Using shared online blogs to structure and support informal coach learning—part 1: a tool to promote reflection and communities of practice

John Stoszkowski*, Dave Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Coaches' apparent preferences for informal and self-directed modes of learning have been highlighted in the literature. Consequently, there is a need for innovative coach education approaches that complement these clearly preferred, informal routes and better provide coaches with the professional skills they need to deal with the complex nature of their work. Online blogs are one such tool said to have the potential to strengthen and promote critical thinking and reflection on professional practice; however, research evidence and theoretical frameworks for their use is inconclusive and currently lacking. Therefore, the purpose of part 1 of this two-part investigation was to explore the use of shared online blogs as a tool to promote reflection and community of practice (CoP) in a cohort of 24 undergraduate sports coaching students (5 females, 19 males). Four group blogs, purposely designed to support informal workplace learning, were subjected to content analysis in order to determine the emergent reflective quality of blog entries and the extent to which functioning online CoPs emerged. Findings revealed that shared blogs were a useful tool to promote higher order reflective thinking, and fully functioning online CoPs emerged in all four groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-270
Number of pages24
JournalSport, Education and Society
Volume22
Issue number2
Early online date6 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Coach development
  • Coach education
  • Coach learning
  • Communities of practice
  • Online
  • Reflective practice

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