Using Technology to Develope Reflective Learners


Robin Mason


(Institute of Educational Technology ,The Open University ,UK)



Abstract: In this paper I explain the Western approach of reflective learning- what the benefits are and how it changes the roles of both students and tutors. I describe three technologies which are appropriate for this student-centred, approach to learning in the context of an online course. The technologies are: learning objects, blogging and Instant Messaging. I give an example of these technologies in use on a Masters course run by the Open University in the UK. An evaluation of the success of this course shows that students found the work demanding but very stimulating. The need to make their own decisions about what to learn appealed to the most confident learners. All students need support and time to appreciate the benefits of a reflective approach to learning. Blogging was a popular medium for reflection and Instant Messaging was used for social networking. Although the course is taught entirely online, the ready availability of an online tutor is essential to producing such positive outcomes for the students.

Key words: reflection; online learning; learning objects; blogging; instant messaging

【CLC nurnbers】G426

【Document code】A

【Article ID】1007-2179(2006)05-0047-04