Creative strategies to support student learning through reflection

  • G.H. van Rensburg University of South Africa
  • Y. Botma University of Pretoria
  • T. Heyns University of the Free State
  • I.M. Coetzee University of Pretoria


Reflective practice has become a key attribute of promoting quality teaching and learning. Learning is an active process and include reflective writing, visualising and verbalising to promote critical thinking. In our experience most often than not superficial reflective writing is used. We explored the design of opportunities for students to engage in critical reflection. Theoretical data were obtained through in-depth exploration of the literature to allow contextualisation while arguing a case. A qualitative approach was used. Judgements were not made about the measured quality of reported findings, but on the relevance of reflective strategies to support students, enhance critical reflection and transform practice. Combined with narration and dialogue, reflection can bridge the gap between theoretical ideals and realities of the practice context. Four reflective activities have been identified that could be used to engage students in critical reflection.

Author Biographies

G.H. van Rensburg, University of South Africa


Department of Health Studies


Y. Botma, University of Pretoria

Associate Professor
Department of Nursing Science

University of Pretoria

T. Heyns, University of the Free State


School of Nursing

University of the Free State

I.M. Coetzee, University of Pretoria

Associate Professor
Department of Nursing Science

University of Pretoria


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How to Cite
van Rensburg, G.H., Y. Botma, T. Heyns, and I.M. Coetzee. 2018. “Creative Strategies to Support Student Learning through Reflection”. South African Journal of Higher Education 32 (6), 604-18.