Reflection Questions: Definition and Examples

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  • 0:00 What is a Reflection Question?
  • 1:27 Process Reflection Questions
  • 2:19 Product Reflection Questions
  • 3:04 Feedback Questions
  • 3:51 Self-Assessment Questions
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Expert Contributor
Amy Fredrickson

Amy has taught and tutored college-level English; she has a master's degree from Colorado State University in rhetoric and composition.

Reflecting on learning is one of the best ways to consolidate skills and knowledge that a student has acquired. In this lesson, you will learn what makes a good reflection question, and you will see some examples of how a reflection question might look.

What Is a Reflection Question?

Say you worked hard for two weeks on a project about earth science for school. You have a nice poster board collage, a paper to go with it, and you presented the project in front of a class. You expect to be asked questions about the science itself, but instead, your teacher asks you, 'So, what do you think you did well during this project?' You immediately have to think in a different way. I mean, what kind of a question is that?

A reflection question is what we call any question that makes a student look back over what or how they have learned. Reflection questions often assess metacognitive skills, otherwise known as thinking about how we think and learn. Reflection questions are important for a number of different reasons. By encouraging students to reflect on their learning, these sorts of questions help students:

  • Consolidate the knowledge and skills they have acquired in a lesson or unit
  • Get to know themselves better as learners, thinkers, and community members
  • Provide important feedback to their teachers and to their peers
  • Generate questions and ideas to propel future learning experiences

There are a number of different ways to think about using reflection questions with your students. Now that you have seen some of the reasons reflection questions are important, we will learn about four types of reflection questions, including examples of each type. These types of questions are:

  • process reflection questions
  • product reflection questions
  • feedback questions
  • self-assessment questions

Process Reflection Questions

Mrs. Carello is an art teacher who especially likes to use process reflection questions with her classes. She explains that process reflection questions are questions that help students think about how they have learned or engaged in an activity. Some examples of process reflection questions include:

  • What did you think you did well during this project?
  • What new skills or knowledge did you try out during this project?
  • If you worked with other students on this project, describe that experience and how you think it went.
  • What do you think you might do differently if you tried this project again?

By answering process reflection questions, students are really focusing on their own methods as learners and workers. Answering these sorts of questions helps them understand their strengths and weaknesses in the learning process. Mrs. Carello reads her students' reflections and confers with them about their responses before they start a new project.

Product Reflection Questions

Mr. Samuel is a social studies teacher who is interested in using product reflection questions with his students. Mr. Samuel explains that product reflection questions help students focus on how their final work has turned out. He uses these sorts of questions to help students orient themselves toward making improvements over the course of the year. Some of Mr. Samuel's go-to questions include:

  • What are you proudest of in the work you have completed, and why?
  • What about your work are you least proud of, and why?
  • Who would you like to share this work with, and why?

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Additional Activities

Reflection Questions: Activities

The below activities are designed to help you continue to process the purpose of reflection questions and to work on drafting your own reflection questions.


In this activity, match the type of reflection question to the purpose it fulfills.

  1. This type of reflection question encourages students to consider what they gained from an activity and/or how they participated in an assignment.
  2. This type of reflection question enables teachers to assess their own teaching by asking students to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an activity.
  3. This type of reflection question encourages students to evaluate their own effort, process, and achievements.
  4. This type of reflection question encourages students to assess the quality of their assignment.
  • Feedback Reflection Questions
  • Product Reflection Questions
  • Process Reflection Questions
  • Self-Assessment Reflection Questions

Answer Key: 1:Process Reflection Questions; 2:Feedback Reflection Questions; 3:Self-Assessment Reflection Questions; 4:Product Reflection Questions

Writing Your Own Reflection Questions

Imagine you are teaching a unit about the solar system. You ask students to create a mobile of the planets' positions in our solar system relative to one another and the sun. Students are expected to create eye-catching, 3D planets that represent the color and overall size of the planet in relation to the other planets.

Considering this assignment and its expectations, compose at least four different reflection questions for students to answer. You should have at least one type of each reflection question presented in the lesson.

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