Reflection in portfolios and motivation for composing a portfolio
Bruin, H.L. de
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Objective. Purposes of this study were to find out amount and level of reflection in students’ portfolios, their motivation for composing a portfolio, and the relationship between motivation and reflection. Methods. Participants were 156 fourth-grade pre-university students, whose motivation for composing a portfolio was measured by the motivation part of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich, et al., 1993). Portfolios of 37 of the 156 students were examined on reflection occurrence. These portfolios were directed to fostering reflection in pre-university students during their development of cross-curricular research skills. The levels of students’ reflection in the portfolios were measured by means of a coding scheme based on Mezirow’s model of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1910; Wallman et al., 2008). Results. 19.5% of the portfolio paragraphs contained reflection, but reflection occurred more at surface than at deeper levels. Motivation for composing a portfolio ranged on average from undecided to somewhat at the motivational scales. Analysis of covariance did not show any relationship between the measured reflection in the portfolios and motivation results from the questionnaire. Conclusion. It was concluded that the portfolios contained one-fifth reflection, but the weak motivation for composing a portfolio did not influence the reflection amount or level.