ACADEMIC JOURNALING: EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES TO ASSESS STUDENT LEARNING
In June of 2008, the Center for Experiential Learning (now the Piper Center for Vocation and Career) surveyed St. Olaf faculty members about their academic uses of journals. Of the approximately 80 responses received, about 60 reported using journals. While most journals are in traditional paper form, there are growing numbers of faculty using electronic journals, including web blogs. Some faculty members noted that journals "brought up excellent questions for class discussion," and that they "encourage students to relate readings to experiences and observations." Others, however, cautioned that "it's an easy assignment to fake," and that journals are "time consuming to review."
At a CILA Lunch in September 2008, Sandy Malecha and Pat Smith provided an overview of what they learned from the survey, summarizing what respondents identified as successes and challenges with using journals. Faculty members Heather Campbell, Eric Lund, and Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb contributed by sharing their own experiences using journals and leading a discussion about best practices.
Below we have provided a summary of the survey and its findings, the resources provided by Professors Campbell, Lund, and Nordstrom-Loeb, as well as a listing of additional helpful articles.
Do you have a resource or article you would like to add to this list? Let us know! Email Sandy Malecha at email@example.com.
- Survey Summary and Results
- Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb's Handout Journaling
- Eric Lund's Handout Journaling
- Heather Campbell's Handout Journaling
- Sample Jounaling Assignment - Dolores Peters
Bringle, R. & Hatcher, J. (1999). Reflection in service learning: making meaning of experience. Educational Horizons, 77(4), 179-185.
Miller, W. (1990). Internships, the liberal arts, and participant observation. Teaching Sociology, 18(1), 78-82.
O’Connella, T & Dyme, J. (2006). Reflections on using journals in higher education: a focus group discussion with faculty. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 31(6), 671–691.
Parilla, P. & Hesser, G. (1998). Internships and the sociological perspective: applying principles of experiential learning. Teaching Sociology, 26(4), 310-329.
Pavlopvich (2007). The development of reflective practice through student journals. Higher Education Research & Development, 26(3), 281-295.
Excerpts on student journaling from The Internship as Partnership: A handbook for campus-based coordinators and advisors by Robert P. Inkster and Roseanna G. Ross (1995). Available in the Piper Center for Vocation and Career – contact Sandy Malecha at firstname.lastname@example.org.