The Effect of Reflection Through Educational Blogging on Students’ Learning Performance

Siti Khadijah Mohamad, Zaidatun Tasir, IBNATUL JALILAH BINTI YUSOF
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 22  •  2023  •  pp. 429-459

Despite the growing interest in reflection, there is an issue regarding how to fortify the linkages between a learning experience and the reflection activity that follows it, as experience on its own is not the key to learning. In addition, studies have also shown that students are not able to transfer the newly acquired knowledge through experience into a new situation. Besides that, it is revealed that students have a generally poor learning performance in computer-supported courses. This can be attributed to the difficulty in comprehending lessons. These problems then bring to the fore the question of what specific elements are needed to turn experience into learning and enable educators to enhance students’ learning performance through reflection activities. Therefore, this study was undertaken to design the reflection environment through educational blogging and examine its effect on students’ learning performance in a computer-supported course; that is, an Authoring System course.

Incorporating reflection as an integral part of the curriculum and learning process can be challenging. It involves dedicating time and effort to foster a reflective culture. Therefore, a reflective blogging environment needs to be designed by incorporating structured and interactive reflective thinking activities. This learning environment should also be able to integrate theoretical and practical aspects while encouraging active engagement in social collaborative learning to build knowledge and comprehension in learning computer-supported courses. Furthermore, leveraging blogging technology by embedding it with effective pedagogy is also necessary to nurture students, and is critical in knowledge acquisition.

A one-group pre-test post-test type of research design was adopted, using quantitative data of students’ learning performance. A purposive sampling technique was employed to select a sample of 18 postgraduate students enrolled in the Authoring System course in the Faculty of Education. The reflection through the educational blogging environment was designed according to the ICCEE (Identify, Choose, Create, Engage, and Evaluate) instructional design model. The learning performance test was analysed using inferential statistics, specifically, the Wilcoxon ranked test, effect size, and power analysis.

This study highlights that reflection through blogging remains relevant for learning among postgraduate students when its pedagogical design is carefully planned to align with learning and teaching goals. Leveraging the advantages of blogs as student-centred learning environments can encourage discussion and debate-like activities, which, in turn, positively affects students’ overall learning performance. The design of the reflective learning environment also gives us an understanding of how the reflection approach can be better conducted to improve students’ learning performance.

The reflection through the educational blogging environment was successfully designed based on the five in-depth steps of the ICCEE instructional design model. The learning performance indicates that there was a statistically significant difference between the pre-test and post-test scores. Thus, it can be concluded that reflection through blogging, which acted as an intervention, had a significant influence on students’ performance in learning in the Authoring System course.

Given the technical nature of this study, instructors, especially those teaching online, must exhibit greater creativity in bridging the gap between theory and real-world applications to enhance students’ cognitive engagement with the learning materials. As technical learning is frequently associated with poorer cognitive learning outcomes, it is crucial for instructors to bridge the gap between theory and practical applications to achieve better results.

Researchers can ensure that students perceive learning and teaching as constructivist activities by leveraging the advantages of blogs as student-centred learning environments and minimising the presence of instructionalist activities. This approach encourages discussion and debate-like activities, which, in turn, positively enhances students’ overall learning performance.

This study highlights that educational blogging remains significant for postgraduate students when its pedagogical design is carefully planned to align with learning and teaching goals.

Future work is necessary to validate the findings, particularly concerning different computer-supported courses, with larger and more diverse samples. Additionally, the learning performance pathways can be analysed via data mining using qualitative data to provide valuable insights into patterns related to the types of feedback that foster the growth of specific levels of reflective thinking skills. Linking students’ performance with other probable learning processes/outcomes, such as learning styles, interaction posts, demographic details, and response time, can provide a better understanding of the computer-supported competencies among students from a summative approach.

reflection, educational blogging, learning performance
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