Article

The three-fold benefit of reflective writing: Improving program assessment, student learning, and faculty professional development

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Abstract

This article presents a model of reflective writing used to assess a U.S. general education first-year writing course. We argue that integrating reflection into existing assignments has three potential benefits: enhancing assessment of learning outcomes, fostering student learning, and engaging faculty in professional development. We describe how our research-based assessment process and findings yielded insights into students’ writing processes, promoted metacognition and transfer of learning, and revealed a variety of professional development needs. We conclude with a description of our three-fold model of reflection and suggest how others can adapt our approach.

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... It is necessary for all students to engage without fear or prejudice or the fear of being discriminated against, in the creation of a safe space of learning online or virtual is quintessential. Driscoll and Allan (2014) suggest that the implementation of reflective writing has the ability to enhance learning outcomes, fostering student learning and engaging the faculty in professional development. The research-based assessment process assists the students to gain profound insights. ...
... The research-based assessment process assists the students to gain profound insights. (Allan & Driscoll 2014) Research based learning further promotes metacognition and transfer of learning that allows for professional development. (Allan & Driscoll 2014) "When students reflect upon their learning, they engage in a potentially transformative act of responding to, connecting with, and analyzing an experience, event, process, or product." ...
... (Allan & Driscoll 2014) Research based learning further promotes metacognition and transfer of learning that allows for professional development. (Allan & Driscoll 2014) "When students reflect upon their learning, they engage in a potentially transformative act of responding to, connecting with, and analyzing an experience, event, process, or product." (Allan & Driscoll 2014 p.37) Reflection is a process that allows for thought and action to synchronise. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic created a situation for the implementation of emergency remote learning. This meant that as a lecturer at a traditionalist University of contact sessions, the pandemic forced us to teach remotely through online methods of communication, using online lectures, narrated powerpoints, voice clips, podcasts, interviews and interactive videos. The assessments were conducted online from assignments to multiple choice questions, which forced the lecturers to think differently about the way the assessments were presented, in order to avoid easy access to answers found in a textbook and online. This meant that more application questions of theory to practice were assessed in a more challenging way to prevent cheating and collaboration with peers. Formal assessments completed during emergency remote learning, have become the past practice, as innovative methods have been adopted for learning and for assessment purposes in order to preserve the integrity and attainment of the degree through online modes of learning. The aim of the paper investigates and explores the methods of teaching, together with the results obtained from the students of 2019 and 2020 in their final year relating to two final year modules against the literature relating to learning processes and methodologies.
... The tool stores traces of the user experienced in an art exhibition while it plays traces left of friends at the same time. Allan and Driscoll (2014) developed an assessment process, for reflective essays of students enrolled to a first year writing course. For developing the assessment process, they first created a common reflective writing environment by using reflection prompts in form of reflective questions about writing and research processes. ...
... Deliberate reflection-in-action is the approach of Freed (2003), who investigates 'reflective dialogues' in an online course discussion forum. The assessment process of Allan and Driscoll (2014) is assigned to deliberate reflection-in-action as well. Students have to write reflective essays on their research, writing process and learning process guided by reflective questions during writing. ...
... For all other approaches, no explicit guidance was available. Isaacs et al. (2013) and Allan and Driscoll (2014) use guidance in form of prompts. In Isaacs et al. (2013), the prompts motivate to reflect on past activities and reflections conducted. ...
Article
: Reflective learning has been established as a process that deepens learning in both educational and work-related settings. We present a literature review on various approaches and tools (e.g. prompts, journals, visuals) providing guidance for facilitating reflective learning. Research considered in this review coincides common understanding of reflective learning, has applied and evaluated a tool supporting reflection and presents corresponding results. Literature was analysed with respect to timing of reflection, reflection participants, type of reflection guidance, and results achieved regarding reflection. From this analysis, we were able to derive insights, guidelines and recommendations for the design of reflection guidance functionality in computing systems: (i) ensure that learners understand the purpose of reflective learning, (ii) combine reflective learning tools with reflective questions either in form of prompts or with peer-to-peer or group discussions, (iii) for work-related settings consider the time with regard to when and how to motivate to reflect.
... The tool stores traces of the user experienced in an art exhibition while it plays traces left of friends at the same time. Allan et al. [64] developed an assessment process, for reflective essays of students enrolled to a first year writing course. For developing the assessment process, they first created a common reflective writing environment by using reflection prompts in form of reflective questions about writing and research processes. ...
... Deliberate reflection-inaction is the approach of Freed [58], who investigates "reflective dialogues" in an online course discussion forum. The assessment process of Allan et al. [64] is assigned to deliberate reflection-in-action as well. Students have to write reflective essays on their research, writing process and learning process guided by reflective questions during writing. ...
... Similar to prompts, journals mostly support individual reflection. There exist three approaches dealing with collaborative reflection [41,42,46] in journals: In Loo and x AT I Allan et al. [64] x AP I x Prilla et al. [59] x F I / C ...
Article
Reflective learning has been established as a process that deepens learning in both educational and work-related settings. We present a literature review on various approaches and tools (e.g., prompts, journals, visuals) providing guidance for facilitating reflective learning. Research considered in this review coincides common understanding of reflective learning, has applied and evaluated a tool supporting reflection and presents corresponding results. Literature was analysed with respect to timing of reflection, reflection participants, type of reflection guidance, and results achieved regarding reflection. From this analysis, we were able to derive insights, guidelines and recommendations for the design of reflection guidance functionality in computing systems: (i) ensure that learners understand the purpose of reflective learning, (ii) combine reflective learning tools with reflective questions either in form of prompts or with peer-to-peer or group discussions, (iii) for work-related settings consider the time with regard to when and how to motivate to reflect.
... The Reflective Writing is a tool of evaluation of person's life experience (33,34). Reflective writing promotes the use of critical thinking, meta-cognition (35), self-awareness (36), mental processes that promote flexibility and adaptation (37) allowing individuals to analyze life events and situations of disease (38) in an objective way depending, above all, on those clinical events considered critical or adverse (39). Reflective writing gives concrete meaning to one's inner processes, to one's anxieties and worries that, otherwise, would remain disjointed and worthless (36,40). ...
... Reflective writing promotes the use of critical thinking, meta-cognition (35), self-awareness (36), mental processes that promote flexibility and adaptation (37) allowing individuals to analyze life events and situations of disease (38) in an objective way depending, above all, on those clinical events considered critical or adverse (39). Reflective writing gives concrete meaning to one's inner processes, to one's anxieties and worries that, otherwise, would remain disjointed and worthless (36,40). The trace of reflective writing is shown in Table 4. ...
Article
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Background and aim of the work: Oncological diagnosis determines a biographical breakdown and requires the person to adapt to the disease. If patients, after diagnosis, ask professionals for 'compassionate care', research on these issues is still underdeveloped. There are currently no studies that use the narrative interview as an intervention tool. The objectives of the study are to evaluate: (1) the feasibility of the narrative interview intervention on cancer patients in the first diagnosis; (2) the impact of the narrative medicine intervention on the patient's self-perception, his psychological distress and adaptation to the disease. Methods: It is a mixed-method study, with an intervention (narrative interview) and quantitative evaluation before/after intervention and qualitative evaluation post-intervention (reflective writing). The analysis will use the Psychological Distress Inventory scale for the assessment of psychological distress and the Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale for the assessment of disease adaptation. Adult patients, with oncological pathology will be recruited one month after the communication of the diagnosis, regardless of the type of tumor. The Wilcoxon test for paired data will be used to verify pre-post-intervention differences. The 'reflective writings' will be subjected to thematic analysis. Discussion and conclusion: The study evaluates the feasibility of the narrative interview intervention as a primary outcome. Secondly, the impact of the intervention is assessed in relation to: a) identification of risk or protective factors on psychological distress and adaptation to the disease; b) re-elaboration of the patient's experiences and experiences related to his/her own illness.
... SL within foundational classes, like composition, may develop professional level competencies that are vertically transferable to practice settings (Prentice and Garcia, 2000;Sass and Coll, 2015). Transference may result from reflective components of SL that 'bridge the divide between thought and action' (Allan and Driscoll, 2014). To best accomplish this, Perrin (2014) identified three themes: autonomy, planning and accountability, and peer support. ...
... Students provided data in the form of reflective essays. Projects in each section included groups of students using a sequenced set of assignments that required students to organize themselves, respond to the assignment as a group, present the response, and reflect on the writing/creation process (Allan and Driscoll, 2014) to demonstrate the same learning outcomes, including course concepts of ethos, pathos, logos. All students were provided with faculty member assistance and college resources. ...
Article
Systems of practice learning strive for mutually beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders. Knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for successful functioning in future field settings must be consciously addressed at the beginning of a curriculum. Thus, in this grounded, a priori, qualitative study, we attempted to determine what competencies students might build through a service-learning project incorporated into a second-year undergraduate writing course. We studied the post-project reflections of students participating in a course with a service-learning project and those participating in a course with a traditional, class-based project. We noted differences in how the students in the service-learning project approached the assignment, the outcome, and the collaboration in a manner that is much more reflective of the kinds of professional behaviors they will use in the field than the students who participated in the class-based project. Linking professional practice to the early stages of curriculum provides students with practice in thinking critically, problem solving, and building constructive communication. By nature of the recursive service learning project, students began making vertical moves from foundational education to professional practices and are, thereby, more likely to engage in more sophisticated professional behaviors once they enter their their practice learning environments.
