to another; on from an activity or event; into dialogue with others; or at a branch point when choosing an activity or path to pursue.
  • To use the template, copy or print it out, then for each of the six guidelines above the line, note “plus-delta”—one thing you did well during the phase/activity/event and one thing that could be developed further next time.
  • If a new guideline occurs to you, add it below the line for possible future use. Or, if you are sure you want to use it, add it with a new number and relegate one of the other six to below the line.
  • At the end, record on the googleform that you have completed the plus-delta reflection. (This record will allow the workshop organizer to take stock of how much reflection follows any workshop.)
  • The substance of the reflections is private—you are not asked to share this. These template pages are visible to other members of the wiki.

1. [Placeholder, to be replaced by your own guideline] I have experimented with new tools and experiences, even if not every one became part of my toolkit as a learner, researcher, teacher-facilitator of others, and reflective practitioner.
+
Δ

2. [Placeholder, to be replaced by your own guideline] I have paid attention to the emotional dimensions of undertaking my work but have found ways to clear away distractions from other sources (present and past) and not get blocked, turning apparent obstacles into opportunities to move into unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory.
+
Δ

3. [Placeholder, to be replaced by your own guideline] I have developed new peer and other horizontal relationships. I have sought support and advice from colleagues, and have given support and advice to them when asked for.
+
Δ

4. [Placeholder, to be replaced by your own guideline] I have taken the time to prepare for new steps and allowed myself silent or unbusy space for that preparation.
+
Δ

5. [Placeholder, to be replaced by your own guideline] I have undertaken outreach to engage with others who are quite different from me.
+
Δ

6. [Placeholder, to be replaced by your own guideline] My intellectual and practical engagements cut across and connect different strands, processes, and social realms.
+
Δ


Other possible guidelines

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

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