Suggestions for Using Journals in our Foundations Class



What is a Journal?

A place to practice personal expressive writing; an individual record of educational experience; a writing workshop; a technique to reflect upon experience to give it deeper meaning.

                    Diary-------------------------------Journal -----------------------Class Notebook
                    (I-subjective)                                (I/it)                                     (it-Objective)

What should I write about?

--How what you are learning is useful in your life. 
--Questions to other students who will be reading your thread postings and may be able to answer your questions.
--Personal reactions to readings, class, writings, students, or UVM.
--Explorations of ideas, theories, concepts, problems, paper topics
--Reviews of articles, movies, books, CDs, DVDs
--Descriptions of events, places, people, objects in relation to what you have been learning at UVM.
--Records of your thought, feelings, moods, experiences
--whatever you want to explore or share with your fellow students, TAs, and professor.

What shouldn't I write?

--hurtful thoughts or strong negative criticism of others in our class are not welcome 
--whining or excessive complaining about this or any other UVM course is not appropriate
--do not write about drinking, drugs, or sex.

When should I write?

--at least once a week
--early in the morning, late at night before bedtime
--when you need to study, have problems to solve, decisions to make, the need for clarity out of confusion
--when you need to practice or try something out

How should I write?

--dont worry about formal language conventions
--take risks and explore your own voice
--freely, expressively, openly

How do you measure Quality in Journals?

TAs will review your journal, looking for:

1. Language Features:  personal, conversational, informal, emotional, experimental, candid.
2. Cognitive Activity:  critical thinking, observation, speculation, confirmation, doubt, questioning, self-awareness, connection, digression, dialogue, information, revision, problem posing and solving.
3. Formal Features:  frequency of entries, length of entries, responses to other thread postings (demonstrating you are reading other postings), chronology.