Journaling for Learning

Inter-American May 11, 2023

To write is to think. Writing a journal at the end of a class session offers an opportunity for students to reflect and express their thoughts on their classroom experiences freely. Although writing can be hard, it is an academic requirement for the students at all levels. Journaling is one of the critical routines that teachers can use to ensure improvement of teaching and learning in the classroom. 

As a teacher in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of the Southern Caribbean, I always ask students to write a reflective journal at the end of the class session. A percentage of the grade each semester is allotted to students’ journal writing activity. Journaling encourages students to develop strong writing skills and serves as a formal feedback mechanism between teacher and students. 

I engage my students in journaling by providing three standard questions as suggested by Green and Green

  • What went well for you in the lesson?
  • What could be done to improve the lesson? 
  • What questions and comments do you have about the lesson? 

In response to the third question, students pose questions, and express appreciation, and give commendations. The questions act as a stimulus and focus for thought as students write their reflective responses. 

During the Covid pandemic, I assigned eight weekly journal entries for my Classroom Management course using these questions. When I assessed the responses, I learned about things that were going well, such as established and agreed upon class rules, and the use of technology in content delivery. I also learned that they were overwhelmed by the reading assignments and were having difficulty in locating journal articles not listed on the course outline. In addition, students noted that active participation made the learning more enjoyable and that they felt that the class content was enhanced by seeing how I applied classroom management strategies in the class to create an organized, safe, and controlled learning environment. 

The journaling allowed timely feedback from students as the course progressed so that I was able to make adjustments throughout during a time when adjustments were especially needed. This experience emphasized several advantages of journaling for me:

  • Students and teachers are able to collaborate in establishing and improving students’ learning experiences in the classroom.
  • Journaling provides a strong classroom communication structure between teachers and students. 
  • Journaling allows teachers to receive immediate feedback from students to improve their teaching approaches. 
  • Students develop writing, reflection, and critical thinking skills through the journaling routine.

Journaling provides a rich source of qualitative data for evidence-based research in education, and has many benefits for teachers and for their students.


David Chand

Chand is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education in the School of Education and Human Sciences at the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), Trinidad and Tobago. He has been working at USC since 2005. He teaches in the areas of cooperative teaching and learning, adolescent psychology, agriculture, and human development. His research interests include areas in cooperative learning, integration of faith and learning, agriculture and food production, praedial larceny, diasporic studies, and academic optimism. He is an elder in the Adventist Church.


  • | May 11, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Thank you for this blog of Journaling.
    This seems to be a very effective way to enhance the educational experience, not only for the student but for the educator as well. I wish this practice could be applied to every Christian institution and above all educators.

  • | May 11, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    This line really hit me “write a reflective journal at the end of the class session.” I loved this line ..💓💐🙏

    • | May 17, 2023 at 8:49 pm

      I always found journalling to be an effective part of studying. In my current course of study, journalling is a requirement at the end of every class we do. Great article.

  • | May 11, 2023 at 12:49 pm

    I agree with my lecturer that journaling develops a timely feedback between lecturer and student. It helps students recall the classroom learning experiences. It helps students to really express their thoughts and things they enjoyed or needed clarity on. I find it informative for my own personal goal of recalling information quickly especially in revision for exams or to do a presentation or exercise that may need quick responses..

  • | May 11, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Well written blog. It is informative and interestingly presented.

  • | May 11, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    This is a very instructive write up on the importance of journaling. Teachers should adopt this teaching and evaluation tool.

  • | May 17, 2023 at 9:05 pm

    This is such a excellent process you have no idea how this fits so much into reality as a social issue trainer
    My feed back is always no more than three question very similar to the three you ask. In fact your first question is worded exactly the same way as I do.
    The other 2 carry the same intent but worded a bit different.
    Interesting . I feel so validated but such a great 👍 person. Thanks for sharing. God bless

  • | May 17, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    This blog is very informative with regard to Journaling practice at class level. After reading this, I personally feel that such activities should be promoted at schools levels as well. I am very sure that during school days kids hesitate to ask and put up questions to the teacher. Even if they don’t understand the way teacher teaches, they generally don’t come forward to say it. But if teacher himself/herself will ask the students to write up for the session they had, It will be easier for the teacher to understