Learning journals

Learning journals are more elaborate than most exploratory writing and are sometimes formally assessed, which may alter how you approach them. In this chapter we focus on the learning journal as a non-graded, exploratory kind of writing.

Learning journals are a type of writing that give you an overview of a whole course, from beginning to end. If you have to write a learning journal for a number of courses, you will have a record of much of your learning at university, which will help you to bring together the different parts. Learning journals can also be seen as a particular kind of writing, as explored in the last chapter. As one tutor put it: 'journals help to make the learning process visible'.

Learning journals may be kept for different purposes - for example:

• On professional courses, to make links between theoretical and practical work through reflection on experience.

• On academic courses, to help you to make sense of the course ideas and relate them to your own thinking and experience.

• For yourself, as a personal account of your journey through a course, to help your learning and give yourself a record of it.

• To help you make sense of the different kinds of writing you might be required to do at university.

• Occasionally as an assessed part of a course, or as a basis for another kind of assessed work, such as a reflective summary.

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