Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Julia Aucoin

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: Journal writing is often used to gauge student skills and knowledge. There is disagreement as to whether journals should be graded because students may embellish experiences or write what the instructor wants to read. If students are not engaged in honest reflection, the benefit of reflective practice is reduced. Purpose: The purpose of this correlational non-experimental study was to examine if a relationship exists between the grading of reflective journals and student honesty in reflective journal writing. Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework for this study was based on Schӧn’s reflective practice theory. This theoretical framework is suitable as students participate in reflective journal writing learning from experience and response to the situation, scaffolding on previous knowledge with the application of new knowledge. Methods: The correlational, non-experimental study was conducted at five Midwestern U.S. pre-licensure nursing programs. Data were collected using an anonymous survey. The non-probability sampling technique was used to examine the existence of a relationship between the grading of reflective journals and student honesty in reflective journal writing. Results: Findings indicated that a significant relationship exists between the grading of reflective journals and student honesty. The relationship between reflective journal writing and embellishment was negative and non-significant. Conclusions: This study revealed that a relationship exists between graded reflective journals and study honesty in reflective journal writing. Nurse educators and policy makers need to assess the process of reflection which involves critical thinking and problem-solving instead of grading the written component; possibly, changing to a complete/incomplete grade.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Health and environmental sciences, Education, Grading, Honesty, Journal writing, Reflection, Reflective practice



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