Reflection Methods. Tools to make learning more meaningful. Practical Guide for Trainers and Facilitators. Femke Gordijn with Natalia Eernstman, Jan Helder and Herman Brouwer (2018). Wageningen University.
This Guide summarises methods that can be used to facilitate the process of reflection on the knowledge and experiences people acquire during a capacity development trajectory or learning process of an MSPs. We believe that by explicitly integrating reflection in the learning process the learning will become clearer and better articulated and will contribute more strongly to meaningful change in a complex context. Therefore we advise facilitators to deliberately include reflective learning sessions in their process design and implementation. This guide can inspire you to do so and provides many methods which help to facilitate this.
How to use Reflection
Deliberate use of reflection tools contributes to various things: first it helps individual participants to arrive at a deeper understanding of the insights they are developing. But secondly, and equally important in MSPs, is that reflection tools help for these developing insights to be shared and validated by other members of the group or meeting. Furthermore the reflection sessions stimulates participants to think about the application of lessons learned in their own context.
In order to see new possibilities for positive change, different stakeholders need to learn together from their respective experiences. Stakeholders’ commitment is also enhanced if they can reflect on the group’s work and link it to their day to day work. This is especially important when decisions should be made and actions need to be agreed upon, but can also be valuable in other stages of the process. Reflection exercises, both individually and in groups, can be used to gain an overview, to stimulate networking and interaction, form opinions and start of debate, structure and analyse the insights, stimulate creativity, energize participants, contemplate on where people are in their learning and last but not least stimulate future application of lessons learned.
In the experience of WCDI it is important that MSP facilitators deliberately include reflective learning sessions and tools in the process design and implementation. To support this, WCDI has published a Practical Guide for facilitators and trainers with guidelines on more than 50 reflection tools, which can be downloaded at the right hand site of this page.
Some of the reflection tools have been video taped to give an illustration how it works. The different tools take about 30 minutes each but can be adapted according to your needs. The tools have been grouped according to the following sub-objectives.