Reflection Questions for Out of Classroom Learning Experiences
One of the goals of an internship, a summer job, studying abroad, or conducting independent research is to acquire information about one’s values and interests. When students get the opportunity to interact more deeply within a field of study, it is essential that they reflect and analyze their reactions to the out of classroom learning experience. Interests and values may shift and change during/after an out of classroom learning experience and an awareness of these reactions may help shape and define future decisions about academic and professional life.
In order to help assess learning outcomes, students are encouraged to regularly keep a journal throughout their out of classroom learning experience. Also, students who receive summer funding from Wheaton are required to submit a reflection essay at the end of the summer - regularly keeping a journal will significantly aid in drafting this essay. The Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services hopes that the following list of questions serves as a catalyst for students’ analyses of their out of classroom learning experiences:
- Please explain your learning objectives prior to starting your summer experience and how you accomplished them throughout the summer.
- How did your summer summer experience connect to your academic coursework?
- How did your summer experience influence your future academic and career endeavors?
- What aspects of your job were most exciting? Why?
- What activities engaged you fully? How did these activities connect with your values?
- Did you dislike an activity or task? Why?
- Did you surprise yourself with how you handled a particular task? What was that task? Did you enjoy doing that task? Why?
- What challenges did you face? How did you handle them? What did you learn from the experience? Knowing what you know now, would you handle things differently?
- What skills have you utilized? Have you learned/developed new skills?
- Did you meet people who could serve as possible mentors? Did you work with or connect with a Wheaton alum? What qualities do you admire about them?
- What observations have you made about this particular culture (workplace and/or living environment)? Have your encounters with this culture changed your perspective about yourself or this culture? Have you changed any of your preconceived notions?
Students are encouraged to review their journals and take note of important or recurring themes, ideas, or thoughts. The journal can serve as a beneficial resource for further discussion with advisors and faculty, as well as, help students make decisions about future course selections, internships and post graduate options.
Feel free to contact Ben Chalot, Associate Director of Career Services, by email: email@example.com or phone: 508-286-8215 with questions, thoughts and reflections on out of classroom learning experiences.