Unearthing learners’ conceptions of reflection to innovate business education for the 21st century

Bethany Alden Rivers, John T E Richardson, P Daly (Editor), K Reid (Editor), E Doyle (Editor), P Buckley (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


The development of learners’ capacities for critical reflection is an important learning outcome for 21st century business education. Theories suggest that a learner holds a particular orientation to reflection, and that this perspective will be influenced by his or her underlying beliefs. This, coupled with an increased focus on the student experience, personal development, and self-regulation in higher education, offers scope for considering instructional design from a second-order perspective, or in other words, from the student’s point of view. This study sought to understand: 1) the ways that business students orientate to reflection, 2) the different conceptions they hold of reflection, and 3) whether there is a relationship between the two. Reflective learning questionnaires were completed by 112 business students studying at the University of Northampton. Survey results showed that while the research instrument was a good fit for investigating orientations to and conceptions of reflection, there did not appear to be a correlation between the two. Learning analytics such as these will be useful for considering how the University can design more meaningful business curricula. However, the disconnect between conceptions of and orientations to reflection needs to be explored through further research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st EDINEB Conference Innovative Business Education Design for 21st Century Learning
Place of PublicationIreland
PublisherUniversity of Limerick
ISBN (Print)9781905952540
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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