An evaluation of the effectiveness of shared online reflection between students to develop reflective practice.

Authors: Taylor, J. and Mair, C.

Conference: Fusion Conference: Sharing Education Excellence


A small study was designed to enable students to learn from each others' as well as their own reflections. One of the key aims of HE is to develop students' ability to become 'critical reflective thinkers', however this is typically private and ignores the benefits of collaboration. This study used innovative techniques to develop reflective practice. A structured, adaptable spreadsheet was available via the VLE and a discussion board facilitated asynchronous online discussion. Students were encouraged to reflect on each other’s postings and on each others’ reflective spreadsheets.

Students engaged in critical discussion over a 3-week period and simultaneously recorded reflections within an electronic reflection sheet. Pre-study and post-study questionnaires were completed. Analysis of quantitative data identified changes with regard to perceptions of reflective practice and activity. A wide variety of qualitative data (discussion transcripts, reflective spreadsheets and open-ended questions) were analysed to evaluate the depth of reflection and development of reflection skills. The results identify when and how reflection is occurring and highlighted the many novel insights expressed by the participants regarding their own reflection skills. Although the sample is small and therefore generalisability is limited, recommendations are suggested regarding the implementation of future systems to enable students to share reflections online.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Jacqui Taylor