Bank of Reflection Questions -- from the Online Work-Based Learning Database

The following reflection questions are found in the online journaling Reflection Screen in the Online Work-Based Learning Database (https://masswbl.org) and are offered as a complement to the Work-Based Learning Plan. The questions are organized by skill/topic area. These questions may also used as paper-and-pencil reflection questions for work experiences, contextual learning projects and other learning experiences.

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001Do you have any goals you would like to accomplish through this work experience? Describe.[ ]
002Describe one thing that surprised you about this work experience.[ ]
003Based on what you have learned in this work experience WHAT SKILLS will you list when you next write a list of your strongest skills for a resume or job application?[ ]
004Has this work experience helped you to learn more about careers that you might like? If yes, what will your next steps be? If no, what other careers do you want to explore?[ ]
005What is one thing that did NOT go very well in this work experience, but helped you learn something?[ ]
Accepting Direction and Constructive Criticism 
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006Describe some of the positive things people can do when receiving directions or instructions. For example: asking questions to clarify; repeating back what you were told; smiling or nodding….[ ]
007Describe a situation in which you received constructive feedback to improve something you were doing. If yes, Describe what you did to respond to the feedback.[ ]
Animal care 
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008Describe how you started to become interested in working with animals. What did you learn in this job that helped you to explore your interests?[ ]
009In your opinion, what are some of the specific skills that are most important when working with animals?[ ]
Attendance and Punctuality 
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010Describe one or more examples of how you have shown extra initiative regarding attendance -- such as coordinating with co-workers and supervisors when scheduling breaks or scheduling days off.[ ]
011Describe any challenges you have faced about attendance or being on time for work. What were the challenges? How did you address these challenges?[ ]
012Suppose that you are interviewing for a job. The interviewer says "We need people who are very reliable." What can you say about your attendance and work style to tell the interviewer that you are a reliable worker?[ ]
Career Awareness 
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014As you continue to explore career options and next steps, what do you need help with? Who can help you with that?[ ]
015Describe your current stage of career planning: Do you have one strong career goal or do you have two or three career options that you might be interested in? Do you know what your first steps might be after high school?[ ]
016Imagine that you could have any job in this organization. What job would you have? Why do you choose this job?[ ]
017Describe some of the career options you learned about during this work experience.[ ]
018Are you interested in any of the careers you learned about in this work experience? If yes, how would you get started? Or if you are not interested, did you get other ideas about what type of careers interest you?[ ]
Civic Awareness 
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019Do you expect the number of people volunteering in their communities to increase, decrease, or stay about the same in the next 10-20 years? Explain your answer.[ ]
020Think of a controversial issue related to the work of your organization. Write a short dialogue between two people who hold opposing viewpoints.[ ]
021Do you think that people from different age groups get involved in the community equally? (for example, volunteering, voting, paying attention to community issues). Are there differences in how people from different age groups get involved?[ ]
Classroom Management and Teaching 
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022If you are interested in teaching, you probably know that your classroom teaching and leadership style will evolve over time as you get more experience. Picture yourself in a classroom in ten years -- what is your "classroom teaching style" like?[ ]
023Describe two or more strategies that good teachers use to manage their classrooms.[ ]
024What are some of the "transition times" during the daily schedule (when the children finish one thing and start another)? What are some ways to make these transitions smooth for children?[ ]
Computer Technology 
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025What new computer technology do you think this workplace could have in one year, five years, or twenty years?[ ]
026How can you make sure that you work comfortably and productively on computer-related tasks with people who have a variety of backgrounds, learning styles, teaching styles, and computer experience?[ ]
027Describe two or more ways that you enjoy learning new computer-related skills. (Such as reading books, reading help screens, watching someone demonstrate, experimenting with software, other methods…)[ ]
028Describe some of the computer technology used in this workplace. Which do you enjoy using most?[ ]
029Describe at least one situation in which you used logical thinking or problem solving skills to solve a computer technology challenge.[ ]