... More specific research projects undertaken to establish direct links between writing, critical thinking, and ultimately, the overall academic progress of learners were grounded in the idea that writing creates a favorable context for in-depth thinking about a certain learning content, eventually facilitating the development of cognitive skills (Langer & Applebee, 1987). Thus, a number of studies have discussed the ways in which writing enhances students' usage of learning strategies in a variety of educational settings (Allan & Driscoll, 2014), established links between academic writing, critical thinking and general academic literacy (Borglin, 2012), or suggested techniques through which academic writing courses can promote the development of students' thinking skills in an active way (Klimova, 2013). ...
... Another tendency concerns the cognitive domain of writing. Even though a vast corpus of scholarship has exposed writing as a learning tool with a significant potential to encourage active thinking and learning (Allan & Driscoll, 2014;Borglin, 2012;Klimova, 2013), the participants in our survey could not recognize the interconnection between critical thinking and academic writing. The explanation might lie in the nature and the purpose of the writing assignments that Ukrainian and Polish students encounter. ...
Article
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Communication, both written and oral, as the key to academic and professional success has received much scholarly attention in the academic communities of Western Europe and North America. However, in the Eastern European educational scene, teaching academic communication, especially academic writing, in institutions of higher education has been largely neglected for a long time. This research attempts to look at academic writing practices at two universities in Ukraine and Poland from the students’ perspectives. The survey conducted among students pursuing master’s degrees in education and pedagogy at both universities aimed to reveal their attitudes, beliefs and opinions in three domains: cognitive, social and affective. The results lead to some important inferences: students’ exposure to academic writing is insufficient; the potential of writing as a learning tool is not fully understood; students’ awareness of academic integrity is rather low. The tendencies observed across institutions are mostly similar with occasional significant differences.
... In a study measuring affective domains using reflective writing, Boyd, Dooley, and Felton (2006) found that following reflective writing all student participants showed a basic level of affective domain (receiving and responding), and some participants exhibited higher levels of affective domain (organizing, characterizing, and valuing). A few other studies have also cited the benefits of reflective writing on student learning (Allan & Driscoll, 2014;Burrows, McNeill, Hubele, & Bellamy, 2001;Jacobson & Jeffries, 2018). ...
Article
Reflective learning encourages critical thinking, self-awareness, and self-regulation. Role-play and writing exercises benefit reflective learning. Both approaches enhance student learning and support the development of a professional self. This exploratory study surveyed participants (N = 29) enrolled in an undergraduate social work course before and after role-play and reflective writing to determine if either method contributed to perceptions of reflective learning. The study utilized the Self-reported Reflective Learning Questionnaire—student version, an 18-item scale measuring reflective learning perception. Statistical analyses indicated a significant difference in perceptions of reflective learning following a combination of role-play with reflective writing. Future research should explore the impact of role-play with reflective writing to influence the values and professional behavior of social work students.
... El tercer modelo es el de Grabe y Kaplan (1996) cuya aportación es la introducción del contexto de uso. Estudios posteriores han incor-porado otras variables contextuales centradas en las prácticas sociales e institucionales (Allan y Driscoll, 2014;Kielft, Rijlaarsdam, y Bergh, 2008;Kruse y Chitez, 2013), y que dan lugar al actual enfoque psicoso- ciolingüístico de enseñanza de escritura. Asimismo, es de interés el movimiento estadounidense escribir en las disciplinas (WID), cuyo objetivo es desarrollar la escritura imbri- cándola dentro de la materia como forma de aprendizaje de la misma, al entender que conforme el contenido disciplinar se torna más com- plejo, las tareas escritas se hacen más específicas y requieren de orien- tación explícita (Castelló, 2014). ...
Book
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Esta obra recoge aportaciones científicas para el desarrollo de la composición escrita. Pero se trata de un desarrollo que ofrece a los ciudadanos la oportunidad de verse a sí mismos como actores de un complejo escenario interactivo que es, a su vez, construcción de la identidad personal y cultural. La intención última de la presente publicación es fundamentar, teórica y empíricamente, un modelo de enseñanza de la escritura que responda a las necesidades de cambio de las sociedades multilingües digitalizadas. En estas se prefigura el lenguaje escrito como un proceso complejo, en el despliegue en los siguientes dominios: a) las tecnologías, b) la afectividad, c) las competencias académicas y d) la cultura. Los dominios descritos se corresponden con los apartados en torno a los cuales se organizan las investigaciones sobre la escritura, presentadas seguidamente. Además, se concluirá con un epílogo que integra la comunicación escrita con el desempeño de cualquier profesión para la empleabilidad.
... Following pedagogical frameworks for cultivating transferable writing skills (Anson & Moore, 2016;Wolfe et al., 2014) and more particularly, "genre awareness" (Devitt, 2007;Clark & Hernandez, 2011), our core writing courses focus on using reflection exercises to help students see the relationship between formal features of texts (language choices, structure and organization, rhetorical devices, among others) and their situational surrounds (intended audience, exigency for writing, argumentative purpose, and constraints). As Allan & Driscoll (2014) have argued, these kinds of reflections are useful because they grant access to students' writing processes -a kind of learning outcome not measurable by simply observing final papersand can function as useful artifacts for improving writing program-level assessment. ...
Article
We present an overview of DocuScope Classroom, a corpus-based technology-enhanced learning tool designed to support students' reflection exercises in composition classrooms. We discuss the rationale for using the tool and the learning objectives it can be used to accomplish - both of which are rooted in an attempt to make students more critically aware and adaptive in their rhetorical style as they write in new genres. Finally, we walk through the pedagogical interventions that we have designed for this tool within a university writing program context.
... At present, usage of writing portfolios seems to be concentrated in higher education, often for purposes of program assessment (Pachler, Daly, Mor, & Mellar, 2010;Wardle & Roozen, 2012;White, Elliot, & Peckham, 2015). College-level portfolio assessments often include self-reflection documents written by students, which are designed to probe students' metacognitive understanding of the writing process (Allan & Driscoll, 2014;Scott, 2005;White, 2005). ...
Article
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In this study (ETS Research Memorandum RM-18-10), we examine the extent to which education agencies and assessment organizations assess the writing process in existing large-scale assessments, and where they do, what aspects of the writing process they assess and what types of assessments they use. Over the past 40 years, standards for teaching and assessing writing have come to emphasize that skilled writers control a rich writing process that includes a variety of skills that may not directly be in evidence in typical assessment contexts. Less progress has been made in extending the scope of writing assessment to cover these skills. We hope that this review will capture a snapshot of the state of the art and sketch some of the issues that need to be addressed in order to reduce the gap between assessment practice and modern understandings of the writing construct.
... These studies also emphasized the functions of journal as an integral source of data collection. As a matter of fact, writing journals and reflections in English language classroom have generally been used to promote students' learning besides enhancing classroom teaching and assessment ( Allan & Driscoll, (2014). In the field of EFL specifically, RL has been adopted to improve learners' language proficiency skills. ...
Article
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Experiencing studying in one’s home country might be different from experiencing it in a host country. Hence, to help Japanese students who participate in the two-week Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) ESL summer school programme achieve their goals to better communicate in English and to experience an academic life in UTM, many in-class and out-of-class activities and tasks were conducted and organized for them. One of the out-of-class task was the half-day classroom visit designed based on the foundation of reflective learning where the participants had to attend their UTM buddies classes. While in the classrooms, they were encouraged to participate in the class activities. They were also required to write their own reflections on the visit in their journals. Once the task was completed, they were required to share their experience in a group discussion activity. From the analysis of both their written and oral reflections, it was found that many of the participants claimed that there were differences between the Japanese and UTM classrooms with regard to the teaching methods and the UTM students’ classroom behaviour. These findings revealed that the specifically designed half-day classroom visit had stimulated the participants to recognize their personal values, to build their confidence and to maximize their learning experience. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to share the summer school participants’ reflections on their experiences undergoing the half-day classroom situation in UTM.
... The use of WTL activities in the English lesson positively affects the motivation of the students towards the lesson. Some studies on WTL and motivation in the literature (Iran-Nejad, Watts, Venugopalan, Xu, 2006;Iran-Nejad and Stewart, 2011;Morozov, 2011;Allan and Driscoll, 2014;Lang, 2018a;2018b;Tate and Warschauer, 2018;Qian, 2019;Wright, HoEGes, Zimmer, & McTigue, 2019) have similar as this study's result. However, according to research on learning and motivation, it is not possible to talk about a single factor affecting motivation towards learning. ...
... Teaching materials that have been developed are said to be valid if they meet certain criteria. The characteristics of the product are said to be valid if it reflects the soul of knowledge (state of the art knowledge) [22], [23]. This was what is said by content validation. ...
Conference Paper
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Writing literacy was one of the earliest known literacies in the history of human civilization. Writing literacy is classified as functional and great useful literacy in daily life, especially for low-grade students. The obstacle, the habit of writing in low class becomes a boring thing because the activities are carried out monotonously without any variation in learning. Moreover, in an increasingly modern era, lower class students are more preoccupied with technology, and it is feared that students will not be literate and do not recognize Minangkabau children's games, one of which is the finger game. Therefore, the main objective of this research was to improve writing skills based on Minangkabau children's games, namely by playing the finger. The results showed the emergence of the view that the game of finger as one of the cultures of Minangkabau children who were able to deliver early writing learning to realize writing literacy in the digital era. Early writing learning based on finger games was able to bring students into a pleasant writing habit.
