What Is Reflective Journal In Education?
Reflective journals are personal records of students’ learning experiences. Students typically are asked by their instructors to record learning-related incidents, sometimes during the learning process but more often just after they occur. Entries in journals and learning logs can be prompted by questions about course content, assignments, exams, students’ own ideas or students’ thought processes about what happened in a particular class period.
Journals and learning logs are then submitted to the instructor for feedback. Both paper-based and online journals or logs can be turned in before or after each class period or at any other designated time. A student’s writing style for journals and logs can be informal and sometimes inappropriate. However, to help students learn more about a particular subject or content, you can require students to write more formal entries using correct terminology, facts, and connections to course content.
Consider providing guidelines and/or rules to help students write meaningful and authentic journals or logs. Journals have long been used in exploratory writing activities but also can benefit the student beyond learning how to write. As with any instructional or learning activity, selecting to use reflective journals or learning logs as part of a course should fit your teaching style and also connect with the course learning goals and objectives (Bean, 1996).
- Because it takes time for students to write in their reflective journals or learning logs, so too, it will take time for you to read and respond.
- Journals have long been used in exploratory writing activities but also can benefit the student beyond learning how to write.
- The literature is not consistent in defining the differences between reflective journals and learning logs.
One may be considered less personal than the other; one might incorporate more instructor prompts and questions while the other might be more student-driven. “Journals often focus subjectively on personal experiences, reactions, and reflections while learning logs are more documentary records of students’ work process (what they are doing), their accomplishments, ideas, or questions” (Equipped for the Future, 2004).
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- 1 What is the purpose of a reflective journal?
- 2 What is the importance of reflective journal for a student?
- 3 Why reflective journal is important for a teacher?
- 4 What are the characteristics of reflective journal?
- 5 What is the difference between journal and reflective journal?
- 6 What is the key point of reflective writing?
What is the purpose of a reflective journal?
What is a reflective journal?
**guidance from IATL module handbook**REFLECTIVE JOURNALS What is a reflective journal?
A reflective journal is an account of your work in progress, but more essentially an opportunity for reflection on the learning experience. It should provide you with a means of engaging critically and analytically with module content. What does a reflective journal look like? There is no right or wrong way of presenting your journal, as this should take account of personal experience, preferred learning style and your independent research focus.
Some journals are electronic (more like video or written blogs), and some take a diary form with visual & written material cut and pasted (literally) into ‘scrapbooks’. You should however: Write in the first person. Be mindful that this journal is a public document and therefore it is important to consider the reader as you write.
They were not with you on this learning journey so some context is important. Content is more important than presentation. Process & immediacy are the key words. Your journal will be enhanced by evidence of: Progression through a learning journey. Evaluation of new approaches experienced in the period of independent study.
Teasing out assumptions underpinning practice. Critical evaluation of your own practice. Analysis of key or ‘critical’ moments from independent study, whether positive or negative, and what was learnt from them.Sensitivity to relationships with other members of the group. Taking a position and making an argument from your learning experience.
Relevant reading. New understandings made from: reading, planning and or delivery, collaborative activities, the exam, the viva, and the questioning of previous assumptions. How will your reflective journal be assessed? Ask yourself is there evidence of: Effective organisation and presentation of material and or evidence.
- Academic reading used in a relevant way to inform, support and or shape your reflections.
- Critical engagement with, rather than description of, the creation of your ideas, or of the term’s work; your own process; and the process of others.
- Evaluation of the limitations/potential of the work undertaken.Immediacy – did you reflect every time you met for discussions/rehearsals; or after each seminar?The 17-point scale criteria will broadly apply.
A very good journal will be analytical rather than descriptive; selective rather than comprehensive; based in evidence and references to wider reading; critical and cautious in the claims made; personal but not rhetorical. : What is a reflective journal?
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What is the importance of reflective journal for a student?
Reflective journals are used in the literature to promote students’ learning, develop writing skills, assess students’ reflection level, promote teachers’ professional development, and gather research data.
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What is reflective journal example?
5 Reasons To Write a Reflective Journal – Reflective journals are most often used to record detailed descriptions of certain aspects of an event or thought. For example, who was there, what was the purpose of the event, what do you think about it, how does it make you feel, etc.
