Inspiration: Why should I take-up a personal Learning Journal?

In various courses at LUC students have tried out keeping a Learning Journal and these are the benefits they report:

Conscious Learning & Reflection

“The LJ pushed me to look for ways I could actively improve my work. It made me search for methods I could employ to achieve my learning targets.”

Increased Motivation

“Through the LJ, I became aware that I actually wanted to do certain assignments, rather than mindlessly completing them before the deadline.”

Learning Across Courses

“The red thread throughout all of your courses is you – the LJ puts you at the center of your learning and this is where something is to be gained.”

Personalised Interaction with Professors

“The LJ allowed me to take risks on assignments as I could communicate my motivations and choices directly to my professors. I appreciated this aspect of personal interaction.”

Remembering your Learning Experience

“My LJ will be a really nice memory of my learning journey at LUC.”

De-centering Grades as Motivation

“The LJ helped me focus more on what I wanted to get out of my education and less on just letter grades and my GPA.”

Tools: What should I do in my journal to get such benefits?

There are many different things you can do in your learning journal. Look at what other students have done.

  • Your Learning CycleThe key  to developing the Learning Mindset is getting into this virtuous cycle of learning and making this a habit. Use your journal to write down each step in this process. Try doing this at least once a week.
  • PlanningDo your planning here. Schedule your time, write down your appointments, and make your to-do lists. Consider integrating one thing that you are really looking forward to every day! Check out the Bullet Journal method for further inspiration.
  • GoalsSet your long-term goals, and goals for every day, week, and month. Look back to these goals regularly and track your progress.
  • Good HabitsMake a list of good habits you would like to introduce in your daily routine, and note how you will do this. Start by implementing the first thing on this list, and then another one every week.
  • ReflectionMake space in your journal to just write reflections on things you have learned. Note down key takeaways that are important to you. Doing this immediately after a class can be really powerful. Check out The Morning Pages, an exercise of starting your day by free-writing 3-pages.
  • Cool Things To Do/Bucket List“I call this section the “Cool Things To Do” section in my journal. Whenever you have free time and don’t want to fall into a spiral of binge-watching Netflix for hours, you can have a look at the list, and see if you want to spend your time on any one of these things instead.”
    You can have a list where you write down interesting things you’d like to do! You could collect book and café recommendations, brainstorm new hobbies like embroidery, or keep track of career paths that excite you.
  • Visualize your ideas (or just doodle)Visualize your ideas by drawing them out. Your doodles can help you concentrate in class, understand complex concepts, and/or inspire you to achieve the goals you set for yourself!
  • VentLet’s not forget to make space for what journals were probably designed for: venting your emotions! This can help you learn in all sorts of ways. For one, you can release tension which may help you concentrate. But it’s also important to recognize emotional states that may interfere with what you are hearing or seeing: for example, fear or anger in response to negative feedback.