A learning diary is a tool that is used for assessing and developing an individual’s own learning. It helps describe their own experience, which supports their personal growth and helps them identify strengths and weaknesses related to learning. It supports and promotes a person’s self-direction and assessment and promotes reflection on how and what you have learned. It also offers information on the progress of studies and hence encourages and motivates the individual. It can also be used as a means of clarifying concepts, theories, and issues. It is a reflection of what is discussed, read, experienced, and/or heard. However make sure that this is not confused with a school diary, which is a completely different thing. Writing a learning diary involves asking questions, finding answers, and reflecting on the topic. It is not merely a summary or a paper of the contents or topics of lectures.
When creating such a diary before the lecture/seminar/study visit/other learning situation, consider the following questions:
- What preconceptions do you have?
- What are you expecting from this exercise?
Creating such a diary is on the basis of a well-defined process, so the diary takes shape with the progress of the learning process and as your own thinking capacity deepens, the better structured it will be. One of the most important things to be noted about a learning diary is that it should be drafted right after the class. Even though it does not follow a particular format, it is better to use paragraph breaks and titles for better clarity. It begins with a short introduction, presenting the background information of the learning situation, such as place, time, organizer, possible target groups, goals, etc.
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