... Teaching materials that have been developed are said to be valid if they meet certain criteria. The characteristics of the product are said to be valid if it reflects the soul of knowledge (state of the art knowledge) [22], [23]. This was what is said by content validation. ...
... This learning gives big opportunity to students and lecture to communicate each other to create an article. Allan and Driscoll (2014) argued that integrating reflection into existing assignments has three 964 Using Project-based Learning in Writing an Educational Article: An Experience Report potential benefits: enhancing assessment of learning outcomes, fostering student learning, and engaging faculty in professional development [15]. ...
... In concurrence with Levin and Wagner (2005), Greene (2011) believes the use of reflective writing can transform learning when students begin to incorporate meta-cognition, or thinking about their thinking, into their writing processes as they simultaneously learn the curriculum. Allan and Driscoll (2014) found that integration of reflection into writing assignments could enhance assessment of learning outcomes, foster student learning, and encourage faculty engagement in professional development. ...
Article
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Assessing students’ reflective thinking could reveal learning outcomes which summative assessment could not. Therefore, the researcher as course instructor decided to look into students’ reflective writing for a more insightful feedback on their learning outcomes. One cohort of students in an environmental management course were requested to write reflection notes at the completion of each assignment, and towards the end of the course a piece of reflective essay. The students’ reflective writings were then analysed for snippets of evidence that purportedly meets the course learning outcomes. These evidences of students’ learning outcomes were gathered and examined for emerging patterns and trends in the students’ reflective thinking that relates to the course objectives. The document analysis method was applied to identify and match the students’ reflective writings with the learning objectives. Findings reveal students’ achievement of learning outcomes and higher order thinking skills, as outlined in the course objectives. It is hoped that findings from this research will further support the significance of reflective thinking on learning. Reflective notes provide meaningful feedback on learning to instructors that could be acted upon towards improvement of a course. Educators and educationists could look at students’ reflective writings as an effective form of assessment that would provide a more insightful assessment of students’ learning and thoughts.
... Otfinowski and Silva-Opps (2015) recommends reflective writing as a way to assist students in developing an identity within science. Research on WAC programs shows that student perceptions of their writing reinforces learning (Allan and Driscoll, 2014). ...
Article
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Teaching scientific writing in biology classes is challenging for both teachers and students. This article offers and reviews several useful ‘toolkit’ items that instructors of science writing can use to improve college student success. The tools in this kit are both conceptual and practical, and include: 1) Understanding the role of student metacognition, cognitive instruction, and strategic teaching, 2) Recognition of different student writing levels, 3) Applying the writing process, 4) Demonstrational classroom revision and editing, 5) Student-teacher sentence editing, 6) Student peer editing and guided student editing, 7) Student copy-editing, 8) Reflective writing, 9) Addressing plagiarism, paraphrasing, and proper in-text citations and referencing, and 10) Using external, on campus and online resources. Additionally, we discuss the new challenges of teaching scientific writing online versus face-to-face. The discussions, approaches, and exercises presented in this paper empower teachers in assisting students in their development of a personal writing style, while simultaneously building student confidence. The tools we present augment our previous presentation of the student writing toolkit, and can improve and enhance the teaching of scientific writing to undergraduate students.
... In this study, students also reflected on their peer review experience in the pre-and post-questionnaire. By asking students to perform these reflections, one can uncover student challenges and beliefs in relation to this learning (Allan and Driscoll, 2014). Therefore, pairing peer review with reflection can be a valuable tool that facilitates the growth of both the student and teacher. ...
Article
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In discipline-specific writing courses, students develop professional skills in reading, writing, and peer review. However, students have limited opportunities to peer review professional writing outside a writing classroom or with faculty, especially if they do not perform research. Therefore, it is unclear how students apply classroom-acquired peer review skills to a professional setting. This study examined the transfer of peer review skills learned in a science writing course to an authentic setting in which undergraduate students peer reviewed for the instructor after completing the course. In this case study, eight students volunteered to give feedback to the instructor on a draft of a literature review intended for journal submission. Student feedback was qualitatively evaluated for types and themes. Additionally, students provided their perspectives on this process through pre- and post-questionnaires, where they indicated a struggle with confidence and content while reading and reviewing. This study supports student-faculty peer review as an authentic tool for situated learning. The benefits to students include increased confidence in reading, writing, and peer reviewing literature, an opportunity to practice classroom skills, and a chance to collaborate with professionals during the writing process. I conclude with additional suggestions to increase student-faculty collaboration and cognitive apprenticeship through peer review as a tool in any discipline.
... The benefits of selfawareness and reflection are well documented in the studies conducted in this area (e.g. Allan & Driscoll, 2014; Dewey, 1944; Hawkins, 1974; Osterman & Kottkamp, 1993). Rodgers (2002) characterized reflection as " a meaning making process that happens in community and values the growth of oneself and of others " (p.845). ...
Article
Although philosophy and spirituality are related to various branches of disciplines, they have not been subject to focused attention in foreign language teaching. In this paper, schools of educational philosophy, and spirituality in education were connected together to present the stance, viewpoint, and practice of these two constructs in English as foreign language (EFL) Iranian educators. Results indicated that the dominant philosophy of education of Iranian EFL teachers was progressive education. Furthermore, combination of progressive and humanistic philosophies and humanistic philosophy were to some extent established a balance with progressivism. None of the participants practice spirituality in classrooms. By illuminating the spiritual language of humanistic and progressive philosophies, we may conclude that the nature and spiritual discourse of each philosophy as well as their practical implications should be articulated in teacher education programs to fulfill the everlasting growth of an individual as an utmost purpose of education.
... The current study has shown some of the potential benefits of using writing portfolios to assess course learning outcomes in a freshman writing course at a Jordanian university. It demonstrates the importance of students' evidence-based reflections, but they must be taught to reflect, as it does not come naturally or automatically (Allan & Driscoll, 2014). They can start with short, easy tasks, such as reflecting on their writing progress in weekly diary entries, evaluating their participation in class, or giving feedback to classmates on their project presentations. ...
Article
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Portfolios were used to assess cognitive and affective course learning outcomes in an undergraduate writing program at a private university in Jordan. A convenience sample of twenty-one male and female Arab EFL/ESL freshmen, wrote short weekly assignments over a fifteen-week semester, made regular diary entries about their writing and leisure reading, and wrote a short children's story. These were not graded but students received prompt feedback. At semester’s end, they collected their work in a portfolio and wrote a final evidence-based reflection, in which they analysed their strengths and weaknesses in writing. These portfolios were graded based on their inclusion of regularly submitted written work, evidence of their response to given feedback and their analysis of their progress in writing. Using qualitative data analysis based on the grounded theory method, students’ reflections were mined for rich data, concepts were labelled and emerging categories were identified. These codes were further analysed in more depth, using cognitive and affective taxonomies, which showed that the course outcomes had been met. Recommendations are made for greater use of portfolio assessment at tertiary level in Jordan.
... Writing-to-learn activities can involve relatively minor adjustments to instruction, such as asking students to explain why they selected a particular equation on a homework problem or soliciting two-minute papers asking students what they learned in a class period or what they found most confusing. Larger changes could include widespread incorporation of reflective writing [43], [44] and/or the use of portfolios, where the students are expected to explain the evolution of their understanding during the course and illustrate their points with samples of their work [45]- [50]. ...
... Mainly,RWinvolves the recurrent introspection ofone's thoughts, feelings, and events within a particular context [13]. Several studies highlight how RWinfluencespromoting critical thinking [14], selfconsciousness [15], and favors the development of personal skills [16], communication and empathy skills [4,17], and self-knowledge [3]. Thanks to the writing process, individuals may analyze all the components of their experience and learn something new, giving new meanings [5]. ...
Article
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Background Reflective writing provides an opportunity for health professionals and students to learn from their mistakes, successes, anxieties, and worries that otherwise would remain disjointed and worthless. This systematic review addresses the following question: “What are the experiences of health professionals and students in applying reflective writing during their education and training?” Methods We performed a systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative studies. Our search comprised six electronic databases: MedLine, Embase, Cinahl, PsycINFO, Eric, and Scopus. Our initial search produced 1237 titles, excluding duplicates that we removed. After title and abstract screening, 17 articles met the inclusion criteria. We identified descriptive themes and the conceptual elements explaining the health professionals’ and students’ experience using reflective writing during their academic and in-service training by performing a meta-synthesis. Results We identified four main categories (and related sub-categories) through the meta-synthesis: reflection and reflexivity, accomplishing learning potential, building a philosophical and empathic approach, and identifying reflective writing feasibility. We placed the main categories into an interpretative model which explains the users’ experiences of reflective writing during their education and training. Reflective writing triggered reflection and reflexivity that allows, on the one hand, skills development, professional growth, and the ability to act on change; on the other hand, the acquisition of empathic attitudes and sensitivity towards one’s own and others’ emotions. Perceived barriers and impeding factors and facilitating ones, like timing and strategies for using reflective writing, were also identified. Conclusions The use of this learning methodology is crucial today because of the recognition of the increasing complexity of healthcare contexts requiring professionals to learn advanced skills beyond their clinical ones. Implementing reflective writing-based courses and training in university curricula and clinical contexts can benefit human and professional development.