- To make sense of things that happened. What you write should sound as if you are describing the details to someone who wasn’t there. Be as descriptive as possible. Just the act of writing down the details of what happened may give you perspective that you may not have otherwise considered had you just continued to think about it.
- To speculate as to why something is the way it is. Your views can come from your own common sense, or from something you have heard at a lecture or read in a book. Either way, speculating why something is the way it is can be a very useful exercise in reasoning.
- To align future actions with your reflected values and experiences. After positing your interpretation, continue to observe the subject of your speculation to decide whether you want to stick to your original views, or make changes. That is one of the great things about an online journal-you can make changes to your entries at any time.
- To get thoughts and ideas out of your head. Writing down your thoughts can help relieve pressure or help resolve problems. It will also help you focus the task at hand.
- To share your thoughts and ideas with others. Getting opinions from others about what you wrote can help you clarify your feelings for a deeper understanding of yourself.
What are the advantages of reflective journal?
Types of Assessment Methods – Reflective Journal
- What is Reflective Journal?
- Structure of Reflective Journal
- Advantages of Reflective Journal
- Disadvantages of Reflective Journal
- How to design a good Reflective Journal Assessment?
- Marking Rubrics
- Web References and Resources
What is Reflective Journal? A reflective journal is a means of recording ideas, personal thoughts and experiences, as well as reflections and insights a student have in the learning process of a course. In addition to the demands of a typical written assignment (e.g.
able to give definition on concepts, demonstrate basic understanding of course materials), reflective journal requires the students to think more deeply, to challenge their old ideas with new incoming information, to synthesize the course materials they have learnt into their personal thoughts and philosophy, and also to integrate it into their daily experiences and future actions.
The benefits of the reflective learning process are usually accumulated over a period of time, in which the students usually show a series of developmental changes, personal growth and changes in perspectives during the process. Structure of Reflective Journal Basically, there are two standard forms of reflective journals: (From Using Journals to Promote Reflective Thought, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Park University )
- Structured journals: students are given a specific question, target, or set of guidelines to base their writings on
- Unstructured journals/free-form journals: students are required to record thoughts and feeling with minimal direction
However, both structured journals and unstructured journals are expected to get through some of the following aspects:
- To discuss or argue a journal paper/report/an issue from a private standpoint or from various perspectives
- To synthesize or analyze some materials or resources for building up an argument
- To compare and contrast a particular issue with prior or new knowledge
- To generate questions and think deeply as a result of perception of the resources
- To describe personal experiences and integrate them into the issues in concern
- To express freely for or against the specific questions given by teachers
- To develop the ability and critical attitude to integrate learning into real-world experiences
Although reflective journals are often presented in a written format, they are not necessarily written. Some reflective journals can be tape-recorded or presented online. The presentation format of reflective journals is flexible. It is suggested to be applicable to a broad range of disciplines.
|Take Time to Set
|Take Time to Answer
|Take Time to Correct
|Take Time to provide Feedback
|Suitable for Large Class
|Can substitute with Computers
|Process Oriented Method
|Product Oriented Method
|P = Possibly Y =Yes
Advantages of Reflective Journal
- Active learning – The process of reflection encourages the students to take the initiative to be active, self-driven; allows individual learner to explore concepts and ideas in relation to their thoughts and feelings from different perspectives. Students can become independent thinkers through the practice and to enable themselves to solve various problems on their own.
- Understanding the progress of students – Reflective journals provide good opportunities for teachers to gain better understanding about how the students think and feel about the course, and the learning progress of the students throughout the course, which will eventually enhance the students’ learning process.
- Improving writing skills – Writing reflective journals can involve students in a new form of writing which they may not have a chance to experience in the past. This exposure can bring out improvement in students’ writing skills.
- Freely expressing personal views and criticizing of one-self – Reflective journal assignments provide the platform for students to freely express what they think and feel about the course and their learning process, and also promote their expression of ideas, personal experiences and opinions. This is an ideal place for students who are generally not willing to speak up in the classes and tutorials to express themselves.
