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
Instructor: Clio Stearns
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?

When Mr. Samuel's students share their final work, they also share their answers to these reflection questions, so that they can speak openly and honestly about their feelings and how their work turned out.

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