Assessing reflections

The following activity may be used with students to help them get a better sense of how their reflections are assessed.

The goal of this task is to give feedback on two sets of reflections based on the assessment rubric.  You may also want to have the students highlight sentences in the reflections that show engagement and cross out sentences that are unnecessary or show lack of engagement.

A task sheet with the assessment rubric is attached here.  Below you will find the activity with suggested responses.

Reflection assessment task

Sample 1

RQ: To what extent are imagery techniques effective in treating sports injuries?

Initial reflection

The inspiration for my EE topic came from the idea that I enjoy psychology class and that I am into sports.  I started investigating multiple topics in sports psychology and eventually tried narrowing it down to the mindsets of athletes and how mindsets can affect performance. This topic was very vague and so I started looking more specifically at the placebo effect in sports.  From their suggestions I came up with the idea that I could do the question "To what extent are psychological approaches to treat sport injuries effective?” I came to the topic of sports injuries treatment because I am very curious as to how psychology can be used to treat sports injuries.  Since my EE is going to be on psychology I will have to use different studies in my research and those will most likely be somewhat difficult to find, however, I have found some books that focus on the idea of sports injury management from the psychological point of view as well as sports injury rehabilitation looking at different therapeutical methods.

Interim reflection

So far in my EE process, I have identified the psychological approaches that I will be looking at in my essay: imagery, relaxation, goal-setting. I have chosen these psychological approaches because they were supported by strong studies and I had access to counter studies for some of them. Finding counter studies for my extended essay was one of my bigger challenges so far for this extended essay. I have written an introduction to my extended essay and I have also started writing out the summaries of the five studies that I will use.  I still need to identify the limitations of some of the studies.

Final reflection

I felt like the viva voce was a good experience for me because it was a nice closure to the extended essay process and allowed me to really reflect on what I had written 4000 words about. I talked about how finding studies and creating a balanced argument that supported the use of psychological approaches to treat sports injuries was the proudest moment of my extended essay process. This project might help me out in university as I am planning on studying sports science, something that definitely discusses aspects of my extended essay.  As I was talking about my extended essay, I really started to get a sense that the conclusions of this project will really help me in the future subjects that I want to study as well as in general for research projects. I felt the viva voce allowed me to pass on my knowledge from experience to next years seniors who will be writing the extended essay soon and giving them tips on how to write their extended essay in psychology.    

Sample 2

RQ: To what extent does being a third culture kid affect one’s well being?

Initial reflection

We have discussed possible research questions during the meeting. I decided to try to explore the topic of "Third Culture Kids". I think this topic will be personally interesting to me because I am a third culture kid. Right now, my aim is to explore more this topic and to find some research question. To do that, I am planning to read a book about Third Culture Kids.

Interim reflection

During our last meetings with the supervisor, we have discussed how should the proper essay look like.  I now know what the different sections are supposed to do.  I have to write the introduction and then provide research to support my argument. I am still finding research on my topic.  I need to get more before I can do an evaluation of my studies and then the overall discussion.  Only when this is all completed should I do the abstract and conclusions. I hope to have a good draft by our work day.

Final reflection

The low points of writing my EE were the complications with the psychological studies. I found it to be difficult to find and show the correct connections between the studies. When I first read them, it tended to be quite complicated to understand and that is why I had issues in the past misunderstanding texts. The experience of researching and writing EE helped me to learn how to read psychology research papers.  I learnt how to research the studies even if I had limited access to databases. I read a few books connected to my topic and managed to connect the information from it to my studies, and that was very interesting.  Many third culture kids, even in my school, say that their parents tend not to understand the importance of being a third culture kid and what are complications, such as inability to relate to a country. Nevertheless, this research was very valuable for me because it helped me to learn something what could relate to me personally and to the children in my surroundings. Of course, the concept of third culture kid can be argued to be incorrect because it does not define every kid with cultural experience. Meaning, every child had different cultural experience which built their personality in a very unique way, and hence, this child is hard to be compared to another child who had completely different cultural experience. This concept still needs a lot of research and evaluation. Given that our work is getting more globalised, and the population of third culture kids is growing, the research on health effects caused by being a third culture kid is very important. Lastly, my biggest advice would be to do early research on the psychology studies and to learn to read them.

Comments on the reflections

Initial reflections:  The first student is clearly stronger than the second student. However, the first student would benefit from being more specific about why it is that interests him about the question. There is a lot of "I like sports" and "I like psychology" - but this does not demonstrate "a high degree of personal and intellectual engagement" with the question. The first reflection is more mid-markband and the second sample reflection is low markband.

Interim reflections: Both students are simply documenting their research process. The first sample is a bit more engaged in the description, whereas the second sample is rather detached and the response is simply formulaic.  The first sample would be mid-markband and the second sample low markband.

Final reflections: Although the language used in the second sample is not strong, the second sample demonstrates deeper reflection on the process and the value of the research; the first sample is rather superficial.  Most likely the second sample would be high mid or even low high - and the first example would be low mid-markband.

In conclusion, the two sets of reflections would most likely both receive marks in the mid-markband.  

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Comments 3

Katarzyna Płachta 3 March 2018 - 08:14

Dear John, could you please help with a couple things apart from all the things that youhave already helped me with? Namely, EE/ RPPF is my concern. How should the teachers part be written? What should we, teachers, include/ put emphasis on. Also as opposed to our students' 500 words limit, we do not have a limit, is that correct? Thank you in advance!

John Crane 3 March 2018 - 12:34

Dear Katarzyna

you should simply write a holistic assessment of the student's work. What obstacles did they overcome? Where did you see the greatest improvement? What were the student's strengths? Most of my comments are about 3 - 5 sentences in length.

Katarzyna Płachta 3 March 2018 - 12:50

Thank you!