A participant perspective on collaborative reflection: video-stimulated interviews show what residents value and why

Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2021 Feb 15. doi: 10.1007/s10459-020-10026-7. Online ahead of print.


The potential of reflection for learning and development is broadly accepted across the medical curriculum. Our understanding of how exactly reflection yields its educational promise, however, is limited to broad hints at the relation between reflection and learning. Yet, such understanding is essential to the (re)design of reflection education for learning and development. In this qualitative study, we used participants' video-stimulated comments on actual practice to identify features that do or do not make collaborative reflection valuable to participants. In doing so, we focus on aspects of the interactional process that constitute the educational activity of reflection. To identify valuable and less valuable features of collaborative reflection, we conducted one-on-one video-stimulated interviews with Dutch general practice residents about collaborative reflection sessions in their training program. Residents were invited to comment on any aspect of the session that they did or did not value. We synthesized all positively and negatively valued features and associated explanations put forward in residents' narratives into shared normative orientations about collaborative reflection: what are the shared norms that residents display in telling about positive and negative experiences with collaborative reflection? These normative orientations display residents' views on the aim of collaborative reflection (educational value for all) and the norms that allegedly contribute to realizing this aim (inclusivity and diversity, safety, and efficiency). These norms are also reflected in specific educational activities that ostensibly contribute to educational value. As such, the current synthesis of normative orientations displayed in residents' narratives about valuable and less valuable elements of collaborative reflection deepen our understanding of reflection and its supposed connection with educational outcomes. Moreover, the current empirical endeavor illustrates the value of video-stimulated interviews as a tool to value features of educational processes for future educational enhancements.

Keywords: Collaborative reflection; Medical education; Participant perspective; Video-stimulated interview.