University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst: General Education

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IE Reflection Examples

IE Reflection Examples


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This page contains excerpts addressing reflection (criterion 1). Examples are drawn from IE Specific Option proposals and syllabi that have received full or pilot status by the General Education Council as of March 2011. (click here to go directly to Reflection Examples)


IE Criterion 1

"Providing a structured, credited context for students to reflect on and to integrate their learning and experience from the broad exposure in their General Education courses and the focus in their major."


IE Reflection Defined

“Reflection” within the context of the General Education Integrative Experience has a particular meaning, one that may be distinct from how you and your colleagues usually think about student reflection in your classes.  In virtually all courses, students are asked to reflect upon the course content (e.g., students are asked to consider “How would I apply this theory I just learned to this new situation?”; “How do I interpret and analyze this character’s actions within the context of the novel?”; “Which of the formulas is most appropriate for this question?”, etc.).  In these cases, students’ reflection is focused exclusively on the course content, based on how they will apply that content to an assignment, task, etc.

For the Integrative Experience requirement, however, students are also expected to engage in
self-reflection on themselves as learners.  For example, the Integrative Experience asks that students consider their college learning as a whole and identify how their varied experiences connect with each other and help shape the student as a lifelong learner, a member of a profession or disciplinary community, and/or as a citizen and member of the larger society.  This focus upon self-reflection as a learner gives students structured opportunities to synthesize the various aspects of their college education and to consider how their experiences inform their work in their major, their career/graduate school preparation, and their role as global citizens. 

The assignments/activities that encourage this kind of self-reflection can be quite varied and have different foci, and departments have developed a number of innovative and challenging ways for students to engage in this kind of reflection and integration. Below are reflection examples from proposals and syllabi that have received full or pilot approval from the GEC. 


Reflection Examples

Department Option/Course  Proposal   Syllabus
Afro-Am Studies Afro-Am Studies-Dubois Seminar Proposal  Syllabus 
Art, Arch, Art History Art History 415 Proposal  Syllabus 
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Real World Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Proposal  Syllabus 
Communication  Horror and Public Culture   Syllabus 
Communication Comm 494A: Food as Communication Proposal  Syllabus 
Communication Journalism 494:Media, Tech Culture Proposal  Syllabus 
Communication Comm391P: Peer Advising & Leadership I   Syllabus 
Communication Journalism 394: Internship Proposal  Syllabus 
Communication  Rhetoric, Science, and Public Culture Proposal  Syllabus 
Economics Economics 499 Capstone   Syllabus 
Economics Economics of Cooperative Enterprise Proposal  Syllabus 
Economics Economics 306 IEE Proposal  Syllabus 
Education Educ 494B Educ issues in real world contexts Proposal  Syllabus 
Education Educ 494A Proposal  Syllabus 
English Codes, Ciphers, Hackers and Crackers Proposal  Syllabus 
Environmental Conservation NRC 382 Proposal  Syllabus 
History Ideas that Changed History   Syllabus 
Judaic and Near Eastern Studies 394/Major Issues in Contemporary Jewish Life Proposal  Syllabus 
Languages, Lit & Cultures Chinese 390 Proposal  Syllabus 
Math & Statistics Stat 505 Regression Proposal  Syllabus 
Physics  Physics 440 Proposal  Syllabus 
Resource Economics Life is Full of Choices - 1 credit module Proposal  Syllabus 
Sociology Foundations of Sociology Theory   Syllabus 
Sport Management Sport Policy Proposal  Syllabus