Reflection Framework and Prompts

Borton’s Development Framework (1970)

What? (Description and Self-Awareness)

So What? (The Analysis)

Now What? (Synthesis)

  • What happened?
  • What did I do?
  • What did others do?
  • What was I trying to achieve?
  • What was good or bad about the experiences?
  • So what is the importance of this?
  • So what more do I need to do?
  • Now what could I do? 

Scaffold reflection throughout course/program

At the beginning of a course, review assignments, expectations

  • What competencies/assignments look familiar and manageable, and why? 
  • What competencies/assignments look more challenging or difficult for you, and why?
  • What parts of your reading, writing, research background and skills make you confident about some parts of the program and hesitant about others?

Follow up annually or sooner with

  • To date, what have you accomplished as a [public health professional/historian] and learner?
  • What activities, kinds of feedback and other support have helped you the most? How have your [ writing/research] skills changed and improved?
  • What kinds of research and revision strategies did you learn and use?
  • What does this portfolio demonstrate about you as a [writer/researcher/learner]? Use an analogy, simile, and/or metaphor to describe yourself in your reflection.

Modified from Teaching English 201, Writing in the Disciplines.

DEAL Model (Ash & Clayton, 2009)

D = “Description of experiences in an objective and detailed manner” (p. 41)

E = “examination of those experiences in light of specific learning goals or objectives” (p. 41)

A= 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” (p. 41).

 Prompts:   What did I learn? How did I learn it? What does it matter? What will I do in light of it?  (p. 46)

Developmental Reflection Based on a Learning Taxonomy


  • What did I accomplish?
  • What steps did I take to complete this work?


  • What new insights did I develop as a result of doing this work?
  • How has my perspective changed after doing this assignment?


  • What challenges to my current thinking did this work present?
  • How does work in this course connect with work in another course?


  • What did I do well? What areas do I still need to work on?
  • What would I do differently if I did it again?


  • What next steps do I want to take as a result of this learning experience?
  • What should I do next to achieve my goals?

Developed by Dr. Carleen Vande Zande

ORID Model

Modified with permission from WatPD PD2: Critical Reflection and Report Writing. Based upon model developed by Colorado State University as cited in Higher Education Quality Committee, 2006


Relates to Concrete experience-what did you observe, read or hear? Who was involved? What was written?  What happened as a result of your contributions?


Relates to Affective experience-how did the experience make you feel?  Did your apprehension change or your confidence grow? Did you feel effective, knowledgeable or effective?


Relates to Cognitive experience. What did this experience make you think?  How did it change your thinking?  What did you learn?  What worked and why?


Relates to Ability to incorporate experiences. What will you do differently next time? What decisions or opinions have you formed? How will the experience affect your career path?  How will you use this new information, new skill, or new technology?

Examples of Assignments