Reflection in Learning to Write an Academic Text.

How Does Reflection Affect Observational Learning and Learning-by-Doing in a Research Synthesis Task?

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Abstract

In this study, we focused on the effect of reflection on different instructional methods, comparing observational learning and learning by doing, in the context of an academic writing task. Our goal was to investigate how reflection and instructional method affect academic writing performance, self-efficacy beliefs and students' satisfaction with the learning activities. In a quasi-experiment, 111 undergraduate students were assigned to either an observational learning or learning-by-doing condition, with or without reflection. In the observational learning condition students learned by observing a weak and strong model's writing processes. In the learning-by-doing condition they learned by performing writing tasks. Half of the students reflected on either the models' or their own performance. In our study, reflection did not affect academic writing performance and self-efficacy beliefs, and neither did instructional method. Both reflection and instructional method did influence students' satisfaction with the learning activities. Students preferred learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting. From this study, we can conclude that in academic synthesis writing the interplay between reflection, observational learning and learning by doing is not evident yet: students seem to perform equally well in all conditions, even though they prefer learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Education
Volume4
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2019

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learning
student
self-efficacy
performance
learning prerequisite
experiment

Keywords

  • reflection
  • observational learning
  • academic writing

Cite this

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title = "Reflection in Learning to Write an Academic Text.: How Does Reflection Affect Observational Learning and Learning-by-Doing in a Research Synthesis Task?",
abstract = "In this study, we focused on the effect of reflection on different instructional methods, comparing observational learning and learning by doing, in the context of an academic writing task. Our goal was to investigate how reflection and instructional method affect academic writing performance, self-efficacy beliefs and students' satisfaction with the learning activities. In a quasi-experiment, 111 undergraduate students were assigned to either an observational learning or learning-by-doing condition, with or without reflection. In the observational learning condition students learned by observing a weak and strong model's writing processes. In the learning-by-doing condition they learned by performing writing tasks. Half of the students reflected on either the models' or their own performance. In our study, reflection did not affect academic writing performance and self-efficacy beliefs, and neither did instructional method. Both reflection and instructional method did influence students' satisfaction with the learning activities. Students preferred learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting. From this study, we can conclude that in academic synthesis writing the interplay between reflection, observational learning and learning by doing is not evident yet: students seem to perform equally well in all conditions, even though they prefer learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting.",
keywords = "reflection, observational learning, academic writing",
author = "{van der Loo}, Janneke and Emiel Krahmer and {van Amelsvoort}, Marije",
year = "2019",
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AU - van der Loo, Janneke

AU - Krahmer, Emiel

AU - van Amelsvoort, Marije

PY - 2019/3/26

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N2 - In this study, we focused on the effect of reflection on different instructional methods, comparing observational learning and learning by doing, in the context of an academic writing task. Our goal was to investigate how reflection and instructional method affect academic writing performance, self-efficacy beliefs and students' satisfaction with the learning activities. In a quasi-experiment, 111 undergraduate students were assigned to either an observational learning or learning-by-doing condition, with or without reflection. In the observational learning condition students learned by observing a weak and strong model's writing processes. In the learning-by-doing condition they learned by performing writing tasks. Half of the students reflected on either the models' or their own performance. In our study, reflection did not affect academic writing performance and self-efficacy beliefs, and neither did instructional method. Both reflection and instructional method did influence students' satisfaction with the learning activities. Students preferred learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting. From this study, we can conclude that in academic synthesis writing the interplay between reflection, observational learning and learning by doing is not evident yet: students seem to perform equally well in all conditions, even though they prefer learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting.

AB - In this study, we focused on the effect of reflection on different instructional methods, comparing observational learning and learning by doing, in the context of an academic writing task. Our goal was to investigate how reflection and instructional method affect academic writing performance, self-efficacy beliefs and students' satisfaction with the learning activities. In a quasi-experiment, 111 undergraduate students were assigned to either an observational learning or learning-by-doing condition, with or without reflection. In the observational learning condition students learned by observing a weak and strong model's writing processes. In the learning-by-doing condition they learned by performing writing tasks. Half of the students reflected on either the models' or their own performance. In our study, reflection did not affect academic writing performance and self-efficacy beliefs, and neither did instructional method. Both reflection and instructional method did influence students' satisfaction with the learning activities. Students preferred learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting. From this study, we can conclude that in academic synthesis writing the interplay between reflection, observational learning and learning by doing is not evident yet: students seem to perform equally well in all conditions, even though they prefer learning by doing over observational learning, and reflecting over not reflecting.

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KW - observational learning

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