Steps of Reflection
Step 1: Look Back
• Recall a personally meaningful event/experience as clearly as possible
• Think back to every detail
Step 2: Elaborate and Describe
• Describe what happened
• Who was there
• What you saw, felt and heard
• When and where it happened
• How others may have thought
• Your actions
Step 3: Analyze Outcomes
• Was the situation positive or negative for you and why
• What assumptions might you have been making about some aspects of the situation
• How do you feel about your experience now?
• Were the results of the situation what you expected?
• What caused the results?
• Did the experience have value for you, if so, how?
One outcome of any experience is learning. Answering the following questions will help you identify your learning as an outcome of the experience.
• What can I do now that I could not do before?
• What do I know now that I didn’t know before
• What do I need to know or need to do?
• What has this reflection helped you to learn – personally or professionally?
Step 4: Revise Approach
• Revise or reinforce your approach
• Think about what you liked and would like to continue to do or what you weren’t comfortable with and could or should have done differently
• Identify areas you need to learn more about
Step 5: New Trials
• What will you do to practice your new learning
• After you have tried it out, you can go through the reflective steps again to evaluate the experience
College of Nurses of Ontario (1996). Professional profile: A reflective portfolio for continuous learning. Toronto: Author.