Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: Strampel, K. E., & Oliver, R. G. (2008). We've Thrown Away The Pens, But Are They Learning? Using Blogs In Higher Education. Proceedings of ASCILITE. (pp. 992-1001). Melbourne. ASCILITE. Available here


In today’s university classrooms, “the time of restricting students products and learning opportunities to ink on paper are past” (Siegle, 2007). Blogs are only one of many computer-mediated technologies starting to dominate blended and wholly online courses. Most people assume that using these technologies, because it is what the students want, will translate into increased learning opportunities. As the literature continuously asserts, however, learning, and especially reflection, does not just happen (Boud, Keogh, & Walker, 1985). It seems imperative, therefore, that extra measures are taken when any technology is being implemented in a university classroom to ensure high levels of reflection and cognitive processing are being fostered. Studies must be conducted to understand how blogs can be used to help students engage in reflection, at all levels: Stimulated Reflection, Descriptive Reflection, Dialogic Reflection and, the highest, Critical Reflection. This study explored the use of blogs in a tertiary setting to learn how the tool was used, and could be better used, to foster reflection and higher-order thinking. This paper focuses on how blogs were used as one element of a learning activity in an Accounting unit in an Australian university to promote reflection. We provide an analysis of the learning environment set by the instructor, including the learning task, learning resources, and learning supports, student perceptions of the value of the task, and an examination of students’ blogs. Finally, we discuss the outcomes of the blogs in terms of levels of reflection being accomplished.

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