Welcome to Episode 5 of Our Student Voice.

To view and interact with the introductory video, click on Start Here in the video screen.

Click here to view a larger sized video in a separate tab.


Reflection is an active process of consciously exploring and analysing your experiences in order to extrapolate learning and gain insights to inform the way you respond in future similar situations.

It is not sufficient simply to have an experience in order to learn.

As a practice based skill, the process of reflection can also build self-awareness of your strengths or areas for development enabling you to work more effectively as an individual and as part of a team in the achievement of your personal goals. 

When you reflect, you will view your situation through a number of different lenses as you consider the context, your feelings and your responses to aspects of the experience to which you might not otherwise have given much thought.

Perhaps your focus is on the development of a particular skill or competence over a series of tasks or activities, using reflection to help you to be the best you can be.

Alternatively, you might want to find out how others have responded in similar circumstances or to seek out any guides or research that you could use to inform your thinking and future planning.

You can use reflection in personal or professional contexts as an individual or as part of a group.

The more you reflect, the more it becomes an unconscious process, and part of who you are.

Being able to see things from different perspectives better equips you to provide feedback to yourself as well as provide more constructive feedback to others.

Reflection will help you develop your skills and effectiveness as a Class Representative.

To learn how to reflect upon your experience, study and apply the four key messages!

As a class representative, or as a student in TU Dublin, it is important that you consider your experiences by asking yourself the following questions:

Ask yourself, what happened? Consider deeply an experience that has taken place, thinking about the detail of what happened.

Ask yourself, how do I feel about this? Try to identify your feelings about what happened, whether satisfaction, frustration, regret, or confusion.

Ask yourself, what can I learn from this? Consider what you can learn from this experience that might help you repeat, or avoid, those feelings in future.

Ask yourself, how can I apply this learning to new circumstances? Consider how the lessons that you’ve learned from this experience can be applied more generally in the future, in different situations and circumstances.

Here you examine the sequence of events and key moments and gather information using

  • What?
  • Who?
  • Where?
  • When?


Use this step to establish the facts.

Describing your feelings in the situation will help you to fully understand the situation, grounding it in your experience.

Examples of questions include:

  • How did the situation make you feel?
  • What made you feel good/bad about the situation?
  • At what points were you most aware of controlling/expressing your feelings?

Here is where you start investigating and interpreting the situation to find meaning and make judgements, using

  • How?, and
  • Why?


How did your feelings influence your interaction?

Why or why not did the situation not work out as you would have hoped?

Were there any missed opportunities or regrets?

To help you to evaluate the situation, reflect on whether you wish you had done anything differently?

Based on everything you've learned from your reflections, you need to decide how you're going to act differently in future. 

Make a list of key lessons learned and refer to it when the situation arises again.


Here is an example of Reflections in Practice (and extension of the scenario in the video):

As the class representative I attended my first programme board where I informed the academic staff the students had too many assignments due and timelines needed to change.

The Chairperson of the programme board noted my concerns and attempted to move on to the next item on the agenda, however I repeated my concerns several times and asked for a resolution immediately.

The Chairperson informed me that a resolution could not be given in the moment and that academic staff would discuss it and come back to the class with a revised plan.

I attempted to talk over the Chairperson however I was asked to allow the meeting to move onto to the next item, and I did.

Reflections on the scenario

I was excited about attending the programme board as students are overwhelmed with assignments and deadlines and I was passionate about getting a resolution.

I am new to the role but wanted to come back with a result and when passionate, I can become forceful, and this was evident in the meeting when I talked over the staff and was really asked to be quiet!

I did not like that and felt embarrassed in front of all of the lecturers.

I think the main reason why I was so forceful was we are really feeling the stress of all the work and I like to be the person that can fix things for others.

However, being new to the role of class rep and never having attended a meeting like this before, I did not know the procedure of these types of meetings or what my role was.

I have learned that university meetings are formal and that interrupting and being forceful are not appropriate.

In future, I will find out the procedures of meetings I am expected to attend and will ask the Students' Union if there are any training courses or material I can read.

Secondly, I will work on my interactions and find new ways to manage my passion, such as take a deep breath before I react and listen to what is being said.

I can practice this in lectures as I can sometimes be passionate about the topics we discuss and talk over the others in the lecture.

A final learning for me is as a Class Representative, my role is to advocate for my class and engage with members of the academic team to resolve issues, and that it is not my responsibility to fix everything.

Therefore, I will work on becoming aware of when I feel like I need to be the fixer and checking in with myself regularly will help me with this.

These learning activities are designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills required for this episode. These learning activities are also a requirement for the Active Class Representative, Curriculum Co-Designer, and Quality Assurance Expert Digital Badges.

Learning Activity 5.1. Positive Experience

Identify something positive that occurred in your recent learning experience. Considering that scenario, use the reflection process to plan how to respond to similar situations in the future.

If you are applying for a Digital Badge, include this (or a link to this) in your E-Portfolio.

Learning Activity 5.2. Challenging Experience

Identify something challenging or disappointing that occurred in your recent learning experience. Considering that scenario, use the reflection process to plan how to respond to similar situations in the future.

If you are applying for a Digital Badge, include this (or a link to this) in your E-Portfolio.

Visit the Library and read through Donald Schon, The Reflective Practitioner (1991) and the other excellent books on reflective practice.

Take some time to search for and review a range of online resources on reflection.