Encourage Reflection - Chosen Principle of Helen Crump and Jane Challinor
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1 February 2013
When learners reflect they make their thinking visible to themselves, monitor their progress, and reach new insights. The pattern of conducting an exploration and then reflecting improves inquiry projects. Integrating reflection with action comes up repeatedly in inquiry projects. In many cases prompts that intend to elicit reflection instead motivate learners to move on to the next step or to conclude that they were successful. Combining an experiment, investigation, or research endeavor with reflection can improve both activities but requires testing in the context of use to ensure that learners engage in productive reflection. Generating reflections on the topic helps students develop a more robust understanding of the material (Davis, 1998; Linn & Hsi, 2000) and, hopefully, promotes autonomous lifelong learning.
Within an undergraduate Research and Professional Skills module, we propose that students develop a reflective blog to record and support their learning. However, the description of the principle only states that reflection "makes their thinking visible to themselves", yet typically a blog is published on the open web. Thus, publishing a personal reflective blog not only makes learning visible to the wider world, but also invites comments from that wider readership as well.
Question: What are the dangers, or pitfalls, of asking students to post their learning reflections to a blog?
Please submit your response by Mon 4 Feb - thank you!