Original Research

Reflective journals in service learning: a window into assessing learning and change in students' attitudes

R W Joubert, A T Hargreaves
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 5, No 2 | a139 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v5i2.139 | © 2009 R W Joubert, A T Hargreaves | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 March 2016 | Published: 04 April 2009

About the author(s)

R W Joubert, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
A T Hargreaves, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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As part of the curriculum for Community Based Rehabilitation, final year students from the School of Audiology, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology are involved in service learning projects in a semi rural area in KwaZulu-Natal. The project runs one day a week from February to October and at the end of each day students submit a journal in which they reflect on each days activities and their learning experiences. The researchers used these journals as a source of data for determining learning and attitude change in students over the entire period of the practical. Method : 12 journals were randomly selected from over a period of 5 years and including students from all three disciplines. Content analysis was done to determine changing learning and attitudinal patterns over the 7 month period of the practical. The results revealed a rich pattern of emotional experiences coupled with positive attitudinal change and suggest a valuable source of evaluating learning progress in students.


Service Learning; reflective journals, community based rehabilitation


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