About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4770-4777
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

THE CHALLENGES AND POSSIBILITIES OF REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION. RESEARCH FOCUSED FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON FOUR DIFFERENT DEGREE COURSES

J. Colomer1, R. Fernández2, A. Alsina1, S. Ayllón1, J. Fullana1, M. Pallisera1, M. Pérez-Burriel1, L. Serra1

1University of Girona (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Cantabria (SPAIN)
Despite an increase in university teaching practices based on reflective learning methodology (RL), only very few studies are found in the context of higher education aimed at determining students’ perception of this approach to teaching and learning. The aim of our research is to ascertain the opinions of students on different university degree courses regarding the challenges, difficulties and contributions arising from the application of reflective learning methodology in their learning process so as to propose strategies for improving education. The study was carried out on four Bachelor degree courses at the University of Girona: Social Education, Environmental Sciences, Nursing and Psychology.

The research was conducted in two stages. In the first (2011-12 academic year), a questionnaire was administered to 162 students (43 from Social Education; 33 from Environmental Sciences; 31 from Nursing; and 55 from Psychology). One section of the questionnaire was specifically devoted to studying the perceptions of students participating in various RL experiences regarding the main difficulties they faced and the contributions of RL to their learning process. Among the highlighted difficulties were the fact that RL requires a work process they are not used to and their lack of reflective writing skills. Among the contributions, the students felt that RL results in more complex and self-regulated knowledge, develops greater dynamic capabilities and increases the degree of reflection on learning processes and areas for improvement.

In the second stage of the study (2012-13 academic year), four focus groups were held with students who had participated in the previous year’s experience with the aim of gaining further insight into their perceptions regarding the challenges and contributions of RL. A total of 20 students participated, all of whom gave informed written consent. The sessions were recorded and transcribed in full and a thematic content analysis was performed. In all four groups the students stated that the experience had allowed them to improve their learning and become aware of their current situation and areas for improvement. As for the challenges, they cited difficulties in understanding the aims and purpose of RL, particularly at the beginning of the experience, together with problems experienced in writing about it, doubts about the level of openness required and uncertainty about how they would be assessed.

The research conducted suggests that RL has significant potential to connect academic activity with professional action. It also provides working guidelines for improving experiences carried out on the basis of RL. These include the need to clarify the methodology and present arguments for its use, so that students understand the type of work it will mean for them and the type of aims pursued. Students should also be provided with sufficiently clear guidelines regarding how they will be assessed (in relation to both activities and level of reflection). There is a need to build a group climate based on mutual trust, continuous feedback and the establishment of a support process that maintains this trust throughout the learning process.
@InProceedings{COLOMER2014CHA,
author = {Colomer, J. and Fern{\'{a}}ndez, R. and Alsina, A. and Ayll{\'{o}}n, S. and Fullana, J. and Pallisera, M. and P{\'{e}}rez-Burriel, M. and Serra, L.},
title = {THE CHALLENGES AND POSSIBILITIES OF REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION. RESEARCH FOCUSED FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON FOUR DIFFERENT DEGREE COURSES},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4770-4777}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Colomer AU - R. Fernández AU - A. Alsina AU - S. Ayllón AU - J. Fullana AU - M. Pallisera AU - M. Pérez-Burriel AU - L. Serra
TI - THE CHALLENGES AND POSSIBILITIES OF REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION. RESEARCH FOCUSED FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON FOUR DIFFERENT DEGREE COURSES
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 4770
EP - 4777
ER -
J. Colomer, R. Fernández, A. Alsina, S. Ayllón, J. Fullana, M. Pallisera, M. Pérez-Burriel, L. Serra (2014) THE CHALLENGES AND POSSIBILITIES OF REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION. RESEARCH FOCUSED FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON FOUR DIFFERENT DEGREE COURSES, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 4770-4777.
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