Credit points


Campus offering

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Unit rationale, description and aim

Reflective practice refers to ways of engaging with, analysing and reflecting upon practical experiences that contribute to academic and professional learning. Experience in reflective practice has relevance for university studies and for professionals in the workplace. For many students commencing tertiary study, this is a new and difficult skill to master. Students, especially those from overseas, may have limited or no experience with communities in Australia, and this unit provides some insight and opportunity in this space.

In this unit students will be introduced to some of the language patterns relating to reflective practice and through participation in a practical project will be given the opportunity to develop their ability to apply this knowledge to their past and present experiences. There will be a focus on reflecting in practice as well as reflecting on practice.

The aim of this unit is to develop the students' understanding of why reflection is important, why it is often used as a form of assessment at university, and to develop the language to enable them to become a reflective practitioner in their chosen field. This includes developing appropriate language and literacy resources to facilitate reflection.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Define reflective practice and recognize appropriate opportunities for use (GA5). 

LO2 - Describe different approaches to and models of reflective practice (GA5) 

LO3 - Apply theories of reflective practice to experiences (GA4, GA5, GA8) 

LO4 - Apply appropriate language resources to communicate reflectively in writing and speaking (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


The content is structured around scaffolding the language and academic skills students need in order to complete the reflective project. This includes: 

  • Examination of how personal beliefs are formed and expressed for academic purposes in English.  
  • Analysis of practical approaches to reflection (Gibb’s reflective cycle, Schon’s ladder of reflection etc).  
  • Developing understanding of how personal beliefs can be challenged or evolved through academic study.  
  • How to find relevant literature related to current and future study topics.  
  • How to synthesise ideas from sources and integrate them into students’ own work using appropriate referencing techniques and language. 
  • Building understanding of the working and social environment of the communities in which students will study and work in the future. 
  • Identifying potential problems and inhibitors to communicating effectively within these communities and developing communication strategies to help deal with the challenges.  
  • Developing useful language for reflection. 
  • Analysis of sample reflective writing across a range of disciplines.  
  • Guidance in how to structure reflective written work.   
  • Developing understanding of how and why reflection is used as an educational and assessment tool at university and beyond.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode for International Students: Attendance on campus: 5 hours per week 

Mode for Domestic Students: Multi-mode: attendance on campus: 3 hours per week plus 2 hours online learning.  

Duration: 10-week term. 

This unit will comprise 50 teaching hours across 10 weeks of study. Workshops will have a practical focus, encouraging students to engage with theoretical concepts in order to improve their confidence and ability to become a reflective practitioner. This will include case study analysis, role plays, reflective exercises and guided lessons on the appropriate expression of reflections. Where possible the classroom will be flipped, with traditional lecture style content provided online and workshops used to extend understanding and facilitate exploration of the weekly topics. The unit will include a community engagement and reflection project that enables students to apply strategies covered in the course.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment takes the form of a project which develops the knowledge and skills necessary for reflective practice through engagement with an issue and with community members related to students’ future field of study or career. The stages of the project are designed to scaffold students’ understanding of reflection as a medium of assessment. The initial task encourages students to evaluate and challenge prior knowledge and preconceptions about the issue being discussed. The reflective diary is designed to encourage students to continually reflect on the issue and note in particular any changes in beliefs. The final task is a reflective writing response based on the project as a whole.  


Reflective Practice Project  

Students identify and reflect on an issue or question related to their future study and/or profession. 


  • Students are presented with a question or issue related to their future study or profession in the form of a case study. 
  • They then explore and express their personal opinion of the issue, and initial ideas for dealing with any problems identified.  
  • They are then guided through an exploration of the academic literature on the topic.  
  • Students will identify key communities related to the issue.  
  • Once key communities are identified students will organise and conduct interaction with members of that community (e.g. business, child care centre, school, teacher, parent etc.) 
  • Guided reflection will occur throughout the different stages of the project.  
  • Students will complete a reflective essay that identifies the reflective journey taken over the term, examining how their opinions of the issue have been altered or solidified by the process. 


Sample Project: Child care issue. 

  • Issue/question: How should young children (2-3 years old) be encouraged to follow rules?  
  • Personal opinion: past experiences, cultural influence. 
  • Research: age-appropriate behaviours and strategies, legal requirements etc. 
  • Key communities: child care centre, parents, educators/carers, government 
  • Interaction: interview a child care worker and a parent. Observe a child care activity.  

Sample Project: Worker salaries. 

  • Identified issue/question: Should there be a minimum wage in Australia, if so how much should it be? 
  • Personal opinion: past experiences, cultural influence 
  • Research: minimum wage, average wages in different sectors, standard of living measures/indexes. What influences wages: expertise, education, skill-level, demand etc.  
  • Key communities: small business owner, workers, government  
  • Interaction: interview business owner, workers, union member etc.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Concept map and verbal summary.  

Create a graphic description of the identified issue and reflect on personal attitude and preconceptions.   


LO1, LO2 


Reflective Diary – 

Include a reflection on each stage of the project. Students reflect on their increasing knowledge of the issue.  


LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8 

Reflective Writing.  

A written piece that identifies the reflective journey taken over the term, examining how students’ opinions of the issue have been altered or solidified by the process.  


LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Academic Skills Unit - Reflective Writing

Hargreaves, J. & Page, L. (2013). Reflective Practice. EBOOK 


Course Identifier Foundation Studies Program 


Originally approved at Faculty of Education and Arts Board on 18 April 2019 

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