Guided reflection on work

A few weeks ago, I attended the Ohio Teaching and Learning Conference on High Impact practices in higher education (co-sponsored by Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, Ohio Board of Regents and Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities).  I was thrilled to see George Kuh, the keynote speaker.  I always think it’s pretty cool to be in the same room with the people you cite all the time!  Talk about the social nature of research! You just never know when you’ll have that opportunity, and what new opportunities might come out of being in the right place at the right time.  I experienced the same thing last Friday when I saw Steven Bell keynote at the Academic Library Association of Ohio conference.  But, I digress…

My point in this post is to share what I thought was a brilliant idea that Kuh highlighted in his keynote address – that work on campus should be a high-impact practice.  Kuh shared that a department at the University of Iowa asked it’s student employees to reflect on their campus job.   They call it Guided Reflection on Work (GROW), and they asked students questions, such as: 

  • “How is your job fitting in with your academics?”
  • “Are you learning anything in class that you can apply here at work?”
  • “What are you learning at work that helps you in school?”

I think it’s brilliant! They have taken a page from service-learning reflection and applied it to students’ jobs on campus.  And guess what department is implementing this practice next at University of Iowa?  The library, of course!

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