Learning Partnership: Students and Faculty Learning Together to Facilitate Reflection and Higher Order Thinking in a Blended Course


  • Paige McDonald The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Howard Straker The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Karen Schlumpf The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Margaret Plack The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences




Reflection, reflective practice, higher order thinking, blended course


This article discusses a learning partnership among faculty and students to influence reflective practice in a blended course. Faculty redesigned a traditional face-to-face (FTF) introductory physician assistant course into a blended course to promote increased reflection and higher order thinking. Early student reflective writing suggested a need for learner familiarization with levels of learning, types of reflection, and levels of reflective practice and for revision of writing prompts to encourage greater depth and breadth of reflection. This article presents results from an analysis of students’ writings prior to and after the learning intervention and revision of writing prompts. Writings from Week 1 and Week 8 of the course were analyzed for level of reflective practice, depth and breadth of reflection, and depth of higher order thinking. Results indicate an increase in level, depth, and breadth of reflection post-intervention. Results also indicate an increase in occurrences in higher order thinking post-intervention. Findings suggest that purposive course design, combined with instruction on reflection and appropriate reflective prompts, can influence breadth and depth of reflection and higher order thinking in a blended course.


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