Designing Reflective Practice in the Context of OER-based e-Learning


  • Shironica Priyanthi Karunanayaka The Open University of Sri Lanka
  • Som Naidu The University of the South Pacific
  • J.C.N. Rajendra The Open University of Sri Lanka
  • H. U. W. Ratnayake The Open University of Sri Lanka



Reflective Practice, OER-based e-Learning, Scenario-based Learning, Open Educational Resources, Open Educational Practices


Much is said about the importance of reflective practice especially in the professions. Yet much of what happens as part of reflective practice in the professions such as teaching is most of the time left to chance. Reflective practice allows practitioners to see the link between theory and practice by thoughtfully considering their own experiences, and applying knowledge to practice. In this paper we argue that for reflective practice to be meaningful and useful to professionals, it should be carefully designed with appropriate structure and guidance. We discuss how this was achieved by being pro-active about promoting and nurturing reflective practice within the context of a professional development program with Sri Lankan educators on OER (Open Educational Resources)-based e-Learning, and how it supported fostering Open Educational Practices (OEP). The OER-integrated online learning experience was designed with various strategies adopted to enhance reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ action, within a situated learning pedagogical design – Scenariobased learning (SBL). Content analysis of the qualitative data mainly gathered through participants’ self-reflections, supplemented with course team members’ reflections, focus group interviews and the open-ended questions in questionnaire surveys, revealed that a scenario-based approach to learning incorporating authentic learning activities and assessment tasks, such as concept mapping, online discussions, reflective journal writing, and rubric-based feedback on assessment tasks, all helped scaffold participants' approach to reflective practice. Results show that these strategies that were adopted enhanced their critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative learning as well as self-esteem, also indicating a shift towards OEP. We conclude that careful design of the learning experiences is critical in promoting and supporting reflective practice among educators, and the use of such strategies in the design of OER-based e-Learning.

Author Biographies

Shironica Priyanthi Karunanayaka, The Open University of Sri Lanka

Shironica P. Karunanayaka is a Professor in Educational Technology at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL). She has been serving at OUSL since 1993, and is former Dean of the Faculty of Education and former Head of the Department of Secondary and Tertiary Education. Her professional expertise and research interests are in the areas of Open and Distance Learning, e-Learning, Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices.

Som Naidu, The University of the South Pacific

Professor Som Naidu is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor Flexible Learning, and Director of the Centre for Flexible Learning at the University of the South Pacific. Professor Naidu has spent most of his professional life in the higher education sector in a variety of roles to do with enhancing learning and teaching practices in open, flexible, distance, online learning and elearning, as well as education more generally in various jurisdictions and contexts ranging from those in developing and developed contexts.

J.C.N. Rajendra, The Open University of Sri Lanka

J. C. N. Rajendra is a Professor in Physics at the Open University of Sri Lanka and has a distinguished academic career spanning more than three decades. In addition to his own research in physics, he has spent substantial amount of his professional life in enhancing teaching and learning practices in Physics education and in research leading to challenges focused on Science Education, especially in an ODL environment.

H. U. W. Ratnayake, The Open University of Sri Lanka

H. U. W. Ratnayake is a senior lecturer and currently the Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Open University of Sri Lanka. Her main research area is artificial intelligence. She spends most of her time to enhance teaching and learning 'software engineering' for undergraduates in ODL mode.


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How to Cite

Karunanayaka, S. P., Naidu, S., Rajendra, J., & Ratnayake, H. U. W. (2017). Designing Reflective Practice in the Context of OER-based e-Learning. Journal of Learning for Development, 4(2).



Research Articles