McClendon & Jacobs

Use of Reflective Practice in Teaching Two Online Doctoral Research Courses

Cristie McClendon, Grand Canyon University
Jodee Jacobs, Grand Canyon University


The purpose of this article was to explore the use of reflective practice in teaching in two online doctoral research courses. Gibbs’ (1988) model was used as a framework for reflection. The steps from this model are centered on description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusions, and action plans to enrich one’s practice. Two faculty members collaborated to discuss concerns related to doctoral learners’ struggles with being able to identify and evaluate key components of research studies. Results from reflections indicated the faculty identified that students held some responsibility for self-direction and completing their assignments. However, faculty identified that three areas could be improved upon in future courses. Assignment instructions need to be further clarified. Scaffolding strategies such as classroom assessment techniques, exemplar papers, Zoom conferences, and clarifying questions are necessary to facilitate student success. Finally, more focused feedback specific to the assignments for students to use on future work is necessary. Recommendations for future research include a study of learners’ perspectives of how they use feedback to learn how to identify research study components, chow use of classroom assessment techniques can be used to scaffold instruction in online courses where the materials are preloaded, and differences between individual and team reflective practices.

Keywords: Reflective practice, Gibbs Model, Feedback, Scaffolding, Assignments

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