ERIC Number: EJ792204
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Reference Count: 25
Using Digital and Paper Diaries for Assessment and Learning Purposes in Higher Education: A Case of Critical Reflection or Constrained Compliance?
Gleaves, Alan; Walker, Caroline; Grey, John
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v33 n3 p219-231 Jun 2008
This is the second of two papers based on a study of how digital and paper diaries contribute to students' understanding of the processes of their learning within their academic disciplines. The purpose of the study was to use diary writing as a vehicle by which we would try and comprehend how students both make sense of assessment feedback and how this impacts on their emotional and motivational attitudes toward improving subsequent work. In this paper, samples are provided of diary entries for both digital and paper forms that illustrate the distinctive approaches to prospective but often highly self-critical and impromptu writing, as often characterized by the digital diary entries, when compared with retrospective and deeply reflective writing, which was common to much of the paper diary writing. The students who preferred the paper diaries seemed to have less mutable self-concepts, using their entries to craft and re-script ideas (often quite negative and potentially damaging ones) about themselves and their work. Conversely, students preferring the digital diaries were more willing to engage in reflexive criticism, and entertain the possibility of feeling very differently about themselves and their work on a day-to-day basis. This study ultimately does two things: it illuminates the complexity of students' feelings about learning and being assessed, stressing the importance of time and interaction in assisting students to contextualize and interpret the interrelation of learner identity, learner change and learner achievement; and second, it illustrates, within this small-scale study, how different types of diaries become important vehicles for expressing the variety of emotions and reflections that characterize the student learning experience.
Descriptors: Diaries, Student Journals, Electronic Publishing, Learning Experience, Feedback (Response), Self Concept, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Student Improvement, Student Attitudes, Student Motivation, Student Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A