Reflective journals and critical thinking

Five Benefits of Reflective Journal Writing

When students write journals for class, it not only helps them, but their instructors as well. In addition, from reading journal entries, instructors can see which concepts were understood by their students, and which ones may need revisiting Mills, While such potential benefits can be appealing, it is not always clear how to go about developing and implementing a reflective journal assignment.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when introducing journal writing to a class:. One of the best ways to communicate to students what is expected of them is to provide an example. Insisting that students revise, rewrite, or edit their journal entries may effectively defeat the purpose of writing them in the first place.

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It could cause students to be afraid of making mistakes, thus restricting their creativity, curiosity, and honesty. This could in turn have a negative effect on the development of reflective writing skills.

The benefits of reflective journal writing

Journal writing may be new to many instructors, while other instructors have been using it for years. If this is a topic that interests you, stay tuned for our next blog post that will discuss common concerns regarding journal writing, and how to minimize them.

For more information on best practices for journal writing:. Stevens, D. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publications. Fenwick, T.

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  • So, what exactly is a Reflective Journal?.
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  • Reflective Journal Writing Tips for Students.
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  • Toolbox 2: Assessing learner journals. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc. Marsh, S. Widening the lens of diversity: Motivating reflective journal writing. Mills, R.


    College Student Journal, 42 2 , Ogilvy, J. The use of journals in legal education: A tool for reflection. Clinical Law Review, 3, Columbus School of Law. The Catholic University of America.

    This research used a qualitative instrumental case study design and the required data were collected from students' journals and focus group interviews. A content analysis approach was employed to examine the journals and this indicated that reflective writing improves learners' conceptual understanding of the course, promotes growth mindset, and helps shed light on the students' inner thoughts. The finding of this study revealed that reflective journal writing has a significant impact on EFL learners' understanding of concepts and on fostering growth mindset.


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