A review of “An appraisal of medical students’ reflection-in-learning”

By: Brook Sattler, PhD, and Lauren Thomas, PhD, CPREE multi-campus coordinators

In this research, Sobral used a quantitative approach to examine the research question “how do students reflect as they strive for some control of learning early in their clinical activities?”  The findings suggest that when students reflect on their medical education there is potential for “greater benefit and enjoyment from their medical studies” (p. 186).

Tips for educators presented in this work:

  • Look at the assessment tool. If you are interested in assessing reflection in your classroom, the survey is an interesting tool to consider when embarking on evaluating reflection. While some of the questions may seem a little different, the language Sobral uses to capture the meaning of reflection could be useful.

Questions or challenges presented in this work:

  • Be patient with the write-up of the article. We appreciated the idea of the paper, but it was so brief that it made us wanting more details. There was enough resonance at the beginning of the paper that we were interested, but then the author so quickly jumped into the findings. This abrupt approach left us wondering if we understood the research questions and design. Even further, we were left wondering if we were using the same language to talk about reflection.


Sobral, D. T. (2000). An appraisal of medical students’ reflection-in-learning. Medical Education, 34(3), 182–7.