Posted by Carole Kirk

Digital Reflection

NEW! You can now read our research publication from the project: Digital Reflection: using digital technologies to enhance and embed creative processes by Carole Kirk and Jonathan Pitches.

We have created an elearning package that explains digital reflection with reference to case studies and tools.  It takes about 20 minutes to complete.

We’ve also developed a Model of Digital Reflection

An aim of teaching and learning is to encourage students to engage in ongoing critical reflection on their practice.  Critical reflection involves reflection on what they did and how they did it with the aim of generating transformative insights.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/tnarik/

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/tnarik/

Traditionally, written work (e.g. keeping a reflective diary) is the main method of undertaking and evidencing critical reflection.  However, this may not be the preferred method for all students in terms of either the process (writing) or the communication vehicle.  This may be particularly so in the case of creative arts students who may have a preference for visual/aural reflection and communication.

One of the aims of reflection is also to reflect ‘upon ourselves’.  As we present ourselves to the world and manage our roles and identities, how do others see us?  We literally need a form of ‘reflection’ as in the mirror image to reflect upon.  In the case of performance arts in particular, the camera/video/audio provides a ‘mirror’, although digital media can never replace the ‘witness’ of the live audience.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/ananth/

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/ananth/

And as creative practitioners, we need to experience the performance/artwork ourselves as a ‘stranger’.  Digital technologies can provide a distancing mechanism, putting the maker into the shoes of the viewer.

The process of editing the digital material in itself encourages a process of reflection.  The selection of visual material, the ordering and presentation of it, and any verbal/textual commentary all prompt the process of making sense of what we are looking at and evaluating it.

Much artistic practice is also collaborative.  Digital technologies can provide a platform to engage in shared reflective practice, and also to share reflective outputs in a way that is both engaging and interactive.  The viewer can provide feedback, which then feeds back into the learner’s reflective process.