Perception of feedback and reflective writing among Malaysian engineering students during an internship programme
Reflection is deemed as a powerful learning tool that could enhance lifelong learning and promote problem-solving skills among students. Despite the known benefits of reflection in education and professional practice, it is still uncommon in engineering curricular thus hindering the opportunity for engineering students to engage with the practice. This study aims to examine the understanding of reflective writing and the importance of feedback from the perspectives of post-internship engineering students and instructors. Semi-structured interviews had been conducted among the Head of Departments of Electronic Engineering Programme at a local technical education institution to gain insights on the institute’s internship programme and how feedback facilitate reflectivity among engineering students. Thematic analysis had been conducted, and emerging themes from the interview were triangulated with the primary data from a survey among post-internship engineering students to understand the general perception of the receipt of feedback and its influence on students’ reflectivity. The findings indicate that the feedback given by the employers throughout the training helps stimulate reflective writing. The opportunities and challenges of reflective writing from the perspectives of both instructors and students are also discussed. As a conclusion, in the absence of opportunity of formal training of reflective writing in the current engineering curricular, feedback is one of the ways that could facilitate the development of reflectivity among engineering students.