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Blogging as Reflective Practice

image of kitten looking at its reflection in the mirror

In one of our modules ‘Communities of Practice in Digital Scholarship‘, we were asked to read an article “Web Logs and Online Discussions as Tools to Promote Reflective Practice”. by Pedro Hernández Ramos. (Bear with me, I’ll learn how to do proper citations on WordPress, but for now here’s the info: The Journal of Interactive Online Learning,Vol 3, N0 1, Summer 2004, www.ncolr.org ISSN: 1541-4914).

image of gibs model of reflective practiceFrom “Learning by Doing” by Graham Gibbs. Published by Oxford Polytechnic, 1988.

The article was, among other things, about “… encouragement of reflective practice..” It occurred to me as I was answering a question with regards to the article, that a web-log (blog),  is basically an online verbal version of a Visual Diary. Anyone who has attended an art and design course, would know a Visual Diary as a notebook of sketches, designs, colours, phrases, anything that interests you, or is related to the project at hand. It was an integral part of your project and assessment.

I believe the best way to start a new project, is to get stuck in. I always get far better ideas, when I’m actually caught up in the moment of making. So, I would  start making something random, or start doodling in my Visual Diary, and the ideas would start to flow. It is a practice that has stayed with me. Although I don’t use a Visual Diary as much as I did in art college days, I still use a notebook to jot down ideas: whether it be colour patches, patterns, designs, and general arty ramblings to word associations, thoughts, words of wit and wisdom from the witty and/or famous. I feel I should apply the same practice with this eJournal. I should just get stuck in.

image from a page of a sketchbook

page from one of my notebooks on a colour system

I have been reading some articles about online journaling, and its usefulness. The Pedro Hernández Ramos article, as I mentioned above, may be out-of-date technologically wise, but I found his insights relevant: “online reflection has the potential to significantly alter the students’ perceptions of themselves as education professionals and perceptions about the power and validity of their ideas”.

Curating your own personal journey through a blog, prepares you for several events or roles you might play in your work ahead. Using categories and tagging helps to organize posts into a diary of sorts. It gives the opportunity for students to be responsible for their own learning outcomes. It can help the development of their academic voice as their knowledge of their subject grows, their confidence in speaking about their work does too. The Developmental stages of the blog, from the very basic design to the personalized personal web presence, months on, such as adding new tools such as plug-ins, new graphic styles, menus, etc, such as plug-ins, all will help build a more robust digital experience.

I’ve come across some interesting articles on the use of blogs as a tool for reflective practice:

I also came across this webpage giving some advice:


So, what do you think ?