Components of Reflection: A Longitudinal Analysis of Study Abroad Student Blog Posts

  • Victor Savicki Western Oregon University
  • Michele V. Price Western Oregon University
Keywords: Reflection, Study abroad, Blog posts, longitudinal analysis

Abstract

Reflection supports actively transforming perspectives regarding study abroad experiences. The current study examines the "how" of reflection. Content of reflections is dictated by questions posed. The process of reflection is less prescribed yet revealing of paths to student understanding.  Students posted to a web log (blog) over six time periods during their study abroad sojourn. Five reflection components were identified and tracked via cognitively complex processes and emotional aspects of their writings as analyzed by linguistic inquiry computer software.  Changes in language usage revealed patterns of how students reflected. A precipitous drop in identifying distinctions between self and the host culture during immersion seemed to indicate an intense struggle attempting to make meaning of their experience. Also, findings highlighted markedly conflicted feelings both at pre-departure and upon reentry.  Linguistic analysis proved promising for both assessment and design of reflective prompts.

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Author Biographies

Victor Savicki, Western Oregon University

Victor Savicki, Professor of Psychology, Emeritus at Western Oregon University, has taught university students overseas eight times.  Twenty-eight of his peer-reviewed publications emphasize some aspect of culture, including the research-based book, "Burnout Across Thirteen Cultures"; the edited book "Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation"  and co-edited book "Assessing Study Abroad."  His entry in the Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence:  "Stress, Coping and Adjustment in Intercultural Competence" synthesizes his views on study abroad student development. 

Michele V. Price, Western Oregon University

Michele V. Price has 34 years of experience in higher education.  At Western Oregon University she served as director of study abroad from 1999-2013. participated in many site visits and evaluations; implemented photo-blogging and digital storytelling projects for the required study abroad capstone course, and established an ongoing research and assessment project of student reflective writing.  Post-retirement, she has continued research and assessment projects.

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Published
2017-11-16
How to Cite
Savicki, V., & Price, M. V. (2017). Components of Reflection: A Longitudinal Analysis of Study Abroad Student Blog Posts. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 29(2), 51-62. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v29i2.392