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Reflective journals

A reflective journal, sometimes called a learning log, is a personal record of your learning experiences. It is a space where you can record and reflect upon your observations and responses to situations, which can then be used later to explore and analyse ways of thinking and being in contexts. Journals, although generally written, can also contain images, drawings and other types of reference materials.


A reflective journal is a means to reflect on your learning (and learning experiences) in different ways. They are used to:

  • record the development of your ideas and insights and / or those of a group in a given context and can include concepts, ideas and main points from experience and theory
  • reflect upon the subject content and personal experiences as a means to increase your understanding
  • analyse your own learning in and for self development.

They are used to explore situations from a personal perspective, but generally within the context of learning from your experiences. They are used to reflect on, in and for action. Common questions arising from 'reflection' are:

  • What happened? (Reflecting on actions)
  • Why did it happen? (Reflecting in actions)
  • What can be learnt from this for future actions? (Reflecting for actions)


Differences between journals & essays



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