A phenomenographic analysis of student reflections in online learning diaries

Prinsloo, Paul; Slade, Sharon and Galpin, Fenella (2011). A phenomenographic analysis of student reflections in online learning diaries. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 26(1) pp. 27–38.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02680513.2011.538562

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0268051...


There are many studies regarding the benefit of incorporating learning diaries into learning experiences in higher education, though very little research documenting what students record when those diaries are unstructured. There are several arguments and counter-arguments for providing students with structure in their completion of learning diaries. Structure is said to limit spontaneity, while unstructured learning diaries are considered to be logs or diaries rather than reflective journals. This study presents evidence that unstructured, private learning diaries can assist students to become more self-aware - and aware of others - while learning together online. This research provides useful pointers for managers and designers of online learning experiences regarding the role that online learning diaries can play in facilitating reflection.

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