Assessing Reflection

Some student reflections might be ungraded, formative assessment. If used for summative purposes, reflections should be assessed.

DEAL Model

Ash and Clayton (2009) developed the DEAL model for assessing student reflection.

  • D is for “description of experiences in an objective and detailed manner.”
  • E is for  “examination of those experiences in light of specific learning goals or objectives.
  • A is for Articulation of L, learning, “including goals for future action that can then be taken forward into the next experience for improved practice and further refinement of learning.”

Ash, S. L., & Clayton, P. H. (2009). Generating, deepening, and documenting learning: The power of critical reflection in applied learning. Journal of Applied Learning in Higher Education, 1(1), 25-48.

Bradley’s Criteria for Assessing Level of Reflection

Another framework for evaluating student reflections comes from Bradley (1995). Click the buttons below to view more details on each level.





Before you begin creating your own reflection activity, take a moment to reflect on your own learning.


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Promoting Instructional Excellence Copyright © by Cathleen O'Neal; Constance Harris; and Olivia Pollard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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