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#54 - Short reflective writing activities in MyPortfolio

  1. We know that students will achieve more, progress faster, and be more confident if they frequently and systematically reflect on their learning and actions.
  2. Many students find reflection difficult if they are just given a blank slate.
  3. We can provide the students with a template that guides and scaffolds their reflective actions. We can use progressively less structured templates over time, leading up to the point at which students reflect in a more free-form pattern.
Solution overview

Many students struggle with writing extended reflective texts, so why not break it down into a series of short, frequent, focussed responses to prompts? You could create these as template pages, where you give a brief, and provide space for the student to respond in a semi-structured way. Use an obvious naming convention so that the students can easily find the correct template page (for example use the module code, as in: ARCH023-week1). The template pages might become progressively less structured over time, to give the students more independence once they become confident. You could create these pages as a collection, so that the student gets a complete set of pages following the sequence you have planned and linked to learning activities in your module.

Process
  1. You create the template pages within your own MyPortfolio first.
  2. If using a collection, you will need to create the template collection within your own MyPortfolio pages to begin with.
    1. If you are creating standalone pages, not within a collection, create them providing just the right amount of structure to guide the students in completing the pages as you want them to, but leaving enough flexibility for them to be creative and individual.
    2. Create the collection, if needed and add the pages to that.
  3. You could create a Group in MyPortfolio, including all of the students you want to give the template collection to.
  4. When editing the collection/page, select the Share option, and share it with the group you created in step 3.
  5. Create a Secret Url, and give that url to your students. They can use it to go to your template collection/page and make their own copy of it.