The critically reflective blog: using blogs to develop skills for critical reflection in social work education

Jones, Peter (2010) The critically reflective blog: using blogs to develop skills for critical reflection in social work education. In: Proceedings of the Teaching and Learning Innovation Symposium 2010, pp. 24-25. From: Teaching and Learning Innovation Symposium 2010, 6-8 June, 2010, Hong Kong .

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Abstract

The ability to critically reflect on experience and to write in a critically reflective manner have been recognised as important aspects of social work education and professional practice. A range of learning activities and forms of assessment have been developed and employed in social work education programs with a view to assisting students to develop and express these skills. As the use of Web 2.0 and social networking applications become more pervasive in the higher education system, opportunities are created for exploring the ways in which these emerging technologies can contribute to the enhancement of traditional pedagogical concerns. This paper reports on the use of student generated Blogs as a tool for developing skills in critical reflection and critically reflective writing.

Blogging has been identified as an activity with potential for enhancing various aspects of student learning (Farmer, Yue & Brooks, 2008; Bhattacharya & Chauhan, 2010; O’Donnell, 2006). In particular, some authors have begun exploring the use of blogs that aim to facilitate student learning in the area of critical reflection and reflective practice (see, for example, Killeavy & Moloney, 2010; Ladyshewsky & Gardner, 2008). In the discipline of social work, calls have also emerged for the greater exploration of the potential of these technologies in both education and practice (Schembri, 2008; Dunlop, 2008).

“Self in Professional Helping” is a first year subject offered in the Bachelor of Social Work program at James Cook University. The overall concern of the subject is to introduce students to the world of professional social welfare practice and, in particular, to encourage them to begin thinking about the conscious use of self in such practice. Given that critical reflection is a key component of both studies and practice in social work, this subject presents an opportunity to assist students to develop skills in this area at the very beginning of their degree program. The subject therefore provides a scaffolded and integrated approach to reflection, involving a number of components, but culminating in an assessable ‘reflective blog’. This paper describes the approach undertaken in the subject, the format and content of the blog assessment and offers some discussion of the utility of the blog in terms of developing skills for critical reflection.

Item ID: 11585
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-988-19170-1-0
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2010 23:24
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies @ 100%
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