... Other advantages of reflective writing through reflective journals include improving the outcomes of learning, promoting students' learning atmosphere, and providing opportunities for professional development (Allan & Driscoll, 2014). As a learning tool, reflective journals can be a source of information that records certain events in the form of written dialogues through which the students share thoughts, ideas, and reactions, and the teacher reads and responds with comments, have been in use for some time (Brown, 2001). ...
Article
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English as a foreign language (EFL) university students use reflective journals as learning logs to express or capture their ideas within a scientific conceptual framework. The objectives of this research are to (1) describe the power of reflective journal writing in communicating ideas, and (2) identify the aspects of reflective journal writing that aid learning in an EFL context. The reflective journals were written by 21 EFL university students. This research takes a qualitative approach, with the primary data coming from several reflective journals (N=124) while the secondary data coming from EFL students’ interviews (N=15). The research results showed that reflective journals were useful for students to make critical reflections and self-discovery responses to writing topics. The students learned to focus on writing components such as order, unity, coherence, cohesiveness, content, and organization of ideas through reflective journal writing. The students’ perspectives on aspects of reflective journal writing were primarily concerned with macro-and micro-level linguistic issues, as evidenced from the interview results. Writing a reflective journal necessitated their ability to reformulate thoughts, provide details, and solve problems. Furthermore, critical thinking, metacognitive skills, and self-reflections became increasingly important in helping the students to develop their ability to write reflective journals.
... It is abstract by nature and involves affective as well as cognitive skills (Kuiper and Pesut, 2004). When students reflect on learning, they are encouraged to understand the goals of the curriculum (Allan and Driscoll, 2014). Given the already full curriculum and the complexity of reflective learning, skills should be introduced in the first year of education. ...
Article
The aim of this review was to explore the evidence of learning from reflective writing in undergraduate clinical nursing education. A combination of 17 quantitative and qualitative studies were included and three main categories emerged Development of clinical reasoning skills, Professional self-development and Facilitators and barriers for learning. The results revealed that reflective writing enhanced the students’ reasoning skills and awareness in clinical situations. However, most students reflected primarily at a descriptive level, showing only limited and varied development of reflective skills. They focused on self-assessment; on their own emotional reactions and ability to cope in clinical situations, but had difficulties reflecting on the process of thinking and learning. Learning was promoted through instructive guidelines, scaffolding and detailed feedback from a trusted, available and qualified faculty teacher. Factors that facilitated learning included student maturity, individual cognitive skills, student collaboration and mixed tools for learning. Time constraints, conflicting values, lack of feedback and support, and lack of trust acted as barriers for learning. Reflective writing is a tool for students’ professional learning, but above all for the students’ personal development in becoming a professional nurse.
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Evolving practice environments have increased the need for advanced practice nurses to serve as clinical faculty preceptors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Guided clinical journaling allows students to reflect and retain their clinical experiences and become an active participant in the learning process. The journal presents opportunities for both evaluation and critical reflection of clinical performance and previously held assumptions related to mental health. Through careful consideration of components, clinical educators have the opportunity to ensure that student learning has occurred as well as provide prompts for guided reflection of the learning experience.
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This article examines the implementation of e-portfolio (ePF) as an innovative and alternative form of assessment in the French and German language courses of the European Studies undergraduate programme at HKBU. It focuses on the potentials of ePF in achieving Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILO): how it helps students improve their language skills and, at a broader level, how it helps students develop their intercultural and reflexive competence in handling an increasingly diverse variety of situations in our increasingly globalized world. To begin with, we believe in the necessity to implement innovative teaching to foster our graduates’ capacity for lifelong learning through ePF. A qualitative and quantitative research was then conducted to analyse samples of our students’ reflexive and critical essays in their ePFs, along with questionnaires distributed to study their views towards portfolio keeping. The results obtained are in favour of the implementation of ePF in foreign language classes although they also reveal the issue that students could be disorientated in using ePF, which initially requires attention.
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This article presents an experimental pedagogical framework for providing technical professionals with practice on writing skills focusing on the development of their metacognitive rhetorical awareness. The paper outlines the theoretical foundation that led to the development of the framework, followed by a report of a pilot study involving IT professionals in a global setting using an online learning environment that was designed based on the framework.
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In this article, we argue that writing instructors might support students in messy problem-exploring through multimodal composition assignments like video composition, and in particular, through careful attention to assessment practices. Through reflective analysis of one teacher's experiences with video composition in first-year writing, we suggest that ongoing formative reflection might be useful for prompting and extending problem-exploring within digital composition. We reflect specifically on Angie's interpretations of her students’ experiences with problem-exploring through video, we narrate how we came to see the limitations of product-focused assessment, and we offer a revised model of ongoing formative assessment.
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The benefits of in-class discussion, a form of active learning, are well-documented; in particular, discussions allow students the opportunity to learn from their peers. Yet students often treat discussions as ‘down’ or ‘free’ time. If students are not taking notes during discussion and reviewing those notes later on, they may not be learning much from this activity, despite their professed understanding of its value. This article reviews the benefits of discussion and the important functions of note-taking before introducing an online weekly reflection assignment that was designed to motivate students to take notes during discussion, particularly on their peers' contributions. An analysis of past weekly reflection text and survey data from students confirms the utility of the assignment. Intended and unintended benefits of the weekly reflection assignment are shared, as well as its limitations. The conclusion offers suggestions for future areas of research to complement this study.
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The correction of the texts written by students is one of the educative tool most frequently used for improving the writing skill. However, there is no research that analyses what criteria are to be considered by teachers in this kind of assessment and what kind of feedback is provided by them. In this sense, this study describes the improvement suggestions from 21 teachers about narrative texts written by 236 students in the last years of Primary Education, in order to help them improve their writing skills. A total number of 7851 verbal assessment records and charts were analysed, depending on their formal presentation and their assessment of meta-textual content. The results show a great predominance of verbal messages, focused mainly on spelling and grammar improvement. The frequency of such corrections could explain why teachers give higher scores to texts with better grammar and spelling use. On other hand, a low number of suggestions to try to develop the understanding and self-assessment of mistakes were also logged, as well as those related to improving macro-structural aspects of a text. Hence, the current study points out the implications for teaching and assessing writing, which are discussed in the conclusion of the article.
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Social work students are required to develop competency in research and evaluation prior to graduation. However, anxiety and fear about taking research courses can inhibit learning and are well documented in the literature. Much effort has been made to develop pedagogical methods to reduce student disdain for these courses in order to enhance engagement and facilitate knowledge acquisition. This empirical study found that journaling, when incorporated as a non-graded component of a research course, positively impacted attitudes of undergraduate social work students. The most salient benefit, according to students, was the ability to receive and provide ongoing instructor feedback in a less intimidating manner. Empirical data showed reductions in student anxiety and perceptions about research’s difficulty, as well as enhanced appreciation for the usefulness of research, between the onset and completion of the research course. Challenges with incorporating journaling as a pedagogical tool are discussed from a faculty member’s perspective.
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A more flexible approach to structuring study programmes across European universities enables students to choose which courses to take, in which combination and order. This flexibility is a step towards fuller self-reliance for students as learners. However, it can also reduce the coherence of studies and fragment the learning experience into units (courses or modules). To prevent the fragmentation and encapsulation of knowledge, we devised a reflective writing exercise we called ‘Building Bridges’. It requires students to detect and present connections between courses in their study programme, relevant to their personal learning progress. We carried out the exercise in three courses in a highly flexible modular undergraduate study programme at the University of Freiburg, Germany. In 54 submitted assignments, students on average identified 3.6 relevant connections per assignment of 700 words. Based on the responses, we identified six types of logical connections between courses: similarity, difference, development, challenge, application and contextualisation. Grading the assignment does not seem to influence the reflection. We conclude that, even with minimal guidance, students are able to build multiple connections between courses. Yet, students found it challenging to present connections between courses in the framework of their individual learning pathway, personal academic interests and goals. These tasks require more training and support.
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In order to align with university-wide assessment initiatives and to promote a systematic approach to one-shot assessment within our library, a team of five librarians participated in a campus-wide professional development program about student learning assessment. We then implemented library-specific professional development about student learning assessment for one-shot instruction. We provide an overview of the professional development program and discuss our study that explored the impact of the program on librarians’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes about student learning assessment. Our findings indicate that faculty participants had a positive change in practice, knowledge, and attitude after participating in the professional development program.
