Face to face and on-line reflection


Face to face and on-line reflection

Name educator: Alessio Surian

Name partner organisation: UNIPD


I invited students to make use of an on-line forum space to share a “learning log” and to explore reflection by students both on-line and face-to-face based on the learning log

So far I had not used such log space in a structured way, it was just one “loose” support tool. I proposed it to students as an explicit learning tool and kept track of strengths and weaknesses of this approach.


Aim of the testing project: To use a Moodle Forum to enhance reflection during a higher education course on transformative learning


Dates of the testing project: September-November 2015

Targey Group: Master Students

Number of participants: 40

Nationality of the participants: from all over the world

Sex of the participants: females­­­­­­­­­­__30____  men­­­_____10_

Age of the participants:___23___ to_____35_

Amount of meetings with learners:


A Number of

people reflecting:

  Solo (1 person)   Small group

(< 20 people)


X Large group

(> 20 people)


B The way(s) of sharing:
Verbal: X


Non-verbal:   Pictures /


X  Text   Em­bodied  sculpture


 Other forms of expression


Digital:   Padlet


  Social media   Digital diary


C Place of reflection (where) X  Indoors


X  Out of doors X  On-line


D The connection with principles:

Which principles are you taking into consideration, while organizing your reflection?






Raise awareness within learners to ‘own’ their learning in personally meaningful way

I encouraged students to keep track of what happened in class by volunteering (one by one) to post into a common Moodle Forum a daily log of what happened. Once I encouraged them (in small working group) to run activities for the rest of the classmates, I encouraged each working group to post the agenda/outline of what they did; and I encouraged all the students to use the Moodle Forum to post both comments and feed-back to the activities and how they were run as well as personal questions and contributions and process and on content issues.



Develop a relationship between educators and learners based on trust, openness, empathy, honesty, dialogue and feedback

I “warmed” the feed-back and reflection process in class by encouraging students to share in pairs and in circle their feelings and thoughts about the class activities. I tried to act as a facilitator and to create a “circular” communication without playing the role of the one who has the right answer, the final word or is there to judge.


Co-create the reflective process



Manage the steering paradox of intrinsic learning processes



Create the right reflective attention of learners



Slow down and value moments of not-knowing,


Deepen your questions progressively


Recall that reflection can never be imposed, only kindly invited.



Being careful how to asses reflection (or not at all)

I chose NOT to assess reflection to let it loose from any evaluation and teacher-learner dynamic.


Always consider reflection as a broad and deepening process, that should be holistic.


The steps taken to implement:



Your assessment of the outcome:



Worksheet 2

Learners’ feedback

Trainers name: Alessio Surian

  • Project name: Face to face and on-line reflection
  • Time frame: October-November 2015



If you look back to the course what moments were meaningful to you?

Yelena Kandalina: My research approach aims to question if the learning environment created by the professor at a higher education institution may stimulate the development of intercultural competence of the students. The employed method is the discourse analysis (Douglas A. Demo, 2001) of the professor’s speech in cooperative learning environment. The discourse analysis involves looking at both language form and functions, and includes the study of spoken interaction during the classes. It identifies linguistic features that aid in our interpretation and understanding of the professor’s speech while interacting with the students in cooperative learning context. The interaction patterns are investigated to see how these patterns promote or hinder opportunities for students for interaction and cooperative learning in multicultural group. This process allows studying teaching behavior––specifically, the frequency, distribution, and types of the professor’s remarks and their effect on students’ responses and behavior. The discourse analysis of the professor’s speech can also shed light on cross-cultural linguistic patterns that may be leading to communication difficulties or stimulation of students’ learning.

To analyze the speech of the professor the following tools have been employed: Textalyser, the Ant conc software, and visual representation of high frequency words in the professor’s speech has been done with www.wordclouds.com.

