Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 43–62 | Cite as

Designing technology to support reflection

  • Xiaodong Lin
  • Cindy Hmelo
  • Charles K. Kinzer
  • Teresa J. Secules


Technology can play a powerful role in supporting student reflection. Sociocognitive theories provide a conceptual framework that we use to consider systems that afford reflective thinking. Reflective thinking involves actively monitoring, evaluating, and modifying one's thinking and comparing it to both expert models and peers. This requires a combination of both individual and collaborative reflection. These theoretical frameworks suggest four ways that technology can provide powerful scaffolding for reflection: (a) process displays, (b) process prompts, (c) process models, and (d) a forum for reflective social discourse. Each approach is presented with specific examples illustrating its design features. We argue that a systems approach that combines these different scaffolding techniques may be even more powerful. Modern technologies can provide students with rich resources for reflection and help students develop adaptive learning expertise through reflective practice. We conclude with a discussion of design issues that should be considered in the future.


Reflection Educational Technology Designing Technology Design Feature Modern Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaodong Lin
    • 1
  • Cindy Hmelo
    • 2
  • Charles K. Kinzer
    • 3
  • Teresa J. Secules
    • 4
  1. 1.the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Learning Technology Center, Peabody CollegeVanderbilt UniversityNashville
  2. 2.the Department of Educational Psychology at the Graduate School of EducationRutgers UniversityNew Brunswick
  3. 3.the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Learning Technology CenterPeabody CollegeUSA
  4. 4.the Learning Technology CenterPeabody CollegeUSA

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