In their Learning Journal(s), students analyze their own thought processes following a learning experience or other activity. The Learning Journal encourages students to reflect on the process of acquiring new knowledge, behaviours, skills and values. In a nutshell, learning journals help students make sense of what they have been learning.
The process has three stages:
- returning to experience - a recounting or recollection of the events (this could supported by a digital artefact such as a photo, sound clip or video clip.
- attending to the feelings, both positive and negative, that have been prompted by the experience
- re-evaluating that experience in the light of these stages and the learner's intent, and self knowledge, bringing in new knowledge that has been gained through the process.
A student may have more than one journal and each journal may represent a different learning area e.g. Reading, Writing and Maths (Primary) or teaching group (secondary). Students are able to update their journals as frequently as they like.
Entries in a learning journal could include:
- After a learning experience or lesson reinforce what they have learnt by recalling the main ideas/concept and relating it to prior knowledge. (Evidence – concept map)
- Record thoughts about what they found especially interesting or challenging in a specific discussion, reading or activity. (Evidence – record voice or video comments)
- Document any questions they might have about the topic.
- Evaluate and reflect on a specific task or activity. (Evidence – sample of learning)
- Set and manage their learning goals (Evidence – sample of learning)
Sample Learning Journal Entry
Creating a Learning Journal for your class
Learning Journals are managed from your class area.
- Go to the link in your class/group navigator.
- Click on and the Manage Journals window will appear.
- Click on to create a new Learning Journal for your class.
- Configure the following options:
- Title: Title of the Journal e.g. Numeracy
- Key Competency: Thinking
- Number of student peers able to comment: Choose from drop down list
- Visible to students: tick this check box
- Description: Describe the purpose and any instructions on how it should be used. Keep it general.
5. Click to save your journal
Repeat these steps to add additional Journals for your class.
Adding an Entry in a Learning Journal
A student must be logged in to add an entry to their Journal. Teachers can access student journals from their class area.
- Go to the link in the navigator.
- Select the relevant Journal by clicking on the tab.
- Click on the button and the text editor will open
- Use the text editor to share evidence of learning e.g. type some text, insert a picture or embed audio and video from your filing cabinet.
- To embed audio or video from your filing cabinet click on the Media Playback button (This will open the filing cabinet where you can locate your audio and video files or record them directly into your filing cabinet).
- Save your entry.
Adding reflective comments to the journal entry
- Now add a reflective comment to your artifact by clicking to reveal the comment box.
- Choose is you wish to add a voice or video comment or simply type some text or both
Students Inviting peers to comment on a Learning Journal
- At the top of the page click
- A list of class members will appear.
- Click on the next to the name of the student(s) you wish to invite.
- Click to invite peers.
- Peers will receive a notification that they have been invited to comment on the students Learning Journal entry.
Commenting on a Peers' Journal
To find your peers learning journals:
- Click the + next to the link in your personal navigator.
- My Peers' Learning Journals link will appear.
- Click on this link to reveal a list of Journals you have been invited to comment on.
- To post a comment in the Journal click Action > Add a comment
- Click to save your comment
Teacher Commenting on Learning Journals
Management of student learning journals is easy in KnowledgeNET.
- To view a student’s Learning Journal click on link in your class navigator.
- The main screen will display a list of all your class members and an overview of all Journal Entries.
- Select from the drop down menu a specific Journal from the list provided e.g. Maths.
- Click on a student’s name to view their Journal.
- Above a journal entry click on Action > Add Comment
- Write your comment and click to save.