USING MASTER STUDENTS’ REFLECTIVE STATEMENTS FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR INTERCULTURAL DIFFICULTIES
Aims and scope:
The use of reflective statements in education has been proven to be useful and difficult at the same time (Mena-Marcso et al. 2013; Mitchel, 2014). This paper will present the results of a content analysis performed on 15 reflective statements from 15 students coming from two Master Programs at Universidad de Valencia (Spain); international MBA (http://www.uv.es/imbaand) and WOP-P (http://www.uv.es/erasmuswop/); the former from the Faculty of Business and the latter from the Faculty of Psychology.
Both Masters belong to alliances of several Universities, and therefore, students have different origins and nationalities. The reflective statement is part of student’s evaluation (5% of final grade), related to the learning outcomes specified in both subjects’ syllabus, and explained as:
“As part of your assignment up to 5 % can be earned via the production of an individual reflective statement, which must be attached to the group report. You should use your learning log to help you produce the reflective statement. It should indicate:
• what you have learned about your strengths and weaknesses
• what you have learned as a member of the team of your coursework
• what would you do differently as a result of the team experience
• how do you think you apply the learning from this experience to your working life.
This should take the form of a critical reflection and not just merely a description of the process.
Given the nature of the aim of this study (explorative), the research will focus on qualitative approach. As known, the qualitative approach is viewed as a naturalistic one used to interpret social perspective through findings that are non-statistical (Patton, 2002). This approach is in line with the scope of this research, as the content to be studied are narratives of students as reflective statements providing introspective information on an auto-evaluation process. For the purpose if this work, a content analysis was chosen performed through Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (ATLAS-Ti software).
The expected results of this works are twofold: first, valuable information on the learning process is expected to be obtained in terms of what has been positive and negative, from the students’ point of view. Second, as the sample is fully intercultural (US, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, …) the content analysis is expected to show relevant differences in students’ perceptions of their effort, specially related to working on intercultural teams.
 Mena-Marcos, J., García-Rodríguez, M. -., & Tillema, H. (2013). Student teacher reflective writing: What does it reveal? European Journal of Teacher Education, 36(2), 147-163.
 Mitchell, E. (2014). Reflective course construction: An analysis of student feedback and its role in curricular design. Education for Information, 30(3-4), 149-166.
 Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative Research Evaluation Methods. Third Edition. California: Sage Publications.
 Sinkovics, R.R., & Alfoldi, E.A. (2012). Progressive Focusing and Trustworthiness in Qualitative Research: The Enabling Role of Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS). Management International Review, 52, 817–845