Textalyser is the online text analysis tool that provides the detailed statistics of the text: the analysis of words groups, finding out the keyword density, analysis the prominence of word or expressions.  The text is analyzed according to the following criteria:  the analysis of words groups, finding out the keyword density, analysis the prominence of word or expressions. (http://textalyser.net/)

AntConc is a freeware concordance program that includes seven tools that shows search results in KeyWord In Context format, search results plotted as a ‘barcode’ format, allow seeing the position where search results appear in target texts; shows the text of individual files. (http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software.html#antconc)


The analyzed text had been elaborated as the result of observation of 38 hours of teaching. The focus of the observer was the pedagogical aspect of the professor’s speech. Significant part of the professor’s speech in class representing explanation of the content itself of the course was consciously omitted, while the phrases used to address students, and to arrange them for work, to check their attention were picked out. Thus the text of 2758 words has been under our attention. The lecturing is vivid, emotional, factual and exciting. The pronoun “I” has the highest occurrence (110), it is used in two ways: the traditional one is similar to the given in the phrases above, and another way are rhetorical questions, in which the professor positions himself as one of students, thus encouraging the learners’ reflection an pondering over their learning. The manner of stimulating the students is tactful and careful, what is especially indispensable when working in the multicultural group with the message that “Learning is a change” that happens within the personality. The analyzed text is the professor’s speech to students, use of the pronoun ‘you’ (92) as well as what (30), how (28) demonstrates the appeal to the students, questioning them and can be considered logical in the classroom to administer the students, encourage their active participation. The manner of quesioning, use of “how” with the pronoun ‘we’  and ‘you’ in the professor’s speech unites him with the audience, demonstrates his sincere interest in the students’ opinion. At the same time the use of ‘want’ asserts the professor’s position in the classroom, as of the person making the final decision.


Why were they meaningful?

The idea of transformative learning penetrates into each aspect of the course and consequently in the professor’s speech. Observation of the classes help to interpret the linguistic data – during the course the students are the main actor in the classroom, ¾ of the class time the students learn though interaction, having a common goal they successfully perform the activities. The professor plays the role of an observer, a participant, a facilitator, and a resource. Much attention is given to evaluation of the activities and students’ reflection upon the activities; it explains the high frequency of the word ‘activity’. The collocates with this word include the following pattern: ‘adjective + activity’, (open, participatory, beautiful, fantastic, learning); verb (suggest, select, reflect on, prepare, participate in, organize, finish, like, exploit, debrief, check, evaluate)+’activity’

What was happening?

The most frequent words are demonstrated with Pict.1.







According to worldcloud the most frequent words are want (23), group (19), activity (21), things (12), people (15), can (15), know (11), level (9), important (14), the pronouns, articles and prepositions are not counted. The data is supported with AntConc


The keywords according to AntConc are activity 23,1%, group 20,9%, people 16,5%, important 15,4% learning 13,2% groups 11,0%. The key words are characteristic for educational context, and hint at the significance given by the professor to the learning process itself.

The feedback is provided by both – the professor and the students. The professor uses the questions to manage these aspects of the learning process. While ‘learning’ is not very frequent, its collocation patterns ‘adjective+ learning’ (experiential, cooperative) ‘verb + learning (underestimate, assign) function normatively, and is used for explanation. Cooperative learning supposes group learning, and high frequency of the words ‘group’, ‘groups’ is explicit for the context. While lecturing/explaining the professor keeps students’ attention and makes his ideas clear, precise and powerful to everyone with the use of metaphors, examples and real life stories. High frequency of the word ‘important’ draws attention to the issue the professor emphasizes, it serves a signal to remember things and ideas, the most frequent pattern is ‘noun/pronoun+ is+ important (acknowledgement, self-management, intercultural development, activity, something) The use of this adjective reveals the issues, which are valuable for the professor in teaching.  The professor’s speech represents pedagogical discourse in cooperative learning context; the non-verbal behaviour of the professor (extensive use of eye contact, gestures, and mimics) contributes to better understanding between the professor and the students. The professor tries to meet the learning needs of different students and prompts the ways of learning ideas for those, who would like to study more theory and to those who need more methodology, repertoire of activities. For this purpose he uses the following phrases, which are marked as frequent ‘the way we built our’, ‘I would like to’, ‘I want’, ‘is very important’.

The data derived from the analysis of the professor’s speech and observation of the classes let us conclude the following: no cross-cultural linguistic patterns that may be leading to communication difficulties are used in the classroom, the professor pays special attention to create clear communication and friendly environment that stimulate students’ learning. Both of these conditions meet the needs of intercultural and cooperative learning, and let us conclude that cooperative methods allow building the environment favorable for the development of intercultural competence