Leveraging the ALACT Reflection Model to Improve Academic Skills Development in Bachelor Students: A Case Study


Academic skills are essential in most future professions for students, yet frequently receive sporadic or ineffective attention throughout higher education. Therefore, we set out to implement the ALACT reflection model in a second-year academic skills course within the bachelor’s program in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The model was applied to both presentation and teamwork skills which are practiced in a relevant academic context. As such, the aim was to improve the timeliness and level of insight students have into their strengths, growth, and points for improvement. The ALACT model is a spiral approach to reflection where students begin with (1) a concrete experience, (2) observing and reflecting, and then (3) forming abstract concepts and generalizations about the experience. These are used (4) to create an action plan which is then (5) enacted. The last step forms the new experience from which the cycle repeats. Previous research suggests that the conscious and consistent implementation of the ALACT model can provide a basis for meaningful self-evaluation and increased competency and confidence. Therefore, we redesigned the month-long course to ensure the five steps were well-integrated and that students would complete the spiral at least twice for each skill. Results from lecturer interviews and a student questionnaire indicate that the intervention leads to increased awareness of existing competencies and steps for improvement, and a very positive view of reflection and its role in skills development. A review of the practical considerations for implementing the ALACT model in academic skills courses within science education is also provided.

Author Information
Isabel T. Braadbaart, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Anna H. Vuuregge, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Fanny Beekman, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sonja van Scheijen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jacqueline E. van Muijlwijk-Koezen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Danny J. Scholten, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the ACE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Braadbaart I., Vuuregge A., Beekman F., Scheijen S., Muijlwijk-Koezen J., & Scholten D. (2023) Leveraging the ALACT Reflection Model to Improve Academic Skills Development in Bachelor Students: A Case Study ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2022: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2023.76
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2023.76

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon