Towards high-quality reflective learning amongst law undergraduate students: analysing students’ reflective journals during a problem-based learning course
Área/s de conocimientoCiencias de la Educación
There is wide agreement that problem-based learning is a key strategy to promote individual abilities for ‘learning how to learn’. This paper presents the main contributions that reflective journals and the problem-based learning approach can make to foster professional knowledge and quality learning in higher education. Thirty-six reflective journals and semi-structured interviews conducted with law undergraduate students participating in a problem-based learning course are analysed. The findings from this case study suggest that problem-based learning contributes to: improve professionalisation of vocational studies; develop general skills such as communication and teamwork; bridge the gap between theory and practice; and foster self-regulation and autonomous learning amongst students. Reflective journals, peers’ cooperation and collaboration and the supportive role of educators are fundamental aspects of problem-based learning, which empower students in their own learning. Reflection nurtures the quality of learning and needs to be considered as an applicable learning strategy for professional and non-professional disciplines in higher education.