What is a learning log?
It is basically a reflection of your own learning. What is great about it is it cannot be right or wrong, because it is based entirely on what you observe, experience, see, think, and feel. A learning log is also like a journal or a diary, except you focus on a specific subject.
Why keep a learning log?
If you write down your observations and opinions of something you have experienced you are more likely to remember what you learned than if you do not. Reflecting through journal writing stimulates cognitive activities such as as doubt, speculation, questioning, self-awareness and problem solving. So, it seems obvious why learning logs are a good idea to keep.
What goes into a learning log?
First, you should write down your observations. Record what you see, feel, smell, hear, ect. These initial observations involve very little interpretation. Next, you should try to make sense of these observations by trying to figure out why certain things happen the way they do. Finally, you should determine what you learned from this experience. How can you use this new knowledge and understanding in the future? How would you change it?
How to make an effective learning log:
It would be a good idea to keep a small notebook or device with you in the classroom or wherever it is that you are observing and take notes whenever you get little breaks. By doing this, it will be easier to keep track of your observations rather than if you waited until the end of the day. Also, it would be a good idea to take pictures/videos if you are allowed, or even do an audio recording so that you can refer to it later. Then at the end of the day, compile all your little notes and reflect on the day as whole.
How to get the most out of your learning log:
At the end of every week, you should read through all your journal entries for that week and then reflect on the week as a whole. It would be even more effective if you did this a few times a week. It would also be a good idea to get your instructor or even a classmate to read through your learning logs and write some questions that they had while reading it. Also, try to read through some other learning logs to see how your classmates are doing and to get other perspectives.
Possibilities for keeping your learning logs:
- Video/audio recording