About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3270-3277
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

BLOGGING MY REFLECTIONS? NO I DON’T…. BUT IT’S A GOOD IDEA

H. Bending

University of St Mark and St John (UNITED KINGDOM)
It is now widely accepted that technology plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, from organising our diaries, to communicating between likeminded individuals and enabling instantaneous choice; consequently web 2.0 tools have become highly valued and prized within higher education settings.

Increasingly, due to the availability of mobile devices, rapid expansion in technology and perceived benefits to both student and institution, the advent of blended learning techniques, has assumed that all undergraduate students are digitally literate. Students are increasingly expected to engage with the technology as a replacement for face-to-face activities. Blogs, for example, replacing reflective practice mentoring conversations and online forum discussions instead of seminars.

Reflective journals are employed in higher education as a tool to engage students on professional programmes in reflective practice. Reflective journaling, as depicted by Moon (1999) is viewed as an art form; as a representation of the individual’s professional artistry (Schön 1983). However, increasingly reflective journals are used as a tool to enable students to discuss their thinking and behaviours in relation to predetermined outcomes, professional standards and values. This development arguably transfers reflection from an activity undertaken to transform and develop professional practice, to yet another activity on the students’ to-do-list that must be completed in order to achieve competencies; arguably resulting in reflective practice becoming a means-to-end practice rather than a guide of action (Friere 1997).

It was questioned whether students’ use of technology to produce pieces of reflection undermined the shared value of reflective practice. Consequently, this study listened to the lived experiences of students as they navigate the technology and the tools in order to complete their undergraduate degree programmes.

This research utilised unstructured interviews in order to engage the participants in reflection on their experiences and underpinning value systems. This research listened to student’s experiences of writing reflective blogs on their workbased placement experiences and found incongruence between the value and beliefs of reflective writing and thinking, and their performance and motivation to complete the blogs. The students discussed the benefits of thinking and writing reflectively, specifically in relation to developing professional practice. However they also spoke of their difficulties in completing the task, as it was seen either as additional or superfluous to their academic studies and assessments, or as a task which positioned them precariously on the edge or outside of the profession, due to the nature of the relationship between student and commenter on the blogs. In contrast, other web 2.0 tools used as alternates to face to face teaching sessions were seen as a benefit to their academic studies, with few barriers to participation. Azjen’s (1991) theory of planned behaviour is used to explain the relationship between the students’ values and beliefs and actual behaviour, highlighting the role of social influence and in particular the relationships between student and lecturer and student peers in the production of reflective writing and transition within the community of practice. The paper concludes with the author’s ruminations on how these relationships can be supported in order to improve the students’ experience.
@InProceedings{BENDING2015BLO,
author = {Bending, H.},
title = {BLOGGING MY REFLECTIONS? NO I DON’T…. BUT IT’S A GOOD IDEA},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {3270-3277}}
TY - CONF
AU - H. Bending
TI - BLOGGING MY REFLECTIONS? NO I DON’T…. BUT IT’S A GOOD IDEA
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 3270
EP - 3277
ER -
H. Bending (2015) BLOGGING MY REFLECTIONS? NO I DON’T…. BUT IT’S A GOOD IDEA, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 3270-3277.
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