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030Do you know how to use creativity-building approaches like brainstorming, word-association, mind-mapping, free-flow diagrams, creative doodling or other approaches to stimulate creative thinking? Describe the approaches you use.[ ]
031What are the ingredients that generally help you be creative? In what ways did this work experience help you to work creatively?[ ]
032Can you identify any creative contributions you have made in this work experience or project? (These can be small, “everyday” contributions with a new, fresh approach)[ ]
033Do you think that creative thinking is important in ALL jobs or just in artistic and creative sector jobs? Explain.[ ]
034Do you know how to use creativity-building approaches like brainstorming, word-association, mind-mapping, free-flow diagrams, creative doodling or other approaches to stimulate creative thinking? Descrive the approaches you use.[ ]
Critical Thinking 
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035Suppose that you had to make a business decision (such as changing a menu in a restaurant or deciding what software to use for a computer project). Describe the PROCESS you would use to gather information and make the decision.[ ]
036Creative and critical thinking involve "thinking outside the box"-using your imagination to generate lots of ideas (creativity) and using your intelligence to evaluate and select ideas (critical thinking). Give examples of creative/critical thinking….[ ]
037A synonym for "critical thinking" is "ANALYTICAL thinking." In your work experience, what types of things did you ANALYZE when making decisions?[ ]
Customer Service 
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038Do you feel that you done your best to learn about customers’ needs and about the products or services your organization provides? Describe what you have learned.[ ]
039Describe who the customers of the organization are and what they generally want and need.[ ]
040Can you think of a situation in which you have applied interpersonal skills to calming an upset person, clarifying something that was confusing, or solving a problem?[ ]
041A sign of good customer service is that customers come back… can you describe why the people you work with (co-workers, clients, customers or students) want to come back to you for more assistance?[ ]
Environmental Awareness 
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042Compared with other people, do you think you are MORE focused on environmental issues, less focused on environmental issues, or about average? Explain your answer.[ ]
043List five or more facts about the environmental work of this organization, focusing on who, what, when, where, why, how, etc. (such as who leads the environmental work, what do they do, where do they do it, why, etc.).[ ]
044Many people feel that "GREEN JOBS" -- jobs that help the environment -- will be very important in the future. Do you agree? Did you learn anything in this work experience about "green jobs"?[ ]
045Suppose that you were interviewing one of the managers of this organization for a news story about the organization and its environmental focus. List five questions that you would ask.[ ]
Gardening / Planting / Weeding 
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046For many people, gardening is a love-it-or-hate-it activity. Some people love to garden; others just don't like it at all. With the rising popularity of gardening and healthy foods, do you think more "non-gardening" people will become gardeners?[ ]
047Gardening is becoming increasingly popular, with rising focus on health, good food, environment and community. Do you think the new popularity of gardening will create more gardening-related career opportunities? Explain your predictions.[ ]
048In your opinion, what are some of the specific skills that are important when working with gardening?[ ]
049Describe your work -- What did you plant? What was most successful?[ ]
050Gardeners and landscapers talk a lot about weeding -- What weeds give them trouble? How do they get rid of them? How can they control weeds so they don`t take over the garden? What were the challenges in the gardens/parks/grounds where you worked?[ ]
051Weeding - Do you love it? Hate it? Describe three things that are enjoyable about weeding a garden.[ ]
Health Awareness 
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049Do you think people today are more aware of the need for healthy lifestyles than people were ten or twenty years ago? Do you think young people are more aware than older people? Explain your answer.[ ]
050In your opinion, what are some of the barriers that make it hard for people to adopt healthy lifestyles and healthy eating habits? And what are some of the motivators that help people to adopt healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits?[ ]
051Think of a controversial issue related to the environment, health or nutrition. Write a short dialogue between two people who hold opposing viewpoints.[ ]
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052Many people say we live in an "INFORMATION ECONOMY" -- many jobs involve collecting, organizing, managing and analyzing information. Do you agree? Can you give examples of how people work with information in your workplace?[ ]
053Many people say that "Information is a company's most valuable asset." Do you agree? What type of information did you work with in this work experience? How is this information valuable to the organization?[ ]
