Becoming Reflexive Practitioners - Rec 351

General Information

Class: Rec 351: Therapeutic Recreation Facilitation Techniques

Class size: 50

In the 2014 winter term Leeann Ferries introduced an ePortfolio component into her Rec 351: Therapeutic Recreation Facilitation Techniques course (class size - 49). Throughout the course, students participate in role playing exercises designed to help students gain experience facilitating and processing a variety of therapeutic recreation interventions with a variety of client groups. The ePortfolio was incorporated to help students develop their capacities to become reflective practitioners. Students created and collected weekly reflection responses to the various facilitation presentations.  The ePortfolio provided a safe space for students to share what they had learned about the facilitation techniques and to provide evidence of this learning. Furthermore, the ePortfolio component gave students the space and time to gain insight into their thoughts and feelings experienced during the learning process.

The text boxes below briefly describe how the activity incorporates characteristics of high quality high impact practices (Kuh, G. D., O’Donnell, K., & Reed, S., 2013).

Assignment Details

ePortfolio – 25%

The ePortfolio is worth a significant amount of the course mark and reflects the amount of work expected of the students and the value placed on the activity.

Students worked on reflections throughout the course.  The final presentation was due at the end of the term.

The ePortfolio provides you with a safe space to share what you have learned in the course using evidence to demonstrate this. At the end of every class (starting February 10th), you will begin your self-reflection component of your ePortfolio allowing you to reflect critically on the class and what you have learned. You will be required to include 6 reflections within your ePortfolio for grading.

The activity requires a significant investment of time and effort by students over an extended period and provides periodic, structured opportunities for them to reflect and integrate their learning.

Students were given a Facilitation Reflection Information Sheet containing prompts and guideline to help them start writing their reflection responses.  A model response was provided.

Begin your reflection by indicating which topics/class your reflection pertains to. Your reflection should contain the following content areas:

Reflect on the activities

  • What part of the class stood out for you the most?
  • What have you learned?

Reflect on your thoughts and feelings and the learning that took place:

  • What are your thoughts and feelings about the class and your involvement?
  • What stood out the most for you “about yourself” during this class/presentation?
  • How are you feeling about what you have learned today?
  • How will you use what you have learned in the future?

Consider reflection stems like

I was surprised that . . .

I was pleased that . . .

I was disappointed that . . .

I already knew that . . .

I felt most successful as a learner or facilitator when . . .

I felt least successful as a learner or facilitator when . . .

Providing prompts and a model answer helps students understand your expectations and begin to understand the kinds of questions that will help them become ‘reflexive practitioners’.  Students may not have been given opportunities to ‘reflect’ in the past; the prompts and a model give them a place to start.

Student Example



Debriefing the Debrief

Today's Topics: Yoga-Mindfulness, Social Skills, Sensory Stimulation

What part of the class stood out the most:

Today, the influence of participants abilities on programming and the need for mindfulness of the diagnoses and experience of the participants stood out to me. I find it really interesting to compare my notes about each session with the points that are raised during the debrief following the session. I think the debrief adds a lot of value to the course as we are able to learn from the experiences and insights of others. A lot of my insights come from theoretical knowledge as I don't have a lot of experience working with these client groups so I really value hearing the insights of the rest of the class. 

Today, I found Leeann's feedback extremely valuable as they were things i would have never considered but she knows from experience in the field. For example, with the sensory stimulation group, it would not occur to me that things like mouthwash could potentially be problematic if the participants have a history of alcoholism due to the alcohol content in the mouthwash. Additionally, Leeann mentioned the point that we may need to remind individuals with dementia how to smell and experience the sensory stimulants as they may not know what to do with them. Another student in the class contributed to this point in mentioning that that there could be some inherent risk in using cups as it may trigger the impulse to drink or eat whatever is in the cup. These are all things I didn't really consider in giving my feedback and things that I now am cognoscente of as a result of the debriefing session.    

Another think I learned is the importance of making the introduction and debrief of an activity math the client group. This was especially evident in the sensory stimulation and social skills group. With the social skills group the language and the methods for debriefing could have potentially been tailored differently to suit young boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders...

The discussions and debrief that happen after the ‘role playing activities ‘ provide students with the opportunity to have Interactions with faculty and peers about substantive matters and exposes them to perspectives that may differ from their own.  They can learn from the questions, challenges and experiences of their classmates.

The written reflections give them the time and space to process and consider what they have learned. 

Grading Rubric

Categories Level 1 (1 mark) Level 2 (2 marks) Level 3 (3 marks)
Reflecting on the Activities Without examples, student has briefly identified what stood out in the class, and he/she has included some discussion of the learning that has taken place. With a brief example, the student has identified the part of the class that stood out the most. Has provided some evidence of learning. Using specific examples, the student has identified with consideration depth the part of the class that stood out the most and what he/she learned as a result. 
Reflecting on Thoughts and Feelings and the Learning Student has attempted to outline some of his/her thoughts or feelings about the class and his/her involvement. Further depth and use of examples from presentations would strengthen reflection identification of and defining/stand-out moment. Brief discussion about how he/she is feeling about what has been learned. Little to no application. Student demonstrates some reflection on thoughts and feelings about the class and his/her involvement. Discussion is supported by an example. Identifies defining/stand-out moment. Briefly identifies feelings related to class content with some consideration of how to apply what he/she has learned.  A thorough review of the student's thoughts and feelings about the class and his/her involvement. Awareness of defining/stand-out moment. With depth, the student clearly articulates how he/she is feeling about what has been learned in today's class and how to apply this information.
Communication and Writing Style Structure of ideas developed with a few grammar and/or spelling errors/ Structure of ideas developed reasonable well with few grammar and/or spelling errors. Structure of ideas is clearly developed with no spelling and/or grammar errors. 

Providing students with a rubric communicates expectations, and provides feedback they can use to self-assess, and improve future work.

For more information about this activity, please contact Leeann Ferries or Katherine Lithgow.

Developed by Leeann Ferries and shared with permission.