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Purpose Within the higher education structure, students have the desire for both virtual and face-to-face learning and demand for diverse simulations from the higher education institutions. The purpose of this study is to highlight the significance of higher education success (HES) for one of the top private universities in Malaysia. In the paper, a research model for HES has been proposed and tested within the management perspectives. This research model has five dimensions, namely, smart classroom, user-friendly technology, peers support, partnership and social governance, as potential determinants for HES. Design/methodology/approach A structured survey questionnaire using an extensive literature review was conducted from a No. 1 private university in Malaysia. The target population included students who have passed out under-graduate or post-graduate or are studying in their final trimester. The questionnaire was administered to 107 respondents using an interview method in order to have scientific and authentic data with minimal common method bias. The data collection process was taken over a one-month period during May 2018 and it ensured the rectification of missing data. The study utilized an inclusive criterion as those students who have complete knowledge about the university in terms of academic, administrative and technical matters. Findings Out of 107 survey respondents, 76 (71 percent) respondents were favorable for HES, which implies that the targeted education institution strives toward career development for students. The study reveals that the partnership of the institution has a positive influence on HES. Smart classroom and social governance are the other determinants which have a positive impact on HES. An excellent infrastructure facility together with formal and informal activities to cultivate knowledge sharing, trustworthiness, quality education and academic excellence of the institution makes it a healthy atmosphere for students to pursue their studies. However, user-friendly technology and peers support were not found to be significant. Practical implications The proposed research model is crucial for educationalists to design the course curriculum for higher education institutions. The significant results and scope discussed in the present study can be applied and customized to any higher education institution in the globe for long-term sustainability to orient students toward career development. Originality/value Since the present paper investigates the No. 1 private university, the current findings can be used as a guide for other private universities to enhance their course curriculum. The conceptualization of the research model includes new dimensions which highlight the latest development in HES. Emerging studies have claimed that HES depends on effective administration of the institution by the management and appropriate industry linkages, with the highest priority for student learning capabilities to exhibit their talents.
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This article focuses on student persistence in Higher Education. It examines qualities that enable students to persist in their studies despite the challenges they face, and key factors interplaying with and affecting these qualities. This study utilised the explanatory mixed-methods approach. It comprised a faculty-wide survey which explained the relationships between and across variables. Focus group interviews explored significant predictors of students’ persistence. Results from this study showed that, among other things, key drivers of student persistence were personal optimism, academic engagement, and positive relationships. Students’ decision to stay on and complete their studies determines their persistence; but there also remains a major role to be played by institutions. Successful student persistence tends to be a result of an intricate interaction between the student’s personal factors and their environment – and the institution is a key component of that environment.
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Problem Where misperceptions and a lack of understanding of the realities of the Nursing profession exist, this can result in students entering into Nursing degrees without understanding the academic knowledge, behavioural and physical attributes and other inherent requirements necessary to undertake and succeed in their studies and subsequent career. Question Can an ‘Assessment for Learning’ approach result in enhanced student understanding of inherent requirements and their relationship to registered nurse attributes? Methods This interpretive study analysed students’ written reflections on two Bachelor of Nursing inherent requirement statements using latent content analysis. Purposive sampling of all 165 students enrolled in an introductory professional nursing unit was undertaken with 162 (98.2%) consenting to provide demographic data and have their reflections analysed following completion of their unit. Findings Four themes were identified: Eye opening, responding to self-examination, setting goals and effecting change, and affirming beliefs and attributes. Discussion Analysis of the students’ reflections on the nursing inherent requirements showed they exhibited enhanced awareness, understanding and acknowledgement of personal areas to be addressed, as well as goal setting and the beginnings of acculturation and movement along the pre-professional identity to professional identity continuum. Conclusion An assessment for learning approach enhanced beginning students understanding of requirements inherent in undertaking a Bachelor of Nursing degree, enabling them to set goals for their development as they linked the BNIRs to the attributes required of a registered nurse.
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Incorporating metacognitive strategies in the classroom helps students monitor and adjust their learning strategies throughout the semester, and helps students progress from novice to expert learners in a subject. Journaling (i.e., reflective writing) is one metacognitive task that allows students to contemplate and articulate their skill development as they learn a new subject. The research reported here examines the use of ‘blogs’ (i.e., online journals) in an upper level undergraduate human anatomy course. The blogs both facilitated development of students’ metacognitive skills and provided researchers insight into student metacognitive process. Data were examined from 92 students from three successive semesters (spring 2010, 2012 and 2014). Each student reviewed 10 radiology online cases throughout the semester and then reflected on their understanding of anatomy and radiology in an online blog for each case. A total of 927 blogs were examined for this research. The researchers used a grounded theory approach to analyze the blog narratives and develop a codebook based on common themes. The 927 blogs yielded 11,082 statements that were coded with the codebook. As the semester progressed, the blog entries showed that students demonstrated greater self‐confidence in their abilities to understand the subject matter, expressed greater enthusiasm for anatomy in general, and they improved their metacognitive skills. This research illustrates that reflective writing in an undergraduate anatomy course not only facilitates improvement in student metacognitive skills, but also provides the instructor with evidence how a student progresses from novice to more experienced learner in anatomy.
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Background and Purpose: Although the impact of reflective journal writing (RJW) on enhanced learning has a long history, studies on this pedagogical tool for enhanced learning are never exhausted. This study attempts to highlight enhanced self-directed learning through the use of reflective journal (RJ) among Malaysian diploma nursing students. Methodology: For this study, eight purposefully selected pre-registered student nurses (PRSN) from a public college contributed over 54 reflective journal entries over two months. Through a qualitative content analysis, the journals were analyzed using a model devised by Mezirow (1990) that was previously used by Kember (1999), Chirema (2007), and Kear (2013) to identify the students’ levels of reflection of content/descriptive, process/practical, and premise/critical reflection resembling Transformative Learning Theory (TLT). Findings: The findings suggested that RJ helps learners become in control of themselves from the early stage of a clinical environment. They expressed their appreciation towards collaborations and are grateful to be able to express their feelings and emotions of “fears” and “trust”. Further, they indicated their mindfulness to appreciate their levels of knowledge and skills through reflection upon the nursing tasks as they make themselves ready to be a future nurse. Furthermore, it was highlighted that feeling competent and being able to work independently and to make sound decisions would not be realized if they could not think critically from the initial stage of clinical environment. Contributions: This research confirms that PRSN become more self-directed and highly motivated to develop critical thinking to dispose for their better lifelong learning through the use of reflective journals. Keywords: Content reflection, levels of reflection, premise reflection, process reflection, reflective journal writing. Cite as: Seyed Abolghasem, F., Othman, J., & Ahmad Shah, S. S. (2020). Enhanced learning: The hidden art of reflective journal writing among Malaysian pre-registered student nurses. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 5(1), 54-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol5iss1pp54-79
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This article explores the pedagogical efficacy and learning outcomes of an archive-based undergraduate research project in which students digitally transcribed a nineteenth-century woman’s diary and then reflected on their transcription work.
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This study examines undergraduate student attitudes to acting as peer-leaders in Applied Mathematics computing workshops. Through the use of data from end-of-trimester surveys and an on-line reflection worksheet, it is shown that students had positive attitudes to being leaders and were engaged in the experience. Benefits mentioned by students included an increased understanding of the content, increased confidence in communicating with and approaching others, and an improved connection with peers. The worksheet also gave students the option of suggesting improvements for the workshops. It was found that those who took up this option provided valuable feedback to the instructor from a student perspective, and that this improved the workshops for the next iteration of the course. Finally, it was concluded that the students acted as partners, not only by collaborating in the re-design of the workshop materials, but also because they were engaged in and contributed to learning and teaching in the course.
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“Writing” is far from the only construct relevant to writing assessment research. The construct “race” is arguably crucial for the field’s considerations of human diversity, difference, and inequity. To examine how race has been constructed within the field, this paper provides a content analysis of explicit race talk in Assessing Writing (1994–2018). Drawing on insights from critical race and Whiteness theories, this study examined a corpus of 304 articles and found 68 containing explicit talk of race, which were characterized by four trends: scholars discuss race in the contexts of examinee/examiner perceptions and preferences; patterns in assessment performance; and the textual content of students’ writings or assessment documents; but most commonly, they engage with race in more marginal or circumstantial ways, referencing race without analysis (e.g., in literature reviews, calls for future research). Additionally, “race,” “ethnicity,” and “racism” seemingly have never been explicitly defined within the journal, potentially contributing to denotative uncertainty and confusion. These findings suggest that future research could benefit by more consistently clarifying its race constructs; disaggregating data with an attention to racial fairness; deepening historical and theoretical engagements with race; diversifying the voices and interpretations that circulate in the field; and turning toward intersectional justice.
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The discursive construction of academic “identity” involves an emotionally confronting, iterative process of “becoming” which can be particularly difficult for marginalized students. Because becoming a student/scholar involves socialization into discursive norms, academic writing programs have increasingly turned to Lave and Wenger’s (Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) notion of “legitimate peripheral participation” (p. 95) to initiate today’s diverse student body into the academy. Yet, these programs rarely address the construction of intersectional identities, such as those related to sexual/gender minorities. In this chapter, therefore, I report on an innovative genre-based academic writing course in which students both learn and critique academic writing conventions via their own research projects in transgender studies. First, I briefly review both writing studies and transgender studies scholarship, as it relates to this course. Second, I describe the course in question, reporting on student learning outcomes, including perceptions of the role transgender studies played in students’ engagement with academic writing.
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Learning how to engage students in educationally purposeful activities has been a challenge for instructors in higher education. It is often hard to push through institutionalized pedagogical boundaries rooted in traditional “teach-at-you” approaches to learning. The demands of a more diverse student body and more effective measures of student learning outcomes have led to rethinking the delivery of course material to gain greater student engagement. Studies have shown that higher order engagement enhances student learning and helps to narrow achievement gaps across the curriculum. This article focuses on student engagement and the use of high-impact practices (active-learning approaches) in the Alameda County MPA Program at California State University, East Bay. The application of HIPS to this specific MPA program provides a good example of how multiple student engagement enhancement techniques can be incorporated into the core of graduate-level program development. The article concludes with suggestions for future research, one being, examining the impact distant, online education has on student learning and engagement, in light of the recent pandemic.
