Reflective Journals for the Enhancement of Postgraduate Students Learning: An Australian Case Study

By Tomayess Issa, Theodora Issa and Pedro Isaias.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

The aim of this paper is to examine the value of learning through ‘Reflective Journal Assessment’ in IS6 and ITS6 Postgraduate units at an Australian University. This assessment goes beyond traditional teaching delving into the higher faculties of students’ mental abilities. This is achieved by providing them with the opportunity to critically analyze, and creatively form opinions on issues related to the topics being taught either through the analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles, or chapters from text books. This assessment is coupled with the students’ reflection on their understanding, abilities, and how such an exercise developed their thoughts and comprehension and cognitive abilities. Furthermore, this assessment is designed to allow students’ self-awareness and self-knowledge in respect to the contents, thus improving their writing, research, and analytical skills. This paper provides empirical evidence based on quantitative and qualitative data derived from two sources. The first is the anonymous informal feedback collected during the semester, while the second (the formal) is the other anonymous online system for gathering and reporting students’ perceptions of their learning experiences at the university ‘eValuate’ of 53 students’ evaluations and perspectives toward the IS6 and ITS6 units. The students’ comments reflect their satisfaction of the opportunity to be involved in such thought-provoking exercise appraising the reflective learning exercise at postgraduate level.

Keywords: Australia, Reflective Journal, Analytical Skills, Postgraduate

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp.237-252. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 784.278KB).

Dr. Tomayess Issa

Lecturer, School of Information Systems, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Tomayess Issa is a senior Lecturer at the School of Information Systems at Curtin University, Australia. In addition, she is a Postgraduate Course leader and Postgraduate Online Coordinator. Tomayess has vast experience in Australian tertiary education, teaching Usability and Human Computer Interaction, Social Network, Sustainability and Green IT, Networking and Operating Systems. Tomayess completed her doctoral research in Web development and Human Factors. As an academic, she is also interested in establishing teaching methods and styles to enhance the students’ learning experiences and resolve problems that students face. Currently, Tomayess is teaching undergraduate and postgraduate units at the School of Information Systems focusing mainly on usability, human computer interaction, web 2.0, web 3.0, sustainability and Green IT, Cloud Computing, networking and operating system. In recognition of her hard work and dedication, she received awards from the Curtin Business School and her school for her teaching. Tomayess participated in several conferences on Human Computer Interaction, Internet, teaching and learning, and published her work in several peer-reviewed journals. Tomayess is a member of an international conference program committee, and she is currently conduct research locally and globally in information systems, HCI, Usability, Internet, Sustainability and Green IT, social network and teaching and learning.

Dr. Theodora Issa

Lecturer, School of Information Systems, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Dr. Theodora Issa is currently a Unit Controller and Lecturer in the Curtin Business School, Curtin University, responsible on the re-vamping of the unit to meet the current Australian and global challenges. Theodora’s engagement with higher education started with teaching at the School of Information Systems in the areas of Web Design and Problem Analysis, during which period she supervised students who implemented industry-based Information Systems Projects. Then moved to teaching management and business ethics for undergraduate and postgraduate. Theodora has just been appointed the unit controller for the final year unit at Curtin Business School ‘Capstone’, which cultivates the students’ experiences throughout their university studies, enhancing their abilities to participate in the development of the global society. Her research interests include teaching, online teaching, and learning, ethical mindsets, ethical climate, spirituality, aesthetic judgment, more recently sustainable development and business strategy that ignited her interest in cloud-computing.

Pedro Isaias

Professor, Professor at Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open University), Portugal, Director of The Masters Degree in E-Commerce and Internet, Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open University), Portugal

Professor Pedro Isaias is a professor at the Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open University) in Lisbon, Portugal, responsible for several courses and director of the master degree program in Electronic Commerce and Internet since 2003. He is co-founder and president of IADIS – International Association for Development of the Information Society, a scientific non-profit association. He holds a PhD in Information Management (in the speciality of information and decision systems) from the New University of Lisbon. Author of several books, papers and research reports and headed several conferences and workshops in the information systems. He is a member of the editorial board of several journals and program committee member of several conferences and workshops. Currently he conducts research activity related to Information Systems in general, E-Learning, E-Commerce and WWW related areas.


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