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The use of blogging as a tool for reflection


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This presentation describes the design and implementation of a blogging assignment directed at facilitating ethical and clinical reasoning among final year South African physiotherapy students.

It also presents some of the underlying theoretical frameworks upon which the assignment is based.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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The use of blogging as a tool for reflection

  1. 1. The use of blogging as a tool for reflection Michael Rowe (MSc) Department of Physiotherapy University of the Western Cape
  2. 2. Overview Higher education in the 21st century Reflective learning Reflection and reasoning Blogging as academic discourse Assignment Challenges Moving forward
  3. 3. st Education in the 21 century The Net Generation have different educational needs (Barnes, et al, 2007) Knowledge construction, not reproduction is paramount (Pritchard, 2007) Evolve, adapt or desist (Swail, 2002) Adding to, not replacing models of communication (Oblinger, 2005) “If you're not on MySpace, you don't exist” (Skylar, 18, to her mom)
  4. 4. Reflective learning We make sense of the world by interpreting facts through our own frames of reference (Higgs et al, 2004) Reflection is an important component of constructivist learning (Bozalek, 2007) Questions may guide reflective activities (Marquardt, 2005) An influential component of clinical practice and professional development (Dewey, 1933; Schon, 1983/5)
  5. 5. Reflection and reasoning Reflection and reasoning both emphasise the connection between action and thinking (Aars, 2008) Focused reflection is a significant factor in developing clinical practice through clinical reasoning (Murphy, 2004) Ethical reasoning is part of clinical reasoning (Edwards, et al, 2005)
  6. 6. Blogging as academic discourse What does it mean, “to blog”? (Boyd, 2006) Humanises academic discourse Publication and feedback can be immediate Interaction is possible Value is determined by referencing through linking (Anderson, 2006)
  7. 7. The assignment Read and reflect on relevant articles Post those reflections on the blog Comment on the blog posts of others Use technology to strengthen claims made Create a networked conversation
  8. 8. Learning objectives Understand some of the ethical problems inherent in the South African health system Be able to discuss the ethical dilemmas encountered Understand the role of reflection in your professional development Participate in an online, networked conversation with your peers Acknowledge the differing perspectives of others who may experience the world in different ways Reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of using new technologies in healthcare education
  9. 9. Method: create the environment Wordpress Installed on a private server Create pages for online help, instructions, learning outcomes Register students as authors on the blog
  10. 10. Method: teach students to blog Assignment handout with background Class presentation with step by step screenshots Additional online help on the blog Be available through several channels to provide assistance (e.g. SMS, email, physical)
  11. 11. Examples of entries on the blog “As Billy Joel so eloquently puts it, “We didn't start the fire...” “We take our rights and freedom for granted, where others fought and died [for it]. We need to respect and acknowledge the sacrifices made for us.” “I really think that we as humans are a messed up bunch...” “I just think the TRC was there to ease some people's consciences...”
  12. 12. Advantages of blogging: comments
  13. 13. Advantages of blogging: tags
  14. 14. Results They did it
  15. 15. Results: emergent themes Diversity of thought and opinion Shared experiences Attitudes to education / learning Professional development Respectful dialogue
  16. 16. Challenges The issue of allocating time for reflection is not yet fully appreciated (Higgs, et al, 2004) Inappropriate behavioural modeling (Eraut, 1994) “But I don't know how” The assignment was time-consuming to set up Access to equipment and a lack of experience
  17. 17. Moving forward Exciting, interesting and stimulating Blogging created a space for open dialogue Blogging is an effective tool to facilitate reflection ...but it is only a tool Join the conversation
  18. 18. Copyright This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this license, visit This license allows you to share and adapt the document under the following conditions: You may not sell it You must give attribution if you share it You must share it under these same conditions
  19. 19. Thank you theboatashore