Volume 2 Number 2 (Apr. 2012)
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IJEEEE 2012 Vol.2(2): 093-096 ISSN: 2010-3654
DOI: 10.7763/IJEEEE.2012.V2.87

Reflective Blogging: Education in a Social Constructivist Environment – A Case Study

Rashika Sharma and Sylila Monteiro

Abstract—The emergence of e-learning is an educational trend that aligns appropriately with contemporary technological change. The 21st century learner expects self-directed facilitation characterised by various communication and social networking platforms. These collaborative networks offer interactive learning environments that cater to individual learning preferences. Accessibility to a wide range of personal and professional communities simultaneously broadens the scope of the educational as well as the personal experience for the learner.
E-learning settings continue to enrich the learning experiences of today’s digital natives. Advanced e-learning technologies, such as Web 2.0, provide a foundation for dynamic interaction between learner and teacher. These learning technologies provide the “basis for enhancing teaching and learning in virtually any discipline, providing an environment that stimulates reflection, critique, collaboration, and user generated content–i.e. a social constructivist environment.” The dynamic interactive online spaces created by podcasts, vodcasts, wikis, instant messengers (IM), social bookmarks and weblogs, build a community of practice open to collaborative discussion which generates reflection and critical thinking, ultimately creating discerning global citizens.
The concept of reflective practice is the cultivation of the capability to reflect in action whilst doing something, and to reflect on action –after it has been done. This reflective writing pedagogy creates an alternative to the traditional education approach of theory first and then practice. In modern day terms it may be assumed that blended learning extends this reflective writing pedagogy using Web 2.0 technologies as an interface for reflection.
Weblogs were introduced as a platform for reflection in an Applied Technology undergraduate course. This case study demonstrates the student perceptions of weblogs, its application and challenges as well as its validity as a reflective medium. The themes that emerged substantiate that weblogs promote collaboration and track learning progression of individual students. However the level of familiarity with the technology and ICT skills impacted on perfor mance. Social constructivism evolved through the inter subjectivity of the community of practice and supported collaborative learning.

Index Terms—E-learning, weblogs, social constructivism, virtual community of practice (vcop).

R. Sharma and S. Monteiro are with Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand (e-mail: rsharma@unitec.ac.nz; smonteir@unitec.ac.nz).

Cite: Rashika Sharma and Sylila Monteiro , "Reflective Blogging: Education in a Social Constructivist Environment – A Case Study ," International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 093-096, 2012.

General Information

ISSN: 2010-3654 (Online)
Abbreviated Title: Int. J. e-Educ. e-Bus. e-Manag. e-Learn.
Frequency: Quarterly
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Kuan-Chou Chen
Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Lau
Abstracting/ Indexing: EBSCO, Google Scholar, Electronic Journals Library, QUALIS, ProQuest, INSPEC (IET)
E-mail: ijeeee@iap.org
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