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In reflective writing, students are encouraged to examine their own setbacks and progress. With a shortage of guidance in how to provide feedback to students on this type of writing, teachers are often left to figure it out on the job. The central hypothesis in this paper is that the lens of reflective practice can help focus teacher efforts and ultimately improve both feedback and instruction. The purpose of this paper is not to produce a universal prescription for assessing reflective writing but rather a protocol for teacher reflective practice that can apply to challenging grading and feedback-giving situations. Student assessment is a chance for teachers to learn about their students’ abilities and challenges and to provide feedback for improvement. Assessment and grading sessions can also become opportunities for teachers to examine their own instructional and assessment practices. This self-examination process, a cornerstone of reflective practice (Schön, 1984), is challenging, but it may be especially valuable when guidelines for feedback and assessment are hard to come by. Such may be said to be the case in student-centered learning environments such as school Fablabs and makerspaces, where stated goals commonly include cultivating learner self-regulation and resilience. These hard-to-measure constructs are typically assessed through analysis of student reflective journals. This in-depth case study uses mixed-methods to examine how a semester-long intervention affected the grading, feedback and instructional practices of a teacher in a hands-on design classroom. The intervention involved 10 grade-aloud sessions using a computer-based rubric tool (Gradescope) and a culminating card-sorting task. The lens of reflective practice was applied to understanding the teacher’s development of their own reflective capabilities. During the intervention, the participating teacher grappled with grading and feedback-giving dilemmas which led to clarifications of assessment objectives; changes to instruction; and improved feedback-giving practices, many of which persisted after the intervention. The teacher perceived the intervention as adding both rigor and productive “soul-searching” to their professional practice. Lasting changes in feedback behaviors included a comprehensive rubric and an increase in the frequency, specificity and depth of feedback given to student written work. Significant prior efforts have been directed separately at the use of reflective practice for teachers, in general, and on the feedback and grading of student process journals. This work combines these lines of inquiry in the reflective classroom assessment protocol, a novel on-the-job professional development opportunity that fosters reflective practice in times of assessment to improve instructional and feedback practices.
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Researchers and many educators agree that the ability to self-regulate learning is important for academic success. Yet, many students struggle to anticipate learning difficulties and adjust accordingly. Further, despite theorizing that self-regulated learning involves adaptation across learning cycles, few researchers have examined students’ evaluative judgments, their implications for students’ behavior in a subsequent learning cycle, or their effects on achievement. Utilizing data from a large, introductory college biology course, we examined how struggling students’ evaluative judgments made after a first unit exam predicted changes in learning behaviors as well as how those changes predicted performance on a subsequent exam. We used natural language processing to analyze data from a reflective essay written after a first unit exam, identifying language that reflected evaluation of prior studying and plans to adapt learning. Then, we utilized digital traces of learning behaviors to measure students’ actual adaptation of their use of learning resources. Results from a path analysis revealed students’ evaluations predicted how extensively they discussed plans to adapt their learning process. Plans to adapt described in written reflections predicted an increase in the frequency of desirable learning behaviors, which in turn predicted higher subsequent exam scores, after controlling for previous exam performance. These findings provide empirical evidence of multiple theorized self-regulated learning processes, including how evaluations of learning at the end of a learning cycle can inform planning and behavior changes in a subsequent learning cycle, and that increases in the enactment of effective learning strategies predicts improved performance in complex learning tasks.
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Recent interest in reflective writing in the classroom is tied to the suggested links among reflection, metacognition, and learning transfer. There is still a limited understanding, however, about the distinguishing features of reflective writing and how teachers might identify and use these features to teach effective reflective practices and to interact with student reflective writing. This study uses Gorzelsky et al.’s (2016) taxonomy of metacognitive behaviors to examine the end-of-semester reflective essays of undergraduate students enrolled in a first-year writing course at a large midwestern university. The authors identify and describe a feature of student reflective writing involving the use of emotional language and, working from their findings, suggest a teaching strategy and set of classroom activities aimed at leveraging students’ emotive expressions in ways that foster metacognitive awareness.
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Learning through aesthetics—in which cinema is included—stimulates learner reflection. Because emotions play key roles in learning attitudes and changing behavior, teachers must impact learners' affective domain. Since feelings exist before concepts, the affective path is a critical path to the rational process of learning. Likewise, faculty use their own emotions in teaching, so learning proper methods to address their affective side is a complementary way to improve their communication with students. This paper presents experiences of how to use cinema for educating emotions, among students and teachers, to foster reflection and improve teaching skills.
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There is a severe shortage of African American teachers in K-12 public education, and this shortage is particularly acute in large, urban school districts. This article presents results from a case study of a mentoring triad—a first-year African American teacher, her mentor, and her principal—and the use of reflection and reciprocal journaling to reflect on and dialogue about the challenges of teaching in a large urban high school. More specifically, the research is an investigation of journaling as a reciprocal process of communication used by the participants to reflect on instructional practices, principal expectations, racial and cultural issues within the urban school context, and the first-year teacher's decision to stay in her position. The author discusses two major themes, the teacher's professional competence and the teacher as a member of the school community, and gives several recommendations for practice.
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This study synthesizes Y. Engeström's version of cultural historical activity theory and North American genre systems theory to explore the problem of specialized discourses in activities that involve non-specialists, in this case students in a university 'general education' course in Irish history struggling to write the genres of professional academic history. We trace the textual pathways (genre systems) that mediate between the activity systems (and motives) of specialist teachers and the activity systems (and motives) of non-specialist students. Specifically, we argue that the specialist/lay contradiction in U.S. general education is embedded in historical practices in the modern university, and manifested in alienation that students often experience through the writing requirements in general education courses. This historical contradiction also makes it difficult for instructors to make writing meaningful for non-specialists and go beyond fact-based, rote instruction to mediate higher-order learning through writing. However, our analysis of the Irish History course suggests this alienation may be overcome when students, with the help of their instructors, see the textual pathways (genre systems) of specialist discourse leading to useful knowledge/skill in their activity systems beyond the course as specialists in other fields or as citizens.
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Electronic portfolios have developed as a medium for learning that makes use of the learners’ own reflections on connections among portfolio artifacts. This study used a portfolio-based, mid-program reflection of undergraduate students to elaborate a framework for reflective learning and raise questions about related assessment practices.
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Criteria-referenced self-assessment is a process during which students collect information about their own performance or progress; compare it to explicitly stated criteria, goals, or standards; and revise accordingly. The authors argue that self-assessment must be a formative type of assessment, done on drafts of works in progress: It should not be a matter of determining one's own grade. As such, the purposes of self-assessment are to identify areas of strength and weakness in one's work in order to make improvements and promote learning. Criteria-referenced self-assessment has been shown to promote achievement. This article introduces criteria-referenced self-assessment, describes how it is done, and reviews some of the research on its benefits to students.
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Reflection represents an important form of human thought; from ancient to modern times, the human capacity for reflective thinking has held the imagination of various philosophers and educational theorists. Despite this interest, researchers define reflection in different ways. One of the purposes of this article is to explore the activity of reflection by examining characteristics and contextual factors associated with it. For this purpose, various philosophical and theoretical sources are considered including Socrates, Rousseau, and Bruner, among others. Following this, empirical research is examined to determine whether elements associated with reflection are consistently integrated within regular classroom instruction. Next, practical and theoretical obstacles to reflection are proposed. One of these obstacles is an over-emphasis on the technical interest, a concept described by Jürgen Habermas. Last, some implications are suggested with regard to the use of reflection as a construct for infusing new points of discussion in teacher education and practice.
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Most accounts of intelligence are abilities-centric. They aim to explain intelligent behavior in terms of IQ or other measures of intellectual aptitude. However, several investigators have proposed that intelligent behavior in the wild—in everyday circumstances in which carefully framed tests do not tell people exactly what intellectual task to attempt—depends in considerable part on thinking dispositions. Definitionally, dispositions concern not what abilities people have, but how people are disposed to use those abilities. Everyday language includes a number of dispositional terms such as curiosity, open-mindedness, and skepticism. We review several dispositional constructs that researchers have investigated, sometimes under the label dispositions. The findings in trend show that dispositions are stable traits that help to explain intellectual performance over and above measures of intellectual aptitude. It is argued that a dispositional view of intelligence is warranted, and that it is an important area for continued research.
