TYPES OF JOURNALS

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  1. Introduction

  2. What is Service-Learning

  3. Benefits of Service-Learning

  4. What Service-Learning is Not

  5. Principles of Service-Learning

  6. Bringing Service and Learning Together (PDF file, click here to download AdobeŽ Acrobat Reader)

  7. Courses with a Service-Learning Component

  8. Examples of Service-Learning Classes

  9. Getting Started: Designing the Curriculum

  10. Service-Learning Development Worksheet

  11. Course Development Timeline

  12. Course Implementation Timeline

  13. Using Reflection

  14. Types of Journals

  15. Liability Issues

  16. Expectations and Responsibilities in Service-Learning

  17. Common Faculty Questions

  18. Top Ten Ways to Do More Service-Learning with Less Work

  19. Resources

 

Journals  
Ask students to record thoughts, observations, feelings, activities, and questions in a journal throughout the project.  The most common form of journals is free form journals.  The journal should be started early in the project and students should make frequent entries.  Explain benefits of journals to students such as enhancing observational skills, exploring feelings, assessing progress, and enhancing communication skills.  Faculty should provide feedback by responding to journals, class discussions of issue/questions raised in journals or further assignments based on journal entries.

Structured Journals
Use structured journals to direct student attention to important issues/questions and to connect the service experience to class work. A structured journal provides prompts to guide the reflective process.  Some parts of the journal may focus on affective dimensions while others relate to problem-solving activities.

Team Journals
Use a team journal to promote interaction between team members on project related issues and to introduce students to different perspectives on the project.  Students can take turns recording shared and individual experiences, reactions and observations, and responses to each other’s entries.

Critical incidents journal
Ask students to record a critical incident for each week of the service project.  The critical incident refers to events in which a decision was made, a conflict occurred, a problem resolved.  The critical incident journal provides a systematic way for students to communicate problems and challenges involved in working with the community and with their teams and can thus help in dealing with the affective dimensions of the service experience.

Case studies
Assign case studies to help students think about what to expect from the service project and to plan for the service activity.  Use published case studies or instructor-developed case studies based on past Service-Learning projects.

Portfolios
Ask students to select and organize evidence related to accomplishments and specific learning outcomes in a portfolio.  Portfolios can include drafts of documents, analysis of problems/issues, project activities/plans, annotated bibliography.  Ask students to organize evidence by learning objectives.  The portfolio could also contain a weekly log, selected journal entries, a photo essay, or any other products completed during the service experience.

Papers
Ask students to write an integrative paper on the service project.  Journals and other products can serve as the building blocks for developing the final paper.

Discussions
Encourage formal/informal discussions with teammates, other volunteers, and staff to introduce students to different perspectives and to challenge students to think critically about the project.

Presentations
Ask student(s) to present their service experiences and the learning that occurred in these experiences.

E-mail discussions
Students write weekly summaries and identify critical incidents that occurred at the service site.  Instructors can post questions for consideration and topics for writing.

 

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