The added value of autobiographical reflexivity with persuasive technology for professional identities of Social Work students: a randomized controlled trial

Monique M.J. Engelbertink*, Saskia M. Kelders, Kariene M. Woudt-Mittendorff, Gerben J. Westerhof

*Corresponding author for this work

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The added value of autobiographical reflexivity and persuasive technology (PT) compared to critical reflection was examined in a blended learning course. The main outcome measure was achieving a professional identity (PI). A Randomized Control Trial (RCT) was carried out with three measurement points (baseline, post-course, follow-up) and had three conditions: critical reflection; critical reflection and autobiographical reflexivity; critical reflection and autobiographical reflexivity integrated with PT. The study examined effectiveness (questionnaires, reflection reports), evaluations (focus groups) and persuasiveness (questionnaires) amongst 187 Dutch Bachelor Social Work students. There were no significant interaction effects between time and condition, however participants in all conditions improved significantly over time in their PI, choice certainty, social well-being and were stable in learning motivation, career reflection, drop-out threat, reminiscence, internal locus of control, emotional well-being and psychological well-being. Analysis of the reflection level through reflection reports showed no differences (critical reflection versus critical reflection combined with autobiographical reflexivity). The autobiographical reflexivity conditions showed more affective and cognitive involvement than critical reflection alone. The use of PT did not seem to have any effect. Autobiographical reflexivity combined with critical reflection appeared to be an equivalent option that participants appreciated more than solely critical reflection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-786
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number5
Early online date22 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2022


  • UT-Hybrid-D

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