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Reflections on using journals in higher education: a focus group discussion with faculty

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O'Connell, T and Dyment, JE (2006) Reflections on using journals in higher education: a focus group discussion with faculty. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 31 (6). pp. 671-691. ISSN 0260-2938

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Abstract

Reflective journals have become an increasingly popular tool used by numerous faculty across many disciplines in higher education. Previous research and narrative reports of journal writing have explored student perceptions of journal writing, but very little is understood about faculty perceptions. In this paper, we report on a study involving eight university faculty who teach courses with outdoor field components in the areas of outdoor recreation, experiential education, or outdoor education. We present the faculty member's: (1) current practices of journal writing (types of journals, types of entries, process of journal writing), (2) perceptions of journal writing (rationale, quality, evaluation) and (3) recommendations to maximize the potential of journal writing. A mixed methods approach was used that included a 32-item quantitative questionnaire and a focus group discussion. By and large, the faculty who participated in this study appreciated the pedagogical potential of journal writing. They were, however, cautious about certain aspects of the journaling process and offered numerous suggestions for improving the 'journaling experience.' This paper concludes with several recommendations for consideration by higher education faculty who use journal writing as an instructional technique.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Page Range: pp. 671-691
ISSN: 0260-2938
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/02602930600760884
Additional Information: The definitive version is available online at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/02602938.asp
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:21
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/1657
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