Using Self-assessed Online Discussion to Stimulate Reflection on Mathematics Education by Pre-service Teachers

By Jennifer Way.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The contemporary teacher is expected to be a self-regulated learner, constantly reflecting on their own professional practice to improve the quality of their teaching. The educators in pre-service teacher education courses hold substantial responsibility for developing the necessary critical reflection skills in pre-service teachers. However, this is a complex and challenging task, requiring innovative and well-considered strategies. This paper reports on the use of a combination of prompted written reflection, online discussion and self-assessment as a vehicle for enhancing learning in an undergraduate primary mathematics education subject at an Australian university. At the end of semester, 71 students completed a questionnaire of their perceptions of the influence of various components of the experience on their learning. Their online reflections were analyzed to determine themes and levels of reflection. The students clearly valued the online discussions with their peers and about 25% engaged in high quality reflection on a range of substantial issues. The combination of readings, online reflections and self-assessment was shown to be a worthwhile accompaniment to face-to-face classes, though several aspects warrant further investigation.

Keywords: Pre-service Teacher Education, Reflection, Online Discussion, Self-assessment

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.61-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 827.250KB).

Dr. Jennifer Way

Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Jennifer Way researches and teaches in the field of primary mathematics education. Particular interests include the design of digital resources together with the pedagogy associated with their educational use. Current funded research projects focus on the professional learning of teachers through developing pedagogical content knowledge along with understanding the motivation and engagement of their students.