“The Paradoxical Position of Self-reflection in Teaching and Assessment in Higher Education: How the Application of Blogging Challenges Learning Habits”

By Marta Rabikowska.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The main aim of the paper is to observe how blogging affects self-reflection. The application of blogs is discussed, based on the case study from a Year One module. A process of implementing and delivering this method throughout a period of one semester is analysed from a practical and theoretical point of view (Burge, EJ & Haughey, M (2001)Using Learning Technologies, Routledge: Falmer). The quality of students’ interaction online is evaluated alongside pedagogical effects of blogging employed as part of formative assessment. The main finding of the paper regards the independent approach of the students, which can be developed without direct instructions from the tutors. It has been observed that the students can take responsibility over their own learning, if the structure of the assessment permits flexibility and agility. It is argued that blogging enables the students to become self-reflective at a very early stage of the learning process and secondly, that assessments’ structure determines the approach to learning. However, it has been indicated that even advanced bloggers can relapse to a non-reflective stage and that self-reflection is impossible to be structured without imposing power. In a constructivist environment of online interaction, the relation to others has appeared to be the most influential and liberating factor enhancing critical ability. Therefore, emdedding interaction in a curriculum design becomes a pedagogical priority, but it has to be followed by integrating the formative assessment in the teaching mode. Otherwise, as this case study shows, the students detach from the interaction and the standards of teaching are not consistent across the cohort. Finally, the paradox of the ‘structured freedom’ becomes unavoidable, but reflecting on it brings about a change in thinking.

Keywords: Self-reflection, VLE, Constructivism, Blogging, Quality, Evaluation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 575.993KB).

Dr. Marta Rabikowska

Senior Lecturer in Media and Advertising, School of Social Sciences, Media and Cultural Study, University of East London, London, London, UK

My main research involves representation of ethnicities and social positioning of minority groups. I apply visual methodology as the main tool of research next to critical analysis, mainly associated with European philosophy and literature. My main publications regard problems of identity making, media representation of minorities, advertising, and methods of teaching and learning. My latest research is focused on the role of myth making among Slavonic nations.


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