Establishing a Foundation for Reflective Practice:
A Case Study of Learning Journal Use

Lisa Marie Blaschke, [l.blaschke@faculty.umuc.edu]
Oldenburg University, Germany and University of Maryland University College, USA
Jane E. Brindley, [jbrind@uwindsor.ca]
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany

Abstract

To support students in the development of reflective practice, educators must skilfully incorporate techniques for encouraging and developing critical and reflective thinking within the classroom. The purpose of this case study is to develop a deeper understanding of the digital learning journal as a tool to support student reflection and self-directedness in learning. The case study begins with a review of the literature, including definitions of reflection, strategies for encouraging reflective thinking and practice, and assessment techniques. Next, the study describes a specific case where digital learning journals (wikis) are being used to establish a basis for reflective practice as students begin their studies in the Foundations course of an online masters program. Instructor experience and practice are compared with conclusions from the literature. Finally, student perceptions of the pedagogical value of using reflective learning journals are examined and discussed. An important finding of the study is that students are able to differentiate among different learning activities in terms of outcomes and identify the digital learning journal as helping them better understand course content and their individual learning processes and preferences. Recommendations are made and areas for further investigation are identified.

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Tags

e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, ICT, information and communication technology, internet, collaborative learning, learning management system, MOOC, interaction, LMS,

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