Reflective Journaling: Using a Blog with Undergraduate Senior Practicum Nursing Students

Thursday, 24 July 2014: 3:55 PM

Indra Hershorin, PhD, RN, CNE
Division of Nursing, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL

Blogs (web logs) are a phenomenon of the Internet. Web-based technology such as a blog supports collaborative learning that enrich learning performance both for individual knowledge construction and group knowledge sharing (Yang, 2009). Blogs afford students the opportunity to share their ideas and to provide each other with feedback. The advancement of technologies has created new opportunities for learning, teaching, and assessment in nursing and blogs can be a useful means for nurse educators to communicate with students and facilitating effective group collaboration in clinical.

Thirteen (13) undergraduate nursing students in their senior practicum clinical rotation were invited to participate in a blog created on the Blackboard course management system. Each week students were required to write their personal learning objectives, to critique the objectives, and to reflect on their learning.  The instructor read the blogs each week and provided feedback to students. The blogging activity was conducted over four weeks with students and an end-of-semester questionnaire was given.

Result of the questionnaire survey showed that the students unanimously preferred the weekly online blog versus completing the written assignment at the end of the rotation. All students (100%) felt that the blog served as a tool to communicate with the instructor and to keep connected with their peers. In addition, the students commented that the blog was quick and easy, it help saved time, allowed them to share their clinical experiences with their peers, and receive weekly feedback from the instructor.

 The opportunity to instantly publish on the web encouraged student participation, provided them with a chance to read the thoughts authored by their peers, and to interact with the instructor. Blogs can be a useful tool for nurse educators to establish a nurturing communication space that enhances students’ reflection of their clinical learning.