By Marina Harvey, Kate Lloyd, Kath McLachlan, Anne-Louise Semple, Greg Walkerden

Five minutes goes a long way

In a world of increasing complexity, employers and employees alike value “soft” professional skills in our graduates. Reflective practice supports developing these skills, including critical thinking, self-assessment, communication, and life-long learning. Reflective practice supports academic professional learning and student learning.

“I don’t have time to reflect”

With high academic workloads, tensions between research and teaching agendas, reliance on sessional staff, a focus on content delivery, and students who are juggling diverse priorities in their lives – we often hear “I don’t have time to reflect”. Making time and space for reflection is a challenge.

More than writing

Yet, reflective practice is embedded in a wide range of university subjects, disciplines, and professions. Academics are expected to teach reflection and students are expected to practise reflection. Usually reflection is approached with an emphasis on writing, e.g. journaling. While writing as reflection can support learning, there are many other ways of reflecting, including a range of creative modes.

What learning and teaching needs now is … reflection

Reflection supports learning and one’s employability. “Reflection is, at its heart, about empowering learners to seek and trust their own insights. In incorporating reflection into your teaching, you have the opportunity to help learners rely on themselves and on their ability to reflect and think critically: not just in your classroom, but for the rest of their lives” (Harvey et al., 2020 p.14).

But, how do we practice reflection when there are so many competing demands and so little time? Resources are needed, starting with reflective activities that can be used by both students and teachers, many of which can be practised in five minutes, and are underpinned by scholarship.

To explore diverse ways of practising reflection you can access a new scholarly resource.


A/P Marina Harvey, UNSW; ALTF.

A/P Kate Lloyd, Macquarie University

Dr Kath McLachlan, Macquarie University;

Dr Anne-Louise Semple, Macquarie University;

Dr Greg Walkerden, Macquarie University



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