Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Keeping a Learning/Reflective Diary

  • To allow you to regularly reflect on significant experiences associated particularly with your (University) learning.
  • To help you become aware and acknowledge what you have learnt/how you have progressed.
  • To help identify issues/problem associated with your learning, and by so doing, enable you to consider options for their resolution etc.

  • Use a soft backed small exercise book (not loose paper) to record your thoughts.
  • Spend no more than five minutes every day, (rather than half an hour, once a week) to get started.
  • Review what you have written once a week (e.g. Sunday evening; when you might also be planning your coming week activity). Also, review what you have written more generally every month/two months to gain an overview/discover trends, etc.
  • If nothing "comes" - leave it to the following day (but write down some comment e.g. ‘nothing today’).

  • "Activities"/situations/experiences that went well or were difficult
  • Unexpected problems or issues e.g. solving a particular maths problem (that you had revised carefully) or explaining an idea in a group project meeting.
  • Habits that you have notices in yourself or others (which have some relevance)
  • How you feel about the way you are doing things e.g. items of understanding, clarity of thought, strength of actions, awareness.
  • How effective you are e.g. using feedback from others, achieving goals (assignment deadlines, finding information in library, keeping a learning diary! etc.)
  • Anything else that feels of importance to you - even though you may not understand the significance of it.

  • It helps you to learn from your successes, as well as your mistakes
  • It makes it more likely that you will use what you have learnt next time i.e. rather than ‘making the same mistakes’, "falling back on old habits’ etc.
  • It gives you an opportunity to plan concisely what you want to do, what you want to change, etc.
  • It may help you feel more in "control of your life", more positive, deepen your understanding, etc.

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