Engaging Students in the Learning Process: the learning journal

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Abstract:

This paper explores the usefulness of the learning journal as a means of actively engaging students in the learning process, based on a case study of a third-year undergraduate geography course. After briefly reviewing the literature on journal writing in different contexts, the paper outlines the approach adopted in the new geography course, in which students were given guidelines on how to write a journal that would be assessed as part of the course. Extracts from students' journals for this course are used to illustrate how they approached the task, and how they viewed the experience. It is concluded that the learning journal has good potential to increase student interest in and engagement with course material, to encourage and empower students to take more responsibility for their own learning, to be more reflective in their study, and to allow them to have a voice and provide valuable feedback to the teacher.

Keywords: Learning journal; active learning; reflection; writing skills

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03098260305675

Affiliations: Lancaster University, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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