A casual search using Google Scholar for learning journals provides a plethora of articles extolling their virtues. Broadly, learning journals foster high quality self-reflection and increase critical thinking. There are two components to this assignment. First, you are to maintain a weekly learning journal. Secondly, you are to use the your weekly journal as the 'data' for a summative journal/essay on your major learnings from this course. This final part of the assignment is a summative evaluation of your weekly journals.
For each of the first ten weeks of the course you are to write a journal entry of at least 300 words. The more you write the more grist you will have for your Summative Learning Journal.
In your learning journal entries, you are to explore the linkages between the theoretical content of the course; e.g., the readings and class sessions with your practical experience e.g., of working in a multidisciplinary team and running a bike company). As well as content (theory) from this course, you may, if appropriate, draw on material from other courses.
Ultimately, you should be considering the real difference the course is making to your thinking and behaviour.
Learning is much more than the regurgitation of memorised facts and words.It is the ability to do something better than one might have done it before the learning. Thus it is about thinking and behaviour or, as Schatzki (2001) puts it "doing and sayings".
What does a good learning journal look like?
Let's begin by looking at the common problems. Based on experience with previous classes, the main problems are:
As you become more proficient in reflection and writing a learning journal, you might move away from Daudelin's method.
Each week you must review and provide feedback on the learning journals of two of your peers. Over the course you will write 20 sets of feedback. You do this by commenting on your allocated journals directly on the wiki. Your goal in providing feedback is to help the author do a better job next time. If you feedback does not achieve that, then the author can rightly complain about the quality of your feedback. The feedback should, as a minimum, address:
The quality of the writing.
In all cases, you should suggest how they might improve their journal; it is insufficient to point out the weaknesses in their journal without providing specific actionable ways they might improve. For example, it is not good enough to say, "Check your grammar". Rather you explain the nature of the problem and how they might fix it. Having said that, items like grammar and spelling are 'hygiene' factors–you should first provide feedback on more material aspects of journals, and then move on to the smaller matters.
Drawing on your weekly journal entries, you are to write a final, summative journal entry of between 2,000 and 3,000 words. You are to submit your final journal via Canvas. You should not submit your summative journal to this wiki. Your weekly learning journals are not graded; only your Summative learning journal will be graded.
A note on the word count: The word count includes everything; references, appendices, and anything else you include in the document. There is no +/- 10%; for those who think that way, see the word count as being 2,500 words plus or minus 20%.
Your summative learning journal is quite different to your weekly learning journals.
Note, your summative learning journal should not be directly about your Mastery (or otherwise) of Mike's Bikes.
The best summative learning journals will probably link to the learning objectives of the course, and to the BCom graduate profile (or maybe another profile if you are studying for a different degree).
Sample summative learning journals are available here on the wiki. They are all B grade or above.
You should strive to meet the outline of what this course is about. The brief outline is:
"Explore and reflect on the realities of management theory and practice through critically examining management challenges, from small entrepreneurial firms to large corporations."
Important notes on the learning journals
Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: Handbook 1 Cognitive domain. New York: Longmans.
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36--48.
Weick, K. E. (1995). Sense making in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Schatzki, T. R. (2001). Introduction: practice theory. In T R Schatzki, K Knorr Cetina & E von Savigny (Eds) The practice turn in contemporary theory. London: Routledge, 1-14.