Keynote P. Robert-Jan Simons (Utrecht University)


Becoming competent through reflection and feedback


Competency based education requires a new balance between process and product criteria. Someone is competent when (s)he not only shows to be able to do things in a certain way but also realizes desired outcomes in vocational practice. Learning products show that (s)he is able to do things in the required way using the knowledge and skills that encompass the competency. Performance products show the effects in practice under conditions of stress, time constraints, difficult interaction partners, etc. Using competencies as outcomes of vocational and professional education makes it necessary to relate intensively with implicit skills and knowledge originating in practical experience as well as with explicit knowledge and skills applied under practical conditions. Reflection and feedback are important learning processes that help the learner to become competent. I will present a model of different types of reflection and feedback as well as their relations, based on recent work of several of my PHD students. Then, I will present how these researchers succeeded in facilitating reflection and feedback in new ways. In the first project (Ali Leijen), dance students reflected on their dance performance using selected digital video recordings. In the second project (Jos Baeten) students in higher professional education give each other feedback on learning products using a virtual learning environment that facilitates peer feedback. The third project (Lia Voerman) illustrates how teachers tend to give feedback to students. The final project (Eric Poldner) focuses on the roles and measurement of reflection reports.