- Enhance critical thinking and creativity – The process of self-reflection enhances the development of critical thinking skills among students when they relate their knowledge to real world issues. It It can help students develop their creativity and a questioning attitude towards different issues and problems.
Disadvantages of Reflective Journal
- Difficult for objective marking – Due to the subjective nature of reflective assignments, it is rather difficult for assessors to be objective and have consistent grading. Different assessors when marking may have quite a large discrepancy in their judgment of different types of work.
- Time consuming for grading – The context of reflective writing can often be very wide, and involves a wide range of concepts, issues, and perspectives. As a result, it often takes considerable amount of time for assessors to read and grade students’ works.
- Confidentiality – As students have to disclose their personal and private views and information in their reflection, some of them may be unwilling to honestly disclose their real perspectives. They may be concerned that what they wrote will significantly affect the grade they receive.
- Clear guidelines needed – Many students may not be familiar with the procedure of writing reflective assignments and may feel very lost when working on it for the first time. Teachers have to give clear guidelines to students about what should be included in the reflective journals, what can be learnt from writing it, as well as how they will be graded.
How to design a good Reflective Journal Assessment?
- Consider the types of reflective journals that fit your course (if students are inexperienced with reflective journals, the structured form would be more ‘student-friendly’ because specific questions and guidelines are available)
- Make sure there are clear ideas about expectations and assessment criteria given to the students. (e.g. What can students put in their journals? What is the definition of ‘reflection’? What is the approximate length for each journal entry?)
- Try to make students understand the purpose and benefits of reflective journals at the very beginning
- Make sure that teachers have explained and discussed the policies concerning privacy and confidentiality of information with students
- Decide the regularity of journal entry (e.g. weekly, monthly)
- Provide timely feedback to students
|Reflections: Ability to integrate learning into real-world experiences and analyze issues with a critical attitude
|Ability to proficiently demonstrate reflection and deep thinking of acquired knowledge and concepts, and integrate them into different issues from wide range of perspectives (e.g. different contexts, cultures, disciplines etc.); creative solutions and critical thinking skills demonstrated in the writing
|Showing satisfactory ability to relate acquired knowledge to previous experiences; demonstrating attempt to analyze the issues from a number of different perspectives
|Includes description of events, and a little further consideration behind the events using a relatively descriptive style of language; no evidence of using multiple perspectives in analyzing the issues
|Only includes mere descriptions of theoretical knowledge; no reflection is demonstrated beyond the descriptions
|Presentation: Articulation and organization of ideas and perspectives
|Writing is well-focused; arguments or perspectives are precisely defined and explained; coherent flow in developing an insightful idea demonstrated
|Arguments or perspectives are clearly stated; organized flow in writing but not deep enough to be very insightful
|Arguments or perspectives are vaguely mentioned; the writing lacked an organized flow and the ideas were hard to follow
|Do not show any original thinking or perspectives; chaotic in organization and presentation of ideas
|Completeness: Incorporation of the journal entries into a whole, demonstration of the learning process
|Concrete connections between journal entries into a whole; demonstrating clear steps in the developmental learning process
|Journal entries can be generally connected; still able to observe how the student develops during the learning process
|Weak connections between journal entries; development gained from the learning process is hardly observed
|No connections between journal entries; The entries are mere descriptions of events rather than showing a sequence of learning steps
Web Reference and Resources
- All Ireland Society for Higher Education, Case Studies of Good Practices in Assessment of Student Learning in Higher Education: Case 7 – Where are the Examinations? Using Learning Journals in Mathematics Assessment http://www.aishe.org/readings/2007-1/No-07.html
- All Ireland Society for Higher Education, Case Studies of Good Practices in Assessment of Student Learning in Higher Education: Case 16 – The Use of Learning Journals in Assessment http://www.aishe.org/readings/2007-1/No-16.html
- Institute for Interactive Media & Learning, University of Technology Sydney http://www.iml.uts.edu.au/assessment/types/journals/index.html
- Learning journals and logs, Reflective Diaries, Good Practice in Teaching and Learning, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University College Dublin http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/ucdtla0035.pdf
- Uses and Benefits of Journal Writing http://www.wou.edu/~ulvelad/courses/ED632Summer11/Assets/UsesBenefitsJournal.pdf
To Reference these pages Copy and paste the text below: Chan C.(2009) Assessment: Reflective Journal, Assessment Resources@HKU, University of Hong Kong : Available: Accessed: DATE
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What is the most important use of reflective journal?
