Using Guided Reflective Journaling Activities to Capture Students’ Changing Perceptions
Many professions are increasingly emphasizing the role of reflection, encouraging educators to look for appropriate ways to help students engage in reflective practice during their professional preparation. Journal writing is an insightful and powerful instructional technology utilizing strategies that foster understanding and the application of concepts, enhance critical thinking, improve achievement and attitude, encourage student reflection and capture changes in students' perception. Examples from three different professional preparation courses illustrate the power of journal-writing activities as a way of encouraging students' reflective thinking, and giving faculty a way to assess students' reflective practice and perceptual changes. Based on the author's experiences and the lessons she has learned while using guided reflective journals with students in several of her courses, she defines a number of strategies that can increase the likelihood of this instructional technology's success for self- and instructor assessment in the classroom. Her recommendations for structuring journal-writing activities with students are presented within four categories: (1) constructing journal questions that work; (2) scheduling journal writing activities; (3) reinforcing the value of journaling; and (4) supporting students' journaling.
Dunlap, J.C. (2006). Using guided reflective journaling activities to capture students’ changing perceptions. TechTrends, 50(6), 20-26.