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The process of reflective writing can play a central role in making meaning as learners process new information and connect it to prior knowledge. An examination of the written discourse can therefore be revealing of learners’ cognitive understanding and affective (beliefs, feelings, motivation to learn) responses to concepts. Despite reflective writing being an important learning tool, the role of this genre in upper-division college biology courses has not been well studied. This paper examines how nineteen physiological ecology students wrote about their understanding of natural selection and adaptations in ten reflective essays and describes how a model of student meaning making was developed. Qualitative essay analysis (through a triangulation of data: class observations; essays; and transcribed interviews) revealed that students could be classified into four categories of writers: subjective (personal, affective connections); objective (conceptual, cognitive connections); authentic (both affective and cognitive connections); and superficial (no supportive connections or claims). In-depth case studies illustrating these four categories are presented. Implications for college science instruction are discussed. KeywordsWriting–Learning–Affective–Cognitive–Authentic–Undergraduate
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Adler-Kassner and O'Neill show writing faculty and administrators how to frame discussions of writing assessment so that they accurately represent research-based practices, and promote assessments that are valid, reliable, and discipline-appropriate. Public discourse about writing instruction is currently driven by ideas of what instructors and programs "need to do," "should do," or "are not doing," and is based on poorly informed concepts of correctness and unfounded claims about a broad decline in educational quality. This discussion needs to be reframed, say Adler-Kassner and O'Neill, to help policymakers understand that the purpose of writing instruction is to help students develop critical thinking, reading, and writing strategies that will form the foundation for their future educations, professional careers, and civic engagement. Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning is grounded in the best of writing assessment research, and focuses on how to communicate it effectively to publics beyond academe. © 2010 by The Utah State University Press. All rights reserved.
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This paper demystifies reflective practice on teaching by focusing on the idea of reflection itself and how it has been conceived by two philosophers, Plato and Irigaray. It argues that reflective practice has become a standardized method of defining the teacher in teacher education and teacher accreditation systems. It explores how practices of reflection themselves can suggest ways out of dictated pathways of reflection in teaching. Drawing on Luce Irigaray's and Plato's ideas on reflection, the paper includes a critical overview of how reflective practice can contradict its own aims and become non-reflective, shutting off possibilities for transformations and educational differences that it has set out to achieve. Keeping up the deconstructive mood, the paper draws on Irigaray's re-reading of Plato's parable of the cave to argue that reflective teaching that merely reflects phallogocentric educational systems and that attempts to universally reproduce standardized forms of reflective practice can never be conducive to the diversification of educational spaces. The paper seeks to re-think Plato's idea of reflection as mere copying and takes up Irigaray's strategic mimesis to explore ways through which reflective practice can regain its critical edge and reactivate teachers' reflective voices. It argues for the repetition of the practice of reflection by drawing on a feminist critique that challenges phallogocentric reflective tendencies in education and for mimetic strategies that engender difference.
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While longitudinal research within the field of writing studies has contributed to our understanding of postsecondary students’ writing development, there has been less attention given to the discursive resources students bring with them into writing classrooms and how they make use of these resources in first-year composition courses. This article reports findings from a cross-institutional research study that examines how students access and make use of prior genre knowledge when they encounter new writing tasks in first-year composition courses. Findings reveal a range of ways student make use of prior genre knowledge, with some students breaking down their genre knowledge into useful strategies and repurposing it, and with others maintaining known genres regardless of task.
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This article discusses three sets of challenges involved in the assessment of writing from a developmental perspective. These challenges include defining a workable theory of development, developing a suitable construct, and overcoming limitations in technocentric approaches to writing assessment.In North America in recent years, a burgeoning number of scholars have begun to explore the development of writing ability through the lens of knowledge transfer research. This paper discusses limitations in current and traditional conceptions of transfer, proposing a bioecological model of transfer to resolve these issues. Related to issues of transfer are challenges in defining the construct under investigation in the assessment of writing development. Beaufort's (2007) model of expertise in writing is discussed as a promising framework for defining this construct. Related to these challenges are limitations in current assessment technologies. Drawing on Huot's (2002) concept of assessment-as-research, this article discusses possibilities for broadening the range of assessment practices available to assessors of writing.
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We constructed a 52-item inventory to measure adults′ metacognitive awareness. Items were classified into eight subcomponents subsumed under two broader categories, knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition. Two experiments supported the two-factor model. Factors were reliable (i.e., α = .90) and inter-correlated (r = .54). Experiment 2 reported the knowledge of cognition factor was related to pre-test judgments of monitoring ability and performance on a reading comprehension test, but was unrelated to monitoring accuracy. Implications for educational assessment and future research were discussed.
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As at many other universities, I have local colleagues who view the teaching of writing as primarily a service function that can be accomplished apart from any particular disciplinary expertise. This perception is reinforced by the fact that most writing courses are taught by part-time faculty most often credentialed in fields other than composition and rhetoric and sometimes in fields other than English studies. In addition, the phrase "writing across the curriculum" at times has an unusual, institutional valence —one which leads to activities thus labeled being viewed by some not as invitations to collaborate on the joint project of developing students' language use in diverse contexts, but rather as cloaked abdications by the writing program of its primary responsibility for preparing students to write in the disciplines. Given this context, the likelihood that collaboration and mutual learning would occur between writing program faculty and faculty from other disciplines —much less the likelihood of learning that would increase the critical consciousness of both —could be seen as, at best, minimal. Yet because my primary concerns as an administrator are both writing-across-the-curriculum initiatives in which writing program faculty come into contact with teachers from other programs (including literature programs) and the professional development of faculty, it makes sense to explore the former as one site for accomplishing the latter. But what do we mean, exactly, when we say "development"? To which faculty are we refering? And how does the notion of "faculty development" relate to issues of critical consciousness and to identity for individual instructors, for curricular programs, and for the disciplinary fields of study most closely identified with those programs? In this article I consider faculty development and its potential relationship to the ethos of collaborative practice modeled both by critical (Freirean) pedagogy and by interdisciplinary research. As a primary concern for any academic administrator, faculty development is not only a teaching moment but I would suggest also an opportunity for reciprocal exchange, learning, and knowledge production. Seeing faculty development as a means of producing new knowledge, I propose, allows participants to challenge the received wisdom of their fields and to come to a more rhetorical understanding of their identities. The collaborative construction of new knowledge and an emerging understanding of identities as rhetorical can help both to define and to expand the boundaries of disciplines and the identities of individual instructors. By "critical pedagogy" I do not mean the educational discourse some scholars have critiqued as "foreground[ing] the teacher or educator" and the "theoretical and political framework[s] within which teachers" work at the expense of acknowledging the complexity of who students are. In such a discourse students are often presented as the "subjects of and subject to critical pedagogy" (Lee 2000: 7). By contrast and like Amy Lee, I envision critical pedagogy more as a "process of (re)learning to teach, rather than as an argument about teaching or a theory of education" (5), a process based on an openness to students' subjectivities, and a rejection of assumptions about their worldviews as predictable at best or as "purely reactive (and reactionary)" at worst (Gallagher 2002: 75). Following such a view, critical pedagogy's ethos of reciprocal collaboration, like Paulo Freire's "problem-posing education," can be seen as offering an alternative to educational structures which act uncritically to reproduce ideological hierarchies or perpetuate material inequities. The interdependence that is generated when "teacher-student" and "students-teachers" (Freire 1989: 67) work alongside one another makes possible the development of a critical consciousness —for both teachers and students —that "develop(s) [these individuals'] power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves." As a result of this emerging consciousness, teachers and students "come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation" (70–71) and come to see themselves as actors in that transformation. Such changes in perceptions of self and world —that is, such changes in identity —have the potential for driving shifts not only in approaches to teaching, but also in the disciplinary epistemologies underlying research and so, too, in the effects of research on...
Article
Analysis of survey data collected at a liberal arts college suggests that faculty perception of assessment as a scholarly activity has a significant relationship with willingness to engage in assessment. This finding indicates the importance of focusing on the scholarly nature of assessment when encouraging faculty participation in assessment practices.
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The goal of this article is to describe a continuum of levels of reflection. It briefly focuses on Deanna Kuhn's research into the development of scientific thinking and Robert Kegan's Object-Subject Theory of Development applied to the problems of inspiring students to be able to reflect. Assignments for improving students' ability to reflect are presented. Examples of student reflections are provided. These may be especially helpful for faculty in a wide range of courses.
Article
Mixed quantitative and qualitative methods were used to assess student attitudes toward the assessment criteria for higher-order critical and analytical thinking skills in writing-intensive curricula in first-year, general education courses. The courses varied in emphasis on critical thinking in the criteria used to assess writing. The analysis is grounded in social constructivist and sociocultural theories of writing. Students in a course featuring explicit, detailed criteria for assessing critical thinking skills rated such criteria as more useful to their learning, than did students in a course with fewer criteria focused on critical thinking. The perceived usefulness of the more elaborate rubric did not come at the expense of its clarity and ease of use. Results are discussed in reference to insights about the relationship between student attitudes and classroom assessment practices.
Article
Portfolio assessment across the disciplines can be enhanced by the addition of vital reflective pieces. While many instructors include reflection as a part of their practice, fewer utilize critical steps necessary to further students' responsibility for their own learning. This article reviews a number of guidelines to aid in this process. They are as follows: creating a safe and supportive environment for candid reflection, the development and design of strategic prompts to enhance learning and move students toward metacognitive independence, use of a shared discourse so students and teachers are able to develop reflections from common understandings and vocabulary, and the construction of concise rubrics to ensure knowledge of required tasks.
Article
This article presents research from a qualitative study of the way that reflective writing is solicited, taught, composed, and assessed within a state-mandated portfolio curriculum. The research situates reflective texts generated by participating students within the larger goals and bureaucratic processes of the school system. The study finds that reflec- tive letters are a genre within the state curriculum that regulates the substance and tone of students' reflections. At the classroom level, the genre provides a mode that students adopt with the assurance that their reflections will meet state evaluators' expectations. At the bureaucratic level, the genre helps to continually validate the state's portfolio cur- riculum through its strong encouragement of stylized narratives of progress. The study demonstrates the importance of understanding how large-scale assessments shape pedagogy and students' writing.