054Some people love studying data/information, and the numbers seem to come alive and reveal lots of information about people and communities. Other people consider numbers to be boring. In your opinion, what is the secret to making numbers "come alive"?[ ]
Interacting with Others / Interpersonal skills 
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055Have you noticed that people you work with (co-workers, customers, clients, or students) seem satisfied after working or talking with you? Do they want to come back to you for more assistance?[ ]
056List ten tips for "interacting with others" in a workplace. (This can focus on any of the following -- working with co-workers, customers, clients, patients in a hospital, children in a summer program, pets in a veterinary hospital, etc.)[ ]
057Can you think of examples where you have used good interpersonal skills to solve a problem, calm an upset person, or clarify something that was confusing? Describe.[ ]
058What advice would you give about how to convey a positive attitude through words, tone of voice, and body language?[ ]
Landscaping / Groundskeeping 
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059If you could do any job related to landscaping -- such as working as a landscape architect, landscaper, stone mason, bricklayer, owner/manager of a nursery, owner/manager of a garden supply store, etc. -- what would you do?[ ]
060In your opinion, what are some of the specific skills that are important when working with gardening, landscaping and groundskeeping? How do some people develop a talent for making plants and landscapes look great?[ ]
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061Can you think of at least one way that your work has helped other people to achieve more or has helped a project to succeed?[ ]
062Describe an event or project during this work experience in which you acted in a formal or informal leadership role.[ ]
063If you are interested in leadership, you probably know that your leadership style will evolve over time as you get more experience. Picture yourself in ten years -- what is your "leadership style" like?[ ]
064If you are interested in leadership, you probably know that your leadership style will evolve over time as you get more experience. Picture yourself in ten years -- what is your leadership style like?[ ]
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065Describe anything you have done to strengthen listening and communication skills as a result of this work experience.[ ]
066Listening seems like a very basic skill that everyone knows how to do. But many professionals attend seminars and read books to continually learn more about how to listen to customers, staff, etc. Do you think listening is easy or hard? Why?[ ]
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067Do you hope to use math in your future career? What aspects of math would you enjoy most?[ ]
068Many jobs require "mathematical thinking." While you might not use higher-level math, such as algebra, trigonometry or calculus, you do use the insights and thinking styles that you learn in these courses. Can you describe the math used in this workplace?[ ]
Motivation and Taking Initiative 
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069Describe a typical task or project that you have worked on recently. What was your role? Did the task or project go smoothly? Did the task or project get finished on-time?[ ]
070Many people buy books and videos about motivation and listen to motivational speakers to get advice about how to "get moving" and accomplish more in their lives and careers. In your opinion, what are the best ways to get motivated and stay motivated?[ ]
071Suppose that you were being interviewed for a job and you were asked whether you take initiative. Describe a situation in which you showed motivation and initiative in starting and completing a task or project or asking for additional tasks and projects.[ ]
Problem Solving 
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072Describe a problem that you have faced at work; one that you have not been able to solve yet despite trying many options. Briefly list – WHAT ELSE could you do to approach this problem?[ ]
073Describe at least one situation in which you used logical thinking or problem solving skills to resolve a challenge or problem.[ ]
074Describe your approach to problem solving: do you make quick decisions or do you prefer to systematically evaluate causes and possible solutions? Do you think one style is better than the other?[ ]
075Suppose you were writing a guide to troubleshooting issues, problems or challenges that commonly come up in this work. What would be the three most important issues that you would write about?[ ]
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076What advice would you provide to a friend who wants to work at this organization?[ ]
077What are some of the different meanings of the word "professional?" How do these definitions help to define what people mean by the phrase "acting professionally?"[ ]
Project Management 
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078Can you list some formal or informal methods that you used to manage the work on the project?[ ]
079Did you work step-by-step to define goals and establish a plan before starting project work? If yes, please describe the steps you followed.[ ]
080What project(s) did you work on in this work experience? Describe your project, describe your role, and describe the steps involved in the project.[ ]
