Using blogs to promote reflective dialogue in vocational education
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This paper investigates how blogs can be used to support reflective dialogue in vocational education and how such dialogue can be characterised. This paper claims that a dialogic approach, where reflection is conceived as a voice immersed in a social interaction dialogue, is necessary when using blogs. Based on literature review, this study defined key higher-order thinking skills that indicate the presence of reflective dialogue on students' blog contributions. The current study states that these thinking skills can shed some light on patterns of behaviour in order to engage vocational students in reflective dialogue. The thinking skills have been clustered in four dimensions or dialogues attending to their function among the bloggers interaction: caring, critical, regulatory and creative thinking skills. These thinking skills were embedded in a blog learning project, implemented in two real classrooms settings and evaluated in two studies. Our experimental data support the claim that blogs' affordances play a key role in reflective dialogue development.