Reflection Tools


Reflection may take place before, during, and after the service activity. Below are sample questions to help guide the reflection process.


  • What do you expect to experience at the service site?
  • What do you think is expected of you during this service experience?
  • What do you expect to gain from this experience?
  • What do you expect will be the impact of this activity on the service recipients?
  • What do you think about the problem that you will address through this service activity?
  • What do you think about the way the problem is currently being addressed?
  • What do you think about the population being served by this activity?

During the Service

  • Are you doing what you thought you would be doing? (If not, why?)
  • Are your expectations about the activity being met?
  • Are your expectations about the community organization being met?
  • What is going right?
  • What is not going right? How can it be fixed?
  • Do you think service recipients are benefiting from this service?
  • Do you think the activity is meaningful and worthwhile?
  • Do you want to continue with the project or quit? Why?


  • Did you learn anything from this experience?
  • What did you learn from this experience?
  • Were your expectations about the service met?
  • Was the community problem addressed through your service?
  • Were the goals and objectives of the project accomplished?
  • How have your views about the problem changed?
  • How have your views about the population you served changed?
  • What do you think about the way policymakers or those in positions to effect change are addressing this problem?
  • What were the benefits from participating in this service activity?
  • Has this experience changed you? If yes, how?
  • Would you do this again? Why?
  • What are the most important points you take with you from this experience?
  • Do you think you will continue to be involved in service?


To be effective, a reflection should:

  • Be led by an enthusiastic, creative, and nonjudgmental facilitator
  • Purposely link the service experience to learning objectives
  • Be outcome-based
  • Have sufficient time for discussion/writing/presenting to make the activity meaningful
  • Be appropriate for the group (age, skill levels, culturally sensitive, etc.)
  • Engage all participants
  • Be conducted in an environment in which participants feel safe to express their feelings and observations
  • Address negative experiences, while highlighting positive experiences.

Adapted from the Howard University Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning