KSA Reflection Questions

The EL Hub have created a set of reflection questions for each of the 26 knowledge, skills, and attitudes students can develop through experiential learning experience at the University of Guelph.

Knowledge Domain

The ability to make sense of and apply concepts, theories, and practices of business, management, and finance.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you identify the need for a new business/financial system? 
  • How have you been able to apply what you have learned in your business-related courses to the context of our organization?
  • What new concept did you learn or teach yourself to do in this role that may be useful in the future?

The ability to make sense of and apply concepts, theories, and practices from the arts and humanities.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you observe that differences are valued, encouraged, and supported in your workplace? If not, what recommendations would you have for improvement?
  • What did you learn in this role that influenced how you view your position in society? (Gender, ethnicity, ability, etc)

The ability to make sense of and apply concepts, theories, and practices from communication, scientific, mechanical, and design technologies.

Reflection Questions:

  • How has your opinion of the role changed based on using technology (ex. Social media, Certain lab devices)? And would you use the same technique in the future?
  • What is an example of how using this technology has made a program/tasks/concept/registration/information sharing more accessible?
  • What software or technology are you using in this role that you were not previously familiar with? Do you see yourself using this in the future and how?

The ability to make sense of and apply mathematical concepts, theories, and practices.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you make sense of new mathematical models/theories you learned in your position?
  • How have you been able to apply what you have learned in your math-related courses to the context of this role?
  • What new concept did you learn or teach yourself to do in this role that may be useful in the future?

The ability to make sense of and apply scientific concepts, theories, and practices from the natural, social, and applied sciences.

Reflection Questions:

  • Was there data/research that surprised you? 
  • Was there an experiment that did not work correctly the first time? How did you change your approach before re-running it? How would you do it again in the future?
  • How have you been able to apply what you have learned in your lab courses to the context of this role?
  • What new concept did you learn or teach yourself to do in this role that may be useful in the future?

Skills Domain

Communication Skills

The ability to exchange information and ideas with other people through speech, active listening, and non-verbal cues.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you gauge how your message was best received?
  • Did you feel the intended audience had a hard time understanding your message? How would you change your approach?
  • Considering a specific presentation that you delivered, what do you believe went well? What would you do differently in the future?

The ability to find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you gauge how your message was best received?
  • How did you ensure your graphic was engaging and accessible? And how did you come to that conclusion?

The ability to communicate information and ideas through written or typed text.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you gauge how your message was best received?
  • When you started this position how did you learn how to communicate effectively?

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

The ability to imagine and devise new ways of addressing problems, answering questions, or expressing meaning through the application, synthesis, or repurposing of knowledge.

Reflection Questions:

  • What new ideas did you come up with and how can they be implemented in the future?
  • If you could change anything about this role or our department, what would it be and why?

The ability to identify, analyze, and evaluate situations, ideas and information.

Reflection Questions:

  • Describe an instance in your research where you ran into a problem or issue and how you would change your approach when faced with similar problems. 
  • When were you able to take on someone else’s perspective in your work (perhaps when coming up with a new idea or trying to solve a challenge)? How did seeing things from another point of view influence your thinking?

The ability to integrate and apply relevant information from a variety of sources into new or broader contexts.

Reflection Questions:

  • How were you able to organize various different pieces of scholarly work to best inform your research practice? 
  • What is something you previously knew that turned out to be useful in this role?

The ability to assess, prioritize, and evaluate potential solutions to problems by asking relevant questions, identifying root causes, and gathering facts.

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you describe your problem-solving style and how did you navigate solving problems in your role? 
  • Based on what you have learned in this role, what do you think you may do differently when it comes to solving problems in the future?

Interpersonal Skills

The ability to identify sources of conflict and take steps to minimize or overcome disharmony.

Reflection Questions:

  • There are five types of conflict management: collaborating, competing, avoiding, accommodating, and compromising. Which do you identify with and how did you navigate conflict using this style in your role? Was this the right approach? How might you approach conflict differently? 
  • Was there a situation where you disagreed with someone? How did you end up resolving this?

The ability to direct, guide, and motivate others to accomplish a common goal or purpose.

