Reflective Practice and Blogs: Developing a new model for assessment

Rosanne Birney

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Reflective Practice, for many years, has been widely used as a learning activity in higher education. The introduction of blogs as a tool for reflection is more recent. In education, blogs can empower the learner by providing him/her with an individual learning space. Studies have shown that blogs are effective as online learning journals and can bring an element of collaboration to the reflective learning process. To date, however, there has been no large-scale study which compares depth of reflection in blogs with depth of reflection in paper-based learning logs. This study aims to address this issue. A Delphi study was conducted with a group of Reflective Practice experts. The experts involved in the study had experience of teaching or using Reflective Practice, and had published in this area. The purpose of this study was to develop a set of indicators which will be used to assess depth of reflection. A content analysis will be conducted on samples of reflective text. These samples will be taken from both online learning journals, such as blogs, and ‘offline’ learning journals, such as paper-based learning logs. The samples will be assessed for depth of reflection and comparisons will be made. Although this study is still in its early stages, the Delphi study has been completed. Results from this study show that, when assessing reflection, Reflective Practice experts tend to rely heavily on existing models of Reflective Practice. However, these models focus on reflection as a solitary activity rather than a collaborative one. In several recent studies, instruments for the assessment of reflective text have been developed. Again, these studies assess Reflective Practice as an isolated process and do not consider the effect of interaction and feedback on students’ reflections. The use of blogs brings a collaborative element to the process of Reflective Practice. Due to the interactive nature of blogs, students may receive more feedback from their tutors or peers on their reflections. Therefore existing models of Reflective Practice may need to be updated in order to effectively assess online learning journals, such as blogs. The next phase of this study aims to develop an instrument which can effectively assess the depth of reflection in both online and offline learning journals. Using this instrument, a content analysis of reflective text will be conducted. Comparisons will be made between the depth of reflection in online learning journals, such as blogs, and offline learning journals, such as paper-based learning logs. It is hypothesised that students who receive higher levels of feedback due to the online, interactive nature of blogs will improve the depth and quality of their reflections over the course of their studies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventALT-C 2008 - Leeds, UK., Leeds, UK.
Duration: 01 Jan 2008 → …


ConferenceALT-C 2008
CityLeeds, UK.
Period01/01/2008 → …


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