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Mirror, mirror, on my screen≡ Exploring online reflections

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This paper suggests that, through the provision of opportunities for reflection–in–action at critical learning stages and with the support of a trained e–moderator, the participants in computer mediated conferencing (CMC) can be encouraged to engage in reflecting about their onscreen experiences. Such reflection aids the building of a productive online community of practice. In addition, by encouraging participants to reflect on later stages of their online training experiences, a reflection–on–action record can be built up. Participants’ reflective processes can be captured through analysis of their on screen text messages and so be available for research purposes. Examples of conference text message reflections are given throughout the paper, drawn from the on screen reflections of Open University Business School (OUBS) Associate Lecturers who were working online through the medium of computer mediated conferencing for the first time. The conclusion is that reflection–on–practice in the online environment is beneficial for helping the participants to learn from online conferencing and can provide an excellent tool for qualitative research. Opportunities for reflection need to be built into the design of online conferences and facilitated by a trained e–moderator.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Open University Business School, Milton Keynes, UK

Publication date: 2002-09-01

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