Linking Reflective Activities for Self-managed Development of Higher-level Abilities


  • John Cowan Edinburgh Napier University



reflection, linking, higher-level abilities, self-managed learning, ePortfolio


The writer suggests that the potential of the available range of critically analysed and widely practiced approaches to reflection could generally be better realised. The case is made in relation to the purposeful development of higher-level abilities in higher education, which are increasingly important for employers and learners. In courses where suc­h development is deemed a priority, the writer advocates the structured and self-managed linking of integrated reflective activities, based upon an ePortfolio, which can readily accommodate and accumulate linked digital materials of various types and forms without effort devoted to rewriting. Four common approaches to reflection by learners are outlined and amplified through descriptions of their use, to illustrate the type of outcomes they can generate and their usefulness if linked to other reflections. It is argued that logical course design should structure complementary tasks contributing linked entries to an ePortfolio, so that the affordances of their separate contributions to learning and development are realised.

Author Biography

John Cowan, Edinburgh Napier University

John Cowan is an octogenarian doctoral supervisor in the Business School at Edinburgh Napier University. He concentrates nowadays on the facilitation of development of higher level cognitive and interpersonal abilities. He currently provides online feedforward on such self-managed activity by students of civil engineering at the University of Limerick.


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