The article waspublished by Langer. In the article he seeks to display how journal articlescan be used to challenge and persuade non-traditional students to thinkreflectively as well as addressing the differences between non-traditionalstudents and traditional students in their different approaches to learningstrategies. The purpose of the research study is to discover in the article “Howthe use of journals impacted the learning process of adult students in acomputer classroom.” Langer (2002) aims to generate and informs debates onissues related to adult learning and as well as to publicize research,frameworks and practices that can help the understanding about hownon-traditional students versus traditional students respond to the use ofJournals in professional education. In what follows, I will first describe andcomment on the research question and purpose, and then discuss the theoretical structure.I will later present a brief analysis on the review of the literature onlearning journals as used in higher education as proposed by the authors.Lastly, I will proceed with the discussion of the result an follow by themethodology, result, discovery and discussion.
The purpose of thearticle is clearly stated in the abstract. It aims to deepen professionalunderstanding on the use of learning journals as vehicles for encouragingcritical reflection among non-traditional students and to compare varianceswith studied among traditional students.” Parallel to the above purpose, thisarticle is also an opportunity to understand the relevance use of Journals inthe way non-traditional students perceive it and adapt to it. The article highlights the long and shortterm impact on the use of journals as vehicle of learning for adults students.It also highlights how the use of journal enhances their critical andanalytical thinking. The review of thetheoretical structure of the articles is very well structured. In other words,Langer (2002) presents a strong and critical review of the literature. Aparticular strength of his article is the use of comparable summaries.
An additional strength is the flow of thearticle, due in part to his choices of literature. He specifies the dimensionof the general question at the center of the research which the theoreticallight anticipates and the possible explanations by formulating a theoreticalframework favorable to the research. His review of literature ultimately comesdown to a content analysis. Within which the result found its theoreticalfoundations. Infact, Langer (2002) begins the literature review by establishing the importanceof literature review in the context of his study. What a clever way to begin a literaturereview! He also presents a majority of reflexive summations from other authorsaddressing similar studies.
Particularly useful for a general perspective, two researchstudies offer a framework how learning journals have been used: Harmerlink(1998) reported a link between learning journals and improved communication andlearning skills, findings presented by Selfe, et al. (1986) question on howlearning journals were valuable to mathematics students.” Respectively on howthe use of journals impact student cognition, Grumbacher (1987) found thatthrough the use of journal students were able to synthesize their knowledge andreflect upon its impact on their learning.” Without any question his literaturereview was outstanding. Langer(2002) methodological notes are intended to share his research procedures,practices, and methods. They are clearly stated in the opening of theparagraph.
In this perspective, a literature review was conducted on empiricalarticles and interviewing selected students was also conducted. Langer (2002)asserts, “Students were required to submit learning journals each weekreferencing the prior week’s lecture.” The second part of his methodology isthe interview of volunteered students. Inthis section, he describes the format of the interview and the process ofinterviewing the students.
“An Interview guide (Appendix I) was developed tofacilitate organization and consistency” (Langer, 2002). An important part ofevery research is to respect and abide by the ethical rules that govern theresearch. To proceed with the interview process, he required the volunteeredinterviewees to sign a consent form agreeing to the interview. By abiding bythe norms, rules and ethics of his research, Langer (2002) presents to hisreaders an outstanding result.
Indeed,he uses numerous sources and more than one methodology. A clear methodology that was easily pointedis ‘a review of learning journal.’Inthe results and finding Langer (2002) summarizes his finding in a clear andunderstandable form. All data related to his interviews have been reported, aswell as data gathered in the review of learning journals submitted by students.It is very important to note that he present his results in the form of adescription, not as an interpretation. He also presents a descriptivedemographic table portraying the participants (10 Students).
After the presentation of the results, Langer(2002) offers in clear details the implications of the results and points to”inextricability between reflective and affective dimensions in the process ofdeveloping critical reflection through the use of student journals.” However,one fact remains questionable. Reliability and validity of the research arealso important before we can definitively conclude the final quality of hisassessment. There is no doubt that his data collection instrument measure whathe needed to measure. However, one remaining concern is that there is no way toestablish the degree to which inferences and conclusions drawn from the datawere well-founded and justifiable. Inaddition, the results of this study may provide adult students with additionaltools as to how to handle and reflect on journal writing.
This research also offers to professors a newway to look at how adult students respond to journal reflection. In the case ofthis study, for example, one may wonder if too much credit is not given to thestudy. My statement is based on relevant cultural differences that can be evokein such a significant study.
Inconclusion, Langer (2002) raises the importance of considering how studentsreceive and perceive the journal writing assignment in order to determine theirvalue as a tool for developing critical reflection. It is also very important to admit, given thevarious literature used in the study to include those opposed, Langer (2002)met his purpose. The new challenge helaunches at the very end of the conclusion is, “New areas of study in order toexpand the scope of the study groups.”