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Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning

Reflection Resources

Why reflection? Beyond the classroom engagements are more meaningful when you can articulate and demonstrate what you’ve learned, and emphasize how these experiences connect to your personal, professional, and academic goals. This type of reflection is intended to help you better prepare for successful graduation and next steps for your life and career goals. Use these resources to get started and use the Request a Workshop form to have a CIEL staff member facilitate activities with your group.

Examine On Your Own

We encourage you to reflect on all your engagements beyond the classroom - from advising sessions to Experiential Learning Opportunities.

  • When did this experience take place? Where did it take place?
  • Who else was there? Who wasn't there?
  • What did you do?  What did others do?  What actions did you take?
  • How did you learn about this experience?
  • What was your motivation for engaging in this experience?
  • What are some of the characteristics of the experience that you were looking forward to and/or were curious about leading up to your participation?
  • Did the Experience meet your expectations?
  • Will you continue pursuing similar engagements in the future? Why or why not?
  • What specific academic course was relevant to this experience?  What concept or theory did you see or use?  How was it used?
  • What was the benefit to yourself or society (the common good) in participating in this experience?  How is your personal benefit connected to or contrary to the common good?  What tradeoffs might you see between the personal and societal benefits?
  • What assumptions did you bring to the experience?  To what extent did they prove true or untrue?
  • How did this experience make you feel?  Should you have felt differently?  Why or why not?
  • Finish the following statements:
    • "I learned that..." (Think about a significant takeaway you had, not simply a statement of fact)
    • "This experience is similar or different to what I learned in..." (Identify an academic course, beyond the classroom experience, and/or perspective that resonated with the takeaway you described)
    • "In light of this learning I will..." (What actions will you maintain or change as a result of your learning?  How will this new learning impact your decisions moving forward?)
Request the "What's the DEAL? Capturing Learning Beyond Academics" workshop to learn more with your student organization!


Save Your Work

Everything you create (pictures, videos, papers and presentations) is an important reflection of who you are, what you know and what you can do. As time goes on, saving these artifacts will help you assess your journey and provide concrete examples of your work for others. Utilize digital storage options such as OneDrive, Dropbox, or iCloud to save your created artifacts.

Engagements cataloged through My USC Experience are visible on your My USC Experience record and are eligible to be included on your co-curricular transcript.

Garnet Gate can help you save and document experiences such as Off-Campus Community Service, Off-Campus Employment, Internships, Carolina Engage Grant experiences, and personally developed experiences.


Share With Others

As you share your learning with others, you articulate what was important and prepare to set yourself apart in job applications, interviews and graduate school applications.

Share through presentations: Presentations in class and campus organizations help you hone your skills. Take the next step. Present at a professional conference, to industry leaders at your internship site, through a performance or exhibit, or at Discover USC. Practice your elevator pitch to market your experience and articulate your learning in a professional way.

Request the “Elevator Pitch: Articulating your Experiences to Employers and Peers” workshop to practice with your student organization!

Share through writing: Writing comes in many forms. Publish in a newsletter, newspaper, or journal like Caravel, the University’s undergraduate research journal, or articulate your learning in a scholarship application through the Office of Fellowship and Scholar Programs. Practice reflective writing prompts through word clouds, bullet journaling, poems, or essays. Share it on social media, an ePortfolio website, or other platform.

Share through an ePortfolio: An ePortfolio helps you communicate the breadth and depth of your work by displaying photos and other artifacts such as significant papers, PowerPoints, project assignments, and certificates of achievement. See our CIEL ePortfolio resources to get started on your own ePortfolio.

Request the “Wix/Weebly 101: Building Websites to Share Experiences” workshop to gain skills with your student organization!


Share through art: A picture is worth a thousand words. You can express your learning in creative ways, such as PhotoVoice, sculpture, poetry, or song. Consider how you might represent your learning moment in a creative way, and how you can communicate your message to others. 

Request the “Write, Sing, Dance: Creative Reflection Strategies” workshop to practice sharing with your student organization!

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.