This paper has explored a way of teaching students to develop critical rhetorical reflective skills and what the implications of that development are for composition pedagogy. Rhetorical reflection about thinking and writing processes can allow students to develop greater metacognitive skills in critical thinking and critical literacy. They not only develop skills, but they remember those skills so they can continue to draw on them as they need to.
Reflection is being used and defined in many academic contexts, but emphasizing a critical rhetorical framework will allow for greater use of it as a method of assessment of teaching and learning. The approach presented here, which draws on rhetorical theories, affords students a specific strategy with which to approach their reflections of the world in which they thrive, whether the reflection is for academic, professional, civic, or personal purposes. Students can learn to work rhetorically through/with reactions to teaching and learning so that they take a more active role in their own education. Making memorable and lasting educational experiences in college might happen best when students compose critical rhetorical reflections with a variety of media, including written, visual, audio, and/or video texts. The multimodal approach to communication expands how we all communicate so that we can reach a greater number of contexts thereby reaching a greater number of people. Moreover, an educator who can work collaboratively with students in creating grading rubrics, especially for digital reflective projects which digital natives often are best situated to grade, will likely be most successful in placing students at the center of their learning.
It is my contention that the greatest development will come from teaching and learning which incorporates multiple modes of communication so that students can think about the writing they do in a variety of ways thereby engaging different perspectives on it.