Article
The Fe/BaTiO3 thin-film layered structure is a prototype of charge-mediated composite multiferroics, which is a promising but challenging route to achieve a sizable magnetoelectric effect. The real structure of the interface between the ferromagnetic Fe and ferroelectric BaTiO3 layers is crucial. In this paper, epitaxial Fe layers were successfully grown on top of BaTiO3 layers by carefully controlling the pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering procedures. A detailed study of interfacial structure and defects at the Fe/BaTiO3 interface was carried out by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Electron diffraction patterns and diffraction contrast images reveal a definite epitaxial relationship between Fe and BaTiO3 (001) films and a semi-coherent interface with nearly periodic interfacial dislocations. Based on high-resolution TEM images from both [010] and [110] direction observations, the interfacial dislocations were found to be partial with Burgers vectors and line directions of ⟨010⟩. By employing high-resolution Z-contrast imaging, the positions of individual atoms columns were resolved. The formation mechanism of interfacial dislocations was proposed in terms of geometrical models of the interface structure. On the basis of the remaining strain analysis in each layer, the effects of both BaTiO3 thickness and the SrTiO3 substrates on the density of the interface defects were discussed.
Article
We synthesize ideas from the foregoing articles in this special issue and from the broader literature on transfer to explore several themes. In many ordinary life circumstances, transfer proceeds easily, but formal learning often shows much less transfer than educators would like, making failure to transfer a focus of investigation. Transfer, like any complex cognitive performance, benefits from motivational and dispositional drivers, an aspect of transfer not much discussed in these articles but inviting attention. Episodes of transfer can be analyzed according to a detect–elect–connect model: detecting a potential relationship with prior learning, electing to pursue it, and working out a fruitful connection. These three “bridges” are somewhat independent; ways in which each of them succeed and fail are detailed, drawing on the contributed articles and the broader literature. Finally, insights from this collection of articles and elsewhere put educators in a position to teach for transfer more effectively, but shifts of mind-set about the nature of knowledge and learning are required.
Article
In this article, the authors argue that developing personal and professional critical consciousness about racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity should be a major component of preservice teacher education. They discuss some maneuvers teacher education students use to avoid engaging with racial issues in education, and suggest some strategies for counteracting them. The resistance strategies include silence, diversion, guilt, and benevolent liberalism. Techniques to offset these and develop critical cultural consciousness and self-reflection include creating learning expectations of criticalness, modeling, providing opportunities to practice critical consciousness, and translating conceptual multicultural education into K-12 instructional possibilities. Woven throughout the specific suggestions is the general directive that critical consciousness learning experiences should take place within the context of guided practice, authentic examples, and realistic situations.
Article
Does revision of graded essays for an electronic portfolio improve First-Year Composition students’ scores from anonymous raters? In a sample of 450 paired essays, 46 percent improved by one or more points on a six-point scale, 28 percent remained the same, and 26 percent declined by one or more points.
Article
This collection of essays discusses writing program administrators' (WPAs') research. The essays pose several questions to characterize WPAs' research practices: "What is WPA research? What characterizes WPA research and the sites of WPA inquiry?"; and "What values guide WPA research?" The 14 chapters are divided into 2 parts, "Writing Program Administrators' Inquiry in Action" and "Writing Program Administrators' Inquiry in Reflection." Part 1 exemplifies WPA research by describing and conceptualizing specific research projects conducted as part of WPA responsibilities, and thereby provides a detailed picture of administrative research. Part 2 then draws on the concrete experiences of particular WPAs and particular writing programs, raising and reflecting on issues about WPA research in general. Each chapter demonstrates that WPAs' inquiry is characterized by a recursive interplay between reflection and action. Some of the many topics addressed in the book include diverse research methodologies for diverse audiences, feminist methods, conflicts between teaching and assessing writing, outcomes assessment research as a teaching tool, the contributions of sociolinguistic profiling, assessing teacher preparation programs, reflective essays, local research and curriculum development, enabling research in the writing program archives, WPAs as historians, historical work on WPAs, the role of research in writing programs, and postmodern mapping. (RJM)
Article
As reflective writing plays a more prominent role in pedagogy and in assessment, teachers need a greater awareness of the assumptions they bring to the task of assigning and reading reflective texts. Beginning with the question, “What constitutes good reflection?” this study describes how one instructor used the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to explore her responses to the reflective writing produced by preservice English teachers. The author concludes that the MBTI can provide insight into how instructors assign, respond to, and evaluate student reflection; the MBTI can also be used to help teachers improve these practices. She offers suggestions for responding to different kinds of reflective writing and cautions against using reflective writing as a way to assess student understanding.
Article
Establishing the score or the placement as the first priority in a writing assessment leads to more reductive forms of writing assessment. However, if the prompts used in a direct test of writing were generative – that is, if they asked test-takers to analyze their own experiences as writers or learners, for example – the resulting texts would be useful data beyond the act of producing a ranking or a judgment. Washington State University developed and trialled such a prompt, one that asks students to reflect on their curricular and extra-curricular learning opportunities in relation to the university's Six Learning Goals for the Baccalaureate. The results were texts that demonstrate, among other things, which goals are (and are not) effectively distributed across the curriculum. Using these texts to address outcomes assessment on a university-wide level makes the assessment more valuable than it would be if it merely produced a set of placements. In addition, the richness of the student texts has provided a valuable resource for graduate-level research that is broader and more meaningful than simply training future raters of writing. Further, the raw data have proved to be accessible to researchers with wide-ranging theoretical lenses, meaning that the data yielded by an assessment can become a significant resource for research beyond the needs of the assessment program alone. Given the need for university assessment programs to compete for ever-scarcer resources, exploring the potential of the generative prompt seems in our enlightened self-interest.
Article
Recent findings of transfer and nontransfer in such areas as planning and problem management skills, computer programming instruction, and literacy-related cognitive skills reveal paradoxes that invite explanation. In this article, we separate the "how" of transfer—the mechanisms that lead to it—from the "what" of transfer—the kind of knowledge and skill that might get transferred. We argue that transfer occurs in two ways. Low-road transfer depends on extensive, varied practice and occurs by the automatic triggering of well-learned behavior in a new context. High-road transfer occurs by intentional mindful abstraction of something from one context and application in a new context. Such transfer can either be of the forward-reaching kind, whereby one mindfully abstracts basic elements in anticipation for later application, or of the backward-reaching kind, where one faces a new situation and deliberately searches for relevant knowledge already acquired. Findings of transfer or nontransfer reflect whether the conditions for either low-road or high-road transfer were met. Qualitative predictions stemming from this theory of the mechanisms of transfer are offered and discussed.
Article
There is an intense interest in the interactional process across the varying psychoanalytic schools of thought. The analytic relationship itself, in all of its complexity, is the vehicle for our work. These advances raise the question of what we mean by technique these days, a question that has implications for analytic training and supervision. In this paper, the author reflects back on his analytic training experience, specifically at how two of his supervisors regarded technique, how it was taught, and the various ways in which it was communicated. In looking back at these supervisory experiences, the author examines how these teaching analysts embodied some of what they had to teach. The author shows what was mutative across these training experiences in terms of what was needed in order to grow-what facilitated his own development as an analyst and contributed towards the cultivation of his own style.
Article
Yancey explores reflection as a promising body of practice and inquiry in the writing classroom. Yancey develops a line of research based on concepts of philosopher Donald Schon and others involving the role of deliberative reflection in classroom contexts. Developing the concepts of reflection-in-action, constructive reflection, and reflection-in-presentation, she offers a structure for discussing how reflection operates as students compose individual pieces of writing, as they progress through successive writings, and as they deliberately review a compiled body of their work-a portfolio, for example. Throughout the book, she explores how reflection can enhance student learning along with teacher response to and evaluation of student writing. Reflection in the Writing Classroom will be a valuable addition to the personal library of faculty currently teaching in or administering a writing program; it is also a natural for graduate students who teach writing courses, for the TA training program, or for the English Education program.
Article
In 2004, the Department of Writing Studies at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, the U.S., began an assessment of student outcomes for two first-year writing courses (Fall 04 to Fall 05) to evaluate performance on previously established criteria. A study of the students’ Portfolio Assessment Sheets concluded that one pervasive problem was “Development” as determined partly by low A grades in the two courses. To engage the faculty (full-time and adjunct), the grades from Fall 04, Spring 05, and Fall 05 were presented during a SummerWorkshop in June 2006. After analyzing a sample student essay, the 28 faculty participants discussed the implications of “Development” and evaluated the presentation itself. This case study of one college’s participatory exercise in improving writing found some faculty resistance and some unintended results.
Article
Building on the concepts of professional competence that he introduced in his classic The Reflective Practitioner, Schon offers an approach for educating professional in all areas that will prepare them to handle the complex and unpredictable problems of actual practice with confidence, skill, and care.
Article
Reflective writing is a valued tool for teaching nursing students and for documentation, support, and generation of nursing knowledge among experienced nurses. Expressive or reflective writing is becoming widely accepted in both professional and lay publications as a mechanism for coping with critical incidents. This article explores reflective writing as a tool for nursing education.
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Revising our practices: How portfolios help teachers learn
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