Used in the academic context, reflective diaries provide opportunity for the students not only to think back on the learning activities, to explicitly and purposely identify what they have learned, but more importantly, to relate what they have learned to their teaching practice, evaluate their practice in light of
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What is the structure of a reflective journal?
Describe Describe what happened Feelings How did it make you feel? Evaluate What was good or bad? Analyse What sense can you make of the situation? (Include external issues) Conclude What general and specific conclusions can you draw? Action What next, or what will you do next time?
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Why reflective journal is important for a teacher?
The reflection helps to develop students’ critical thinking skills. Reading students’ journals helps the teacher improve the effectiveness of her teaching in particular and improve her professional knowledge in general.
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What are the characteristics of reflective journal?
Background – When writing reflectively, a writer attempts to convey their own thought process. Therefore, reflective writing is one of the more personal styles of writing as the writer is clearly inserted into the work. This style of writing invites both the reader and the writer to introspect and examine their own thoughts and beliefs, and gives the writer and the reader a closer, less distant relationship.
- Reflective writing tends to consist of description, or explaining the event and its context; interpretation, or how the experience challenged existing opinions; and outcome, or how the experience contributed to personal or professional development.
- Most reflective writing is written in first person, as it speaks to the writer’s personal experience, but often it is supplemented with third person in academic works as the writer must support their perspective with outside evidence.
Reflective writing is usually a style that must be learned and practiced. Most novice writers are not reflective initially, and must progress from imitative writing to their own style of genuine, critical reflection. Kathleen Blake Yancey notes that reflection “is the dialectical process by which we develop and achieve, first, specific goals for learning; second, strategies for reaching those goals; and third, means of determining whether or not we have met those goals or other goals.” The concepts of reflection and reflective writing are social constructs prevalent in academic literature, and in different contexts their meanings have different interpretations,
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What is the difference between journal and reflective journal?
I was recently invited onto the Eudaemonia podcast to talk to host Kim Forrester about the importance of a reflection practice, and how taking the time to both write and look back has helped me throughout my life, especially this past year. Kim is brilliant and a joy to chat with.
- Our conversation was also timely, since December at Holstee is all about Reflection,
- Early in the conversation, we discussed the subtle but important difference between keeping a diary, journaling, and a reflection practice.
- For the longest time I used the words interchangeably.
- But as we began to build Reflection.app, I became more aware of their distinctions.
Here is a quick breakdown: Keeping a Diary: Recording specific events and experiences as a record of your life. Journaling: Recording specific events and experiences along with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Reflection: Taking the time to look back on past events and experiences along with the thoughts, emotions and feelings you had at the time, so that you can learn and grow from them. And in my experience, the more thorough my journaling is, the more meaningful my moments of reflection are. If you are passionate about reflection, or looking to make time and space in your life for more meaningful reflection, consider listening to the full podcast conversation.
In it we also discussed: – How to start a journaling and reflection practice, and where to begin – Useful frameworks for expanding your practice – How to work through ‘Lowlights’ and put an end to rumination – And what my own practice looks like Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, or wherever you prefer to listen to podcasts,
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the conversation! Mike Radparvar Co-Founder, Holstee P.S. The distinction between keeping a diary, journaling and reflection, and the power of one building upon the others, were big motivations when we set out to build Reflection.app. While there are many ways to keep a diary or journal, this is the only platform that includes a guided approach for looking at past entries monthly and annually.
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What is the purpose of an journal?
A journal is a record that can be used to detail everything from your feelings about a particular situation in your social life to your thoughts on a current event in the political world. Hence, journals serve a range of purposes. A journal is meant collect your ideas and observations on any number of things and put the happenings of each day into writing.
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What is the key point of reflective writing?
Writing reflectively involves critically analysing an experience, recording how it has impacted you and what you plan to do with your new knowledge. It can help you to reflect on a deeper level as the act of getting something down on paper often helps people to think an experience through.
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