Towards a greater understanding of the effectiveness of reflective journals in a university language program

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Abstract:

This paper investigates the effectiveness of using reflective journals in a university language program, through written student feedback, in-class discussion, and the author’s observations and experience of their use over a period of three college semesters. Students in the English Languages Studies Program at Mahidol University International College primarily had used journals for recording course content with a view to revision for the final exam, and journal entries were therefore mainly descriptive. The paper assesses the lessons learned from incorporating reflection into the curriculum during this period and the author’s attempts to provide a more effective framework for critical reflection during this time. Factors that may contribute to the quality of student reflection include defining reflection and clarifying its purpose, and providing scaffolding, such as feedback and guidelines on assessment. Teachers need to apply flexible frameworks for reflection depending on the contexts.

Keywords: assessment; critical reflection; defining reflection; scaffolding; student feedback

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2012.697889

Affiliations: Mahidol University International College, Bangkok, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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