There are many ways in which one can engage in reflective practice.

A useful and structured process is the ORID method – Objective, Reflective, Interpretive, and Decisional.

The ORID method is a structure for effective reflection for individuals or groups with or without a facilitator. What the method can do is:

  • Provide for constructive and logical thinking
  • Broaden perspectives
  • Develop clear ideas and conclusions
  • Result in action and change

The ORID process has four stages:

  • Objective
  • Reflective
  • Interpretive
  • Decisional

1. Objective

Collect information about the experience, event, process or project.

  • What do you remember?
  • What happened? In what order?
  • What did you observe? Hear?
  • What were the highlights? Lowlights?
  • What did you discover?

2. Reflective

Identify emotions and feelings associated with the experience.

  • Describe your response(s), both positive and negative.
  • How did you feel about it at the time? Now?
  • What emotions did you observe in others?
  • What did others tell you about how they reacted?

3. Interpretive

Identify the meaning and significance of the experience.

  • How do you account for what happened?
  • What were the causes and effects?
  • What were the most critical factors affecting the project or activity?
  • What did you learn? What did others learn?
  • What can be applied to similar or new situations?
  • What does your learning mean for the project/product/process? Does anything need to change? When? How?

4. Decisional

Identify decisions or actions that will be taken as a result of the experience.

  • So based on this reflection, what action will you need to take immediately, or in the medium or long term?
  • What improvements or changes can be made to the product, process or project?
  • What decisions need to be made, by whom and when?
  • Write an action plan identifying tasks to be done now that you have undertaken the reflection, and who will do what by when.
  • What will you do differently next time you conduct a similar project or activity?
  • What actions can you now establish to ensure success in the future?

Adapted from the group facilitation methods of the Institute of Cultural Affairs outlined in R Brian Stanfield (ed) The Art of Focused Conversation 1997

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