Reflection Questions:

  • What did you learn about yourself from this experience and how would you use that knowledge to adapt and respond to new leadership opportunities? 
  • How would your peers describe your leadership style, and why? What is an example that supports this?

The ability to communicate, interrelate, and function well in diverse social and cultural settings.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you demonstrate inclusive and respectful behavior towards others?
  • Working in diverse teams can give us a new appreciation for cultures or identities we previously were not familiar with. What is something you have learned that will impact your interactions with people going forward?

The ability to contribute to the shared purpose of a group, network or partnership through a commitment to sharing power, resources, expertise, and perspectives.

Reflection Questions:

  • What were the benefits you experienced when working on a team opposed to taking on this work independently?
  • What were the challenges you faced when working together on this project opposed to completing it independently? 
  • How did seeing things from another point of view influence your views on collaboration?

Project Management Skills

The ability to make timely decisions based on thorough assessment of short- and long-term effects, recognizing political and ethical implications on those affected.

Reflection Questions:

  • What was the process you went through to make decisions? Can this be generally applied to all decisions? What would you change/keep the same next time?
  • Were there any challenging decisions that you had to make? What made this decision difficult?

The ability to locate, select, organize, and document information from a variety of sources using appropriate technology and information systems.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did you identify the need to better organize information and how did you go about implementing that?
  • What tools, software or resources did you use to manage information? Do you feel this was effective?

The ability to establish tasks and allocate resources to meet objectives, monitor progress, and revise plans to reflect new information.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did the process of planning [this event] change from your first week to how you would do it again next time?
  • How do you break down larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks? How will these skills in organizing be useful in the future?

The ability to manage several tasks at once, being able to set priorities and allocate time efficiently to meet deadlines.

Reflection Questions:

  • How would you/your co-workers/the department be impacted if you could not adequately manage your time?
  • When you had several tasks to complete at the same time, how did you decide what to prioritize? How do you know your strategy was effective?

Attitudes Domain

The ability to show flexibility and openness to changing plans, methods, opinions or goals in light of new information and changing circumstances. Ability to work both independently and part of a team.

Reflection Questions:

  • During the project, aspects were changed from in-person to virtual, how did you manage expectations, stress or anxiety, and your work with the change? 
  • What things in your role did you not have control over, and how did you adjust to changing situations that affected you?
  • Was there a time when you adapted your methods or opinion based on new information? What happened?

The ability to ask questions and demonstrate open-mindedness and inquisitiveness.

Reflection Questions:

  • Was there something of particular interest related to this position you researched more on your own and how would you link it to your area of study?
  • Describe questions you asked to learn more about your role and the impact your work had? 

A willingness to proactively take on responsibilities and challenges.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did it make you feel when your new idea/program/etc was implemented? 
  • How did you take initiative to teach yourself new things related to your work or the department/organization?
  • Do you feel you went above and beyond the expectations of this position? Why or why not? 

The ability to sustain interest, effort and motivation to persevere in accomplishing a task or goal.

Reflection Questions:

  • What value do you place on persistence and how do you feel when a large project is finally completed?
  • How did you keep yourself motivated when you were faced with a challenging task? 

The ability to set personal and professional goals, be accountable for actions, consider the needs of others, attend proactively to one’s mental and physical wellbeing, and work safely.

Reflection Questions:

  • Who would be impacted if you were unable to show-up without proper advance notice?
  • How did you consider the needs of others in your workplace and what was the impact if you were not held accountable for your actions?
  • Do you feel you were accountable to yourself in terms maintaining your mental and physical health while in this role? If not, what would you do differently in the future?

The ability to acknowledge and reflect on personal strengths, areas for development, values, limits, feelings, motivations, and biases.

Reflection Questions:

  • How did this position impact how you understand yourself, your values, and strengths?
  • What is an area of skill development you would like to intentionally improve? How would you do this after this experience?
  • What was your original motivation for pursuing this opportunity? Did your experience align with your expectations and goals? 

Experience Profiles

  • Samantha is in her 5th year of undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph and is currently a SPARK writer, having previously completed course-integrated experiential learning.