I wish I had known to keep a diary of daily events, capturing highlights, actions and lessons learnt. Reflection is an important tool for self-assessment and self-improvement. One must take the time to reflect periodically; daily, weekly and monthly. As we make time for physical fitness, we must also make time for reflection. This aids in mental health and wellbeing and allows one have time to exercise their thoughts and exercise their written word. I would recommend this is done in a journal or diary. This allows one to remove themselves from the computer and allows one to find a quiet place to reflect for a small period of time. (It also gives loved ones something to buy you for your birthday). It is very important at certain periods to read over your thoughts again and reflect on these also. Don’t dwell on past, but use it to empower and improve one’s self.
– SM Digger Works
Numerous training courses across Army are incorporating reflection into their courses and continua. This is because Reflective Practice is the foundation upon which your learning should be considered and periodically reviewed. Through this process, you will validate your thinking, adapt and evolve considerations as circumstances, awareness or technologies change. Here's what Daniel Keighran VC has to say about his own experience as a reflective practitioner.
The Cove's Reflection Tools
At The Cove we believe that reflection is the cornerstone of learning from your own (and potentially others') experiences. With our partners; The Queensland University of Technology and Interserv, The Cove has developed a series of resources designed to help you become a better reflective practitioner. These are:
- Quick Military Education (QME)
- Cove+ Compact
- Cove+ Reflective Practice Module
- Reflective Journal App
- Individual Reflective Journal Hard Copy
QMEs are a series of pre-prepared short learning exercises that consist of a short video (often from a movie) followed by some discussion points. They are designed to create training opportunities for short periods of down time in units with minimal preparation time required. They are a great resource to refer junior leaders to develop their own teams. This QME in particular focuses on Reflection.
Have you heard good things about Cove+, but just can't find the time to sit down and complete a unit? Are you a visual learner? We have the answer for you.
Cove+ Compact are Cove+ units 'compacted' into short videos that provide a synopsis of the unit. This way you can quickly and easily understand the concepts discussed within each Cove+ unit and then, when you do find some time, you can delve more deeply into the material in the Cove+ unit now that you have a basic understanding. Here are the first two Cove+ Compacts on Reflective Practice:
Cove+ Reflective Practice Module
Now that you know a little bit more about how to conduct Reflective Practice, why not complete the full Reflective Practice unit in Cove+ on ADELE(U) so you can be a truly knowledgeable reflective practitioner! The recommended time for the unit is 10 hours, but most of you will move through it much quicker; especially if you've already seen the Cove+ Compact videos above. Reflection is the foundation for learning in Cove+ so it's the first unit you must complete.
Reflective Journal App
The Cove has developed the Reflective Journal App, which is growing in popularity across Army as a means of recording reflections and creating a reflective habit. The app allows you to record and sort your reflections, as well as create reminders on when to reflect and review your existing reflections. You can download the Reflective Practice app from the App Store for iOS or on Google Play Store for Android devices. Data is stored on your personal device, not a cloud; so your data is for your eyes only. Download the app and create a reflective habit of your own today.
Individual Reflective Journal Hard Copy
If you're someone who would rather record your thoughts in a paper journal then The Cove has you covered too. Hard copies of The Cove's Individual Reflective Journal are available through Regional Army Education Centre detachments or by emailing email@example.com. We're more than happy to send you out one or more (orders for unit batches welcome too).
A PDF version of the Individual Reflective Journal can be found here: Individual Reflective Journal.pdf.