The reflective process means the stages of thoughtful activity that you go through when you consciously decide to explore an experience (Jasper 2003). There are many ways or approaches employed to facilitate the reflective process. These are known as modes of reflection e.g. 

• Reflective writing (journal/diary keeping, e-portfolio development)

• Self- reflection

• One to one reflection with a ‘critical friend’ (Taylor 2000)

• Group reflective practice sessions

• Clinical supervision- individual, group, peer

It is suggested that most reflection will be done on your own (Jasper 2003) using the medium of reflective writing. However, no matter what approach you take whether you are engaged with a ‘critical friend’, writing up a learning log or an ePortfolio entry, a framework through which the process is structured is critical in order that your experience is examined in a critical and systematic way.

Link back to frameworks mentioned above instead of listing again. Numerous frameworks or cycles have been developed to guide the process of reflection e.g. Gibbs (1988), Johns (2000)   

This gives the Gibbs, Schon and Kolb cycles.


All frameworks broadly encompass 3 fundamental questions to ask yourself of your experience:

  1. What happened?
  2. So what am I to make of this?
  3. Now what can I do to make the situation better?

(Borton 1970 cited in Rolfe et al. 2001)