This study aims to unpack the reflective learning processes involved in developing a Masters’ research project proposal as part of a multidisciplinary Research Design course. Using inductive analysis, we explored students’ reflective blogs written over a period of a semester and defined the reflections according to an adaptation of Hatton and Smith’s (1995) framework. Our findings are that the nature of each individual blog topic affected the quality and level of reflection, which in turn is affected by the ‘learning ecology’ (Harvey, Coulson, & McMaugh, 2016 p. 12). More highly scaffolded blogs showed greater evidence of reflective practice. Likewise the nature of the practice (starting research) influenced reflection, since many processes are internal rather than requiring explicit practice to reflect on. In addition, as nascent practitioner researchers, the students are also involved in reflexivity rather than reflection and therefore some topics encouraged this form of reflection more than others did. This study is significant in that it explores reflection in research and practitioner contexts, focuses on early career researchers/practitioners and brings a multidisciplinary perspective.
Recommended CitationWarner, Richard and Picard, Michelle, What do Master’s students’ structured reflections say about the learning processes involved in commencing a research project?, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 17(1), 2020.