Interactive learning journals are a healthy addition to an online learning experience. Allowing learners to reflect and engage with the learning in their own words helps retention. It will enable learners to map out how their new skills can be applied to their particular workplace context.
What is a learning journal?
A learning journal functions as the learner’s own digital notebook that they can use to take notes and reflect on their digital learning journey. It might be a place to jot down their thoughts after watching a video or reading an article or a place to answer questions.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of adding a learning journal to your next online learning experience.
The learner’s thoughts, in the learner’s words
Whether the learner prints the journal and fills it out by hand or digitally, the journal lets the learner use their own language and writing style to engage with the content. In addition to recalling information, they have the opportunity to critically analyse the concepts they’re studying and shape their thoughts using their own language.
A learning journal can also be a reflective tool to encourage learners to consider on their knowledge in relation to their own individual situation. For example, a prompt in the learning material might say:
“Think of the values we have learned about in this module and briefly discuss how you apply each of these values in your everyday work as a manager.”
Prompting the learner to take the information and apply it to their own role and workplace works to elevate the standard of learning, as it encourages more high-level thinking skills and can prompt actions and behaviour changes that have a direct impact on the learner’s professional role and their organisation.
Notes to keep, share and revisit
Prompting learners to reflect regularly as they go through online training means that they are left with a summary of the most important aspects of their training to revisit when they wish to refresh their knowledge. Some trainers might choose to ask learners to share their journal as a part of a final submission task or share it with their colleagues for peer-to-peer learning.
Learning journals can be used in all kinds of training, from tertiary education to professional and personal development. Wherever they are applied, they are a great physical extension of the online learning experience and one that should be considered when designing any kind of online-based program.