Use the following steps as a guide to complete your work term reflective paper
Discuss your reflective paper with your supervisor/manager early in your work term
Maintain regular notes of your activities and experiences.
Prepare an initial draft of your reflective paper.
Edit, review, and share with a peer for comments and feedback.
Use this feedback to prepare a final draft.
Proofread for accuracy, completeness, spelling, and grammar.
Include the reflective paper as part of the Work Term Report along with the Work Term Self-Assessment and Employer Assessment.
Your reflective paper should contain between 2,000 to 2,500 words. More important than length, however, is the clarity, accuracy, and completeness of the report. Your reflective paper is not merely a technical description or an informational report; it should contain your own ideas and be an analysis of your work term. Many ideas are better explained using graphs, charts, diagrams or photographs, instead of words, so please be sure to add visuals wherever possible. Aligning with Algonquin College’s plagiarism policy (AA20: Plagiarism), all content in this report must be your own work or properly cited in the works cited section.
Reflective paper contents and format
The main elements of the reflective paper are:
Table of Contents
Description of work experience
Examination of learning experience
Self-Assessment (articulation of learning)
Appendices (if applicable)
The introduction is an important part of the report. It should:
Define the purpose of the reflective paper
Outline the order in which the topics will be presented
Provide any required background information
2. Description of work experience
In this section, please reflect on your entire work experience including the tasks you were responsible for, relationship with your supervisor and other co-workers, the working environment, and how this experience has helped you connect with the lessons from your academic studies and your future career path. Please include sub-headings for discussion of the following topics:
Description: Provide an overview of the organization/company, work environment, and its products/services. Describe what took place during your work experiences by answering the following questions:
What would a typical day entail?
What did you and others do/not do?
Roles and responsibilities: Detail daily job responsibilities and any special projects you were involved with. Describe the knowledge and skills you used or learned on the job and how they connect to your program of study.
Learning Objectives: In this section, please review the learning objectives that you established with the assistance of your supervisor at the beginning of your work-term. List each learning objective and comment on if you were able, or not able, to achieve it. Spend some time outlining why you were able, or not able, to meet these objectives. What would you do in your next co-op experience to ensure your objectives were both attainable and challenging?
The following sections asks you to think critically about your work term experience. Completing these two sections (Examination of learning experience and Self-Assessment) requires time, consideration, and reflection. Please include sub-headings for discussion of the questions.
3. Examination of learning experience
Critically examine your work experience by answering the following questions:
How did this experience make me feel (positively and/or negatively) before starting the work experience and upon completion?
In what ways did you succeed or do well?
In what ways were you challenged?
How has your perspective/thoughts changed in light of your experience?
4. Self-Assessment (articulation of learning)
Learning about job specific knowledge and skills
What job-specific knowledge and skills did you learn through your work experience?
How did you learn it (tasks, situations, feedback mechanisms) and why is it important?
How will you apply your new knowledge going forward?
What future learning or work place experiences do I need to attain my career goals?
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