Reading Reflections

Authored by Karl Wirth (Macalester College) and Fahima Aziz (Hamline University)
Author Profile


Students complete a reading reflection before coming to class. The reflection prompt and response is conducted online using a Learning Management System (e.g., Blackboard or Moodle). Student responses are not graded, but are awarded credit for thoughtful reflections.

Learning Goals

The goals of this activity are to: (1) get students to complete reading assignments before coming to class; (2) foster reflective habits of mind; (3) get students to learn content more deeply; (4) foster the development of better reading strategies; and (5) promote the development of metacognitive skills.

Context for Use

This activity can be used in almost any course, in any discipline, and at any level. The activity requires minimal time and effort by the students and instructor.

Description and Teaching Materials

Reading Reflection Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 77kB Aug29 11)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity is fairly straightforward. See assessment notes below for additional comments.


This activity is designed to involve minimal overhead by the instructor. Student responses can be scanned and awarded credit based on a quick determination of their reflective content. It is important to give students feedback, either individually on occasion, or to the class on a more regular basis, so that they understand their value and importance. For larger classes, it is possible to require that responses be submitted by all students, but only a percentage (for example, 20%) would be randomly examined for credit on a given day.

References and Resources