Literature Reflection Tool

Magnifying glass with lines in the lens
Craig Watson, Iconfinder, edited by Samuel Whitcomb

This tool can be used, especially by course developers, as an aid to avoid including perspectives "randomly" or as mere add-ons that might only reinforce the potentially marginal position of such perspectives.

This tool consists of two rounds:

  1. The first round helps you to become critically aware of which perspectives are offered in a particular course, and how these perspectives are currently balanced. 
  2. The second round focuses on recognizing the gaps within a particular literature selection and provides steps to identify which literature can be included and how.

These two rounds will help you in understanding what is missing/what more you need for your literature selection. The first two rounds are followed by a section that provides you with information about entry points, suggestions, and additional information related to finding that literature.

- The tool can help users to practice, and turn into a habit, looking beyond the (mainstream) body of literature that they are being presented with.

- Students can follow these steps to train their critical eye towards literature selections and think about what kind of literature would be relevant to their research projects, essays, and other coursework.

- The questions provided in this tool can also be used as questions to discuss with colleagues and students to critically analyze certain literature.

What does your literature selection currently look like?

This helps you to become more critically aware of the perspective(s) that are presented in your current body of literature. Some variables to consider:

  • What are the (sub)disciplinary backgrounds of the authors/books?
  • What are the educational-geographical backgrounds of the authors/books? 
  • What are the social backgrounds of the authors you read?

What is missing?

As a follow up from the first section, this section focuses on identifying the holes in a body of literature, which literature can be added and how to add it.

This tool was created by Kathrine van den Bogert, Elke Linders and Nicole Sanches from Utrecht University.

You can find the link to the Literature Reflection Tool here.

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