Reflective learning through learning journals: Can business students do it?

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 28: Higher education in a changing world

July, 2005, 639 pages
Published by
Angela Brew and Christine Asmar
0 908557 62 0

Business students focus on the application of accepted standards and principles to problem- based questions. They often do not have the patience to look at issues from different perspectives. They show impartiality and less thoughtful consideration when working through a learning experience. However, to enable them to learn better and to help them becoming lifelong learners, business students should be exposed to metacognitive learning through keeping learning journals. This way, business students are provided with the opportunity to reflect on learning process, learning environment, on themselves as learners, as well as identify ways to plan, monitor, evaluate and adapt to learning. This paper reports the investigation of learning journals as a means of facilitating reflective learning in an attempt to prepare students to live in, and engage within the changing world context. The aims of the study are to encourage business students to become reflective learners by having them keep learning journals, and to investigate students’ perception of the use of learning journal. Honey and Mumford (1986) Learning Styles Instrument is administered to ascertain the change of learning styles of students. Students are randomly selected for interviews in order to explore the students’ perception on the use of learning journal. The data suggests an improvement in the use of learning journals in promoting increased reflective learning. Students’ perceptions encourage such techniques to be implemented in business courses.

Keywords:: reflective learning; learning journal; business students