Insights on ESL Student Teachers Reflecting Collaboratively Online

Shubashini Suppiah, Kean Wah Lee, Suyansah Swanto, Denis Andrew Lajium

Abstract


The concept of a collaborative based reflective practice approach is grounded within the theoretical argument that critical reflection can be fostered through the presence of the “knowledgeable other” (Vygotsky, 1978). The present study was a pilot initiative in utilizing EDMODO (a closed educational learning management system) as a platform to explore reflection in a communal approach within a group of pre-service ESL teachers and their teacher educator mentor during a teaching practice placement in the context of the TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) degree programme in an institute of teacher education (ITE) in Malaysia. The aims of the study are: (1) to examine the nature of the online reflection posts; and (2) to explore the nature of interactions that occurred online and the extent it supported collaborative reflection practices. The study employed a qualitative case study design in which five pre-service teachers (n=5) and their teacher educator mentor used EDMODO to post their reflections and carry out discussions for four weeks (n=4). The sources of data were the online reflection posts, the threaded discussion posts and a semi- structured group interview. Despite initial ambiguities and constraints, the EDMODO learning site as a platform for reflective practice showed positive results in that it allowed collaboration and dialogue to take place. Nevertheless, the facilitation of the reflection process requires further inquiry. The findings of the study suggest the need to establish a more systematic and structured approach when fostering critical reflection practices in a communal setting.


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Copyright (c) 2019 Shubashini Suppiah, Kean Wah Lee, Suyansah Swanto, Denis Andrew Lajium