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When should I Reflect?

You can reflect on a particular event or time period:

  • You deliberately focus on those experiences where you want to get feedback and insights. What happened? So what? Now what?
  • You take the time to reflect on patterns and trends across a given period that inform how you will move forward. This can be a great way to review at the end of a semester:
  • You reflect at the end of the day or week:
    • Where was at my best? What was going on that made me feel this way?
    • Where was I not as confident? What was happening that influenced this?

Some reflective models to help structure your reflection

While you don’t need to use models to help you reflect, these can be useful to make the most of your thinking – and you will need to use academic models in any reflective assignment.

A simple model to support your reflection is the Driscoll model of reflection.
This involves asking:

  • What?
    • What happened or what did you notice that you would like to explore further?
  • So what?
    • Why did this feel relevant to you? What was it about this that really struck you or meant something to you?
  • Now what?
    • What action are you now going to take to apply what you have learned for effective next steps.

Reference: Driscoll, J.J. (2007) Supported reflective learning: the essence of clinical supervision? Chp 2 in Practising Clinical Supervision: A Reflective Approach for Healthcare Professionals (2nd edition). London: Bailliere Tindall. Pp 27-‐50

Exploring other Models of Reflection   

Other key models include:  Boud’s triangular representation of reflection, Gibbs’ reflective cycle and Atkins and Murphy’s model of reflection. You can explore these and the other models by accessing this free  Open University course.

Your programme might also have a preferred reflection model for you to use – you can check this with your course tutor.

Feedback to Inform your Practice

Select the button below to see how you can gain further feedback in your everyday work and study.


  • Boud D, Keogh R & Walker D (1985) Reflection: Turning experience into learning. Kogan Page, London.
  • Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by doing: a guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit.
  • Atkins, S. and Murphy, K. (1993) ‘Reflection: a review of the literature’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 18, pp. 1188–1192.

Get Reflecting  

Use the links below to access some of our Rise Self Study Packs and additional Manchester Met content.

Reflective Practice – 5 Steps for Success

Select the button below to see some tips for success when carrying out reflective practice.