Using Reflective Online Diaries to Enhance Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Online Apprenticeships

Doherty, Aine (2021) Using Reflective Online Diaries to Enhance Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Online Apprenticeships. Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 6 (1).


This paper explored the use of reflective online diaries to enhance teaching, learning and assessment in the context of an apprenticeship programme delivered online. An action research mixed methodology was employed; including qualitative reflective practice and a quantitative survey of students enrolled on a sales module over four academic years. Quantitative data analysis included Spearman Rank-Order Correlations, Exploratory Factor Analysis and Path Analysis using IBM AMOS v25 and explored the relationship between each student cohort and other key factors including assessment value, manageability, frequency, student enhancement and module satisfaction.

The outcome is a conceptualisation of a student enhancement and module satisfaction process, in a tested framework model. The findings indicate student enhancement’s crucial role in predicting student satisfaction with the module; the more an apprentice learner perceives a reflective assessment activity will inform different areas of their overall learning, the more likely they are to be satisfied with the module. The use of reflective online diaries also demonstrates their role in overcoming challenges associated with online teaching and learning. The benefits of critical reflective practice for educators are also reinforced, where the outcome can lead to an enhancement in teaching, learning and assessment.

This research significantly adds to growing evidence that ePortfolio based learning has potential to support many higher education objectives connected to achievement of knowledge, skills, and competence by third level learners. The implications advocate for higher education institutions to create opportunities for educators to test new assessment methods, strategies, and tactics.

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