Establishing a Foundational Framework for Development of

Establishing a Foundational
Framework for Development
of Reflective Thinking:
Learning Journals in the MDE
Lisa M. Blaschke and Jane E. Brindley
Oldenburg University (Germany)
EDEN Research Workshop, Budapest
October 24-27, 2010
What is Reflection?
 Critically thinking about how and
what we learn (metacognition)
 Making meaning by making
 Constructing ideas, theory,
and knowledge
 Becoming an independent learner
Why is Reflection Important?
 For learning
 For life
 In distance education
 In the Masters in Distance Education and
E-learning (MDE)
Taking a Reflective Approach:
The Case Study
 Praxis: Reflective thinking about practice
 Question: Is the learning journal effective in
developing reflective thinking? Are we
meeting learning outcome goals in the
 Case Study: A qualitative, investigative
method to deepen understanding (reflective
thinking about practice)
Case Study Method
 Deepen understanding of a general principle by
investigating, describing, and reflecting on a specific
 Examine/understand from different perspectives:
– Literature review (others)
– Instructor theory and practice (ours)
– Student survey (learners)
Does Reflection Lead to Change?
 Think of an instance when reflective thinking changed
your behaviour in some way – in your teaching or
professional practice or in the way that you do
 What was the realization
(aha moment) that led to
the realization and
what did you change?
Encouraging Reflection in the
 Make reflective practice an explicit learning
Provide guidance and scaffolding
Model desired behaviour
Encourage questioning/challenging
Incorporate reflection activities
Provide ongoing, continuous feedback
Assess performance
Learning Journals and Reflection:
Student Examples
Reflecting on the learning experience
Documenting thoughts and feelings
Recognizing change!
Demonstrating consolidation/deepening of
 Constructing new, user-generated
 Making connections
Guiding Questions for Students
 How has your definition/understanding of DE evolved since
you first posted it)? What changes would you make to your
original definition as a result of Module 1 readings and
 What has contributed to the change in your understanding
of DE (i.e., specific discussions/readings/interactions)?
 How would you convey to your co-workers what you
learned in this module? How might you apply what you’ve
learned in this module to a “real life” DE environment?
 What was your most important “aha!” experience in this
 Review the objectives for this module. Do you feel that
module goals and objectives have been met? How and in
what way?
Reflecting on the Learning
Documenting Thoughts and Feelings
Recognizing Change
Deepening of Learning
Constructing New, User-Generated
Making Connections
Making Connections
The Learner Perspective:
Effects of Journaling
 Understanding their learning process
 Thinking about how they think
 Reflecting on reading/class discussions
 Understanding course material
 Feeling more connected to course content
(v. instructors/peers)
Moving Forward
 Implications for practice
 Future research
Your Questions and Reflections?
Thank You!
Lisa Marie Blaschke
<[email protected]>
Jane E. Brindley
<[email protected]>