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081What are some of the strategies you use for reading closely and remembering what you read?[ ]
082What are some of the things you read for this work experience?[ ]
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083Describe the research that you did for this work experience. What did you do? What did you learn?[ ]
084In your opinion, what are the specific skills that are most important for being a good researcher?[ ]
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085Describe one way that your communication skills have changed or improved because of this work experience.[ ]
086Have you had any challenges related to communication in this workplace? If yes, what have you done to address these challenges?[ ]
087Most professionals say that verbal communication is one of the most important skills in their work. In your opinion, how important is good verbal communication in your workplace? Give examples to back up your answer.[ ]
Time Management 
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088Describe a situation in which you had to choose tasks that fit the time and resources available?  (Example: making choices based on your energy level, weather, availability of tools or equipment, availability of co-workers or supervisor)[ ]
089Describe how you can use good time management skills to maintain a healthy and safe work environment.. For example - Do you set a work pace that is steady, and not too fast or too slow? Do you take breaks as scheduled? Do you stay focused on your work?[ ]
090Have you developed systems for managing your time? Describe your systems.[ ]
091Have you had any challenges related to managing your time? If yes, what strategies are you trying to address these challenges?[ ]
Tools / Equipment 
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092Describe some of the tools and equipment used in this workplace. Which tools do you enjoy using most?[ ]
093If you are interested in hands-on technical work, you probably know that your technical skills will grow over time. Picture yourself in ten years. What type of technical skills will you have? What type of projects will you be working on?[ ]
094In today`s very digital world, many people have grown up not knowing how to use common tools. What types of experiences do you think children and youth should have so that they will be comfortable with hands-on work with various tools and equipment?[ ]
095List five tips for working effectively and safely with tools and equipment.[ ]
096What new technology, tools and equipment do you think this workplace could have in one year, five years, or twenty years?[ ]
Understanding all aspects 
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097If you could work in any department or job in this organization, where would you work? First describe your top three choices, and then identify your top choice.[ ]
098List five questions you would ask if you were a manager interviewing someone to work at this organization. Why did you choose these questions?[ ]
099Suppose you were interviewing the owner/president/director of this organization so that you could write a newspaper article about this organization. List five questions you would ask in the interview.[ ]
Understanding Workplace Culture, Policy and Safety 
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100Compare and contrast the "culture" at this organization with the "culture" of your school (or another organization). Is one place or the other more formal, informal, fast-paced, relaxed, strict, serious, etc.?[ ]
101Have you faced any challenges in following workplace safety guidelines? If yes, how have you addressed these challenges?[ ]
102How did you learn about workplace culture, policy and safety in this work experience? Describe any conversations you have had or anything you have read to learn about the culture of the workplace, workplace policies, workplace ethics, or workplace safety.[ ]
103Suppose you were creating a brochure or poster about "do`s and don`ts" for your workplace with safety rules, confidentiality rules, workplace ethics and other things. List 5-10 things that should be included.[ ]
Workplace Appearance 
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104Can you explain any safety considerations in dressing for your position (such as type of shoes or clothes needed for outdoor work or gloves or goggles needed for the work)?[ ]
105Describe how you have chosen clothes, accessories, shoes, etc. to be appropriate for your workplace.[ ]
106Describe what other people wear in your workplace. Is there a lot of variety in what people wear or is there a uniform or a typical style of clothing? What type of clothing do you think is most appropriate for this work?[ ]
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107Do you have strategies that help you maintain a steady pace when you are writing (that is, writing flows along, and you are not “stuck”)? What strategies help you to write?[ ]
108What writing did you do during this work experience? How was it different from other writing you have done at school or on your own?[ ]
109Workplace writing often involves working in a team -- one person drafts, another edits, another provides background research, another person does formatting. Have you worked in a team to write something? Describe how the team worked together to write.[ ]
110What is your ideal writing job? (Such as journalist, editor, novelist…)[ ]
111How do you think technology is going to reshape careers in writing in the next 10-20 years?[ ]