Monday, November 03, 2014

Reflective Journaling -- Tool for Learning and a Source of Evaluation Data

Reflective journaling is a useful and powerful technique for affecting self-discovery and personal and professional growth. The act of journaling involves the regular practice of recording activities and/or situations on paper or electronically with the goal of reflecting on those experiences in order to learn from them and grow personally and professionally.

Journaling is useful in providing insight into self-awareness - what you do (behaviors), why you do it (values, assumptions, aspirations) how you feel (emotions), and how you think. Journaling can expose contradictions, misconceptions, and conflict. In short, it helps you turn every incident into a new potential learning experience.

Evaluation Perspective: Journals obtained from target program participants can provide a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data for program analysis and evaluation.

Journals can be either paper-based or electronic. You can keep a journal on sheets of paper which you can organize in a three-ring binder or write in any small bound notebook. Electronic journals can be maintained on a computer, laptop, or personal digital assistant (PDA). Any word processing program like Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or even Notepad will serve.

Obsidian Communications has developed a modular, online journaling system that supports reflective journaling (and even simple learning logs). Two key elements of the Obsidian Communications platform:

  1. Administrative module to handle registrations, invitations, and other administrative functions associated with a journaling project.
  2. Two-Part Journaling module:
    • Administrator functions such as creating and assigning questions to be addressed and to read and respond to journal entries.
    • User functions – including composing journal entries, reviewing past entries, and interacting with Administrator.

Again, these are but two of the key elements; others have been developed and will be released to the prototype over the next few weeks and months.

For more information and a live demonstration of this platform, go to Online Journal Application / Prototype .

Reference: Reflective Journaling

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