Practicing reflection in dialogue

From The Embassy of Good Science

Practicing reflection in dialogue

Instructions for:TraineeTrainer
These instructions prepare you to experience the first (face to face) group sessions of the VIRT2UE blended learning program on research integrity.

Participants need to have read the manuals of the 5 exercises (Self-Declaration Approach; Debate and Dialogue; Virtues and Norms; The middle position; and Dilemma game) before participating in the (face to face) group sessions.

This material is part of the VIRT2UE train the trainer program and is meant for trainers and trainees involved in the training.

You need to have a background in research (i.e. be employed as researchers) or be a trainer/educator/teacher who has had experience in research in the past.
Duration (hours)
Part of Icon-virt2ue 2.svgVIRT2UE

What is this about?

Join your fellow trainees and your trainers for the first participatory sessions (face to face or though conference call). During these sessions you will reflect upon the content of the online course and integrate the knowledge you have gained into practice while experiencing the group exercises, facilitated by the trainer(s).

Through the exercises you will be guided in reflecting on your own experience and develop, in dialogue with others, insight in moral considerations about and virtuous responses to (real) moral dilemmas in practice.

Furthermore, you will learn how to foster the same reflection in others by focusing on your role as trainer, the didactic of each exercise and how to train them yourself in your own work context.

Practical Tips

Make sure you have read the instructions of the exercises before experiencing them. This will support your learning experience and help you reflect on the value and possible use of the exercise in your own context.
Experience the exercises

Experience the exercises as facilitated by your trainers.

Put yourself in the shoes of the facilitator

Reflect on your future role as facilitator and ask clarification questions in order to understand how to act as a trainer in your own context.


This training has been developed by the VIRT2UE project, which has received funding form the European Union’s H2020 research programme under grant agreement N 741782.

What is this about?

The main goal of the first sessions is to introduce the five exercises which represent the face-to-face/participatory part of the blended learning training and to prepare trainees to practice facilitating the exercises themselves.

By taking part in the sessions trainees:

1. Learn how to reflect on their own practice by using the exercises.

2. Meet the specific learning goals for each exercise.

3. Get an example of how the exercises can be facilitated.

4. Reflect on what would they need to do or learn to be able to facilitate the exercises themselves.

Practical Tips

Be aware of your role:

During the first sessions, trainees experience the five exercises for the first time. Your facilitation will set an example for them, as they learn how to use the exercises themselves. Therefore, it is important that you feel confident in facilitating them. Please, be aware that it may be necessary to adapt the exercises depending on the context in which you are using them. For example, if you are an ombudsperson or a research integrity officer at your institution, it might not be appropriate to ask trainees to share research integrity cases from their own experience. You may therefore consider using only fictional cases (e.g. from the Rotterdam Dilemma Game or The Embassy of Good Science) instead.
Prepare the necessary supporting materials

Before moderating the first face-to-face session consider the following points:

  • Prepare necessary power point presentations such as:

a. Introduction to the training and the different phases of it

b. Introduction to the varieties of goodness as part of the Self Declaration Approach.

c. Introduction to the middle position exercise.

  • Prepare the meeting rooms (if face to face):

a. Bring post-its, markers, pens, flipcharts and paper (read the trainers instruction of the exercises for further information)

b. Arrange the chairs into a circle (i.e. avoid lecture setting). This fosters a dynamic learning environment and encourages people to engage in a dialogue with each other.

Support trainees in reflecting on how to facilitate the exercises

After experiencing each exercise, in order to reflect on what would trainees need to do or learn to be able to facilitate the exercises themselves, you can consider asking the following questions:

a. Would you be able to facilitate this exercise yourself?

b. What would you need to know or develop?

c. Do you need any further clarification about any of the steps in the exercise?

d. Is there anything unclear about the goals and procedures of the exercise?

Explain the assignments for the time in between participatory sessions

At the end of the session take some time to explain what trainees are required to do in the time in between the two face-to-face sessions.

At this point you:

1. Encourage your trainees to reflect on their respective training participants’ needs. It may be necessary for them to adapt their training to the level of expertise of their training participants, the local context, or the discipline(s).

2. Distribute the self-reflection form and explain to the trainees that this document is meant as a learning tool designed to help them reflect on their experience in facilitating the exercises. By answering the questions, your trainees may reflect on what went well in their facilitation and what they need to improve, learn or what needs further clarification.

3. Consider advising trainees to connect with a colleague, who is also participating in the training (if possible). This can support the learning experience and allow trainers in training to give feedback to each other and (if applicable) share the tasks required to organize the exercises.

Set deadlines and provide contact details

Provide contact information in case of questions or if doubts arise during the practice time in between the participatory sessions. Set a deadline and give instructions for the submission of the self-reflection forms. This should be at least one week prior to the follow up participatory session.


This training has been developed by the VIRT2UE project, which has received funding form the European Union’s H2020 research programme under grant agreement N 741782.

Other information