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Facilitating student reflection on learning behaviours in first year units

Shelley Yeo
Learning Support Network, Curtin University of Technology
Leanda Wright and Marjan Zadnik
Department of Applied Physics, Curtin University of Technology
Meaningful reflection is crucial to developing skills for life long learning, such as the willingness to accept responsibility for managing one's own learning. However, meaningful reflection is a skill itself, and as such requires both opportunity and practice to develop. Science students often expect that their lecturers should determine how and what they will learn, and monitor that learning, and that they as students should not have to be concerned with such processes.

In first year physics units at Curtin University of Technology, students have been required to complete a Self-Monitoring and Reflection Form (SMARF) over the course of a semester, as a means of developing their self-reflection skills. Because students did not submit their SMARF until the end of semester, this paper based exercise gave staff little opportunity to monitor students' use of the form and the type and quality of their reflections. In second semester 2002, the paper form was replaced by a simple online version with timely links to 'goal setting', 'how to reflect on learning' and other relevant sites, enabling students to receive feedback on their reflections.

Students' views of both the process and the online versus paper based exercise will be discussed. A comparison of the quality of end of semester reflections will be included.

Please cite as: Yeo, S., Wright, L. and Zadnik, M. (2003). Facilitating student reflection on learning behaviours in first year units. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/yeo-abs.html

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Last revision: 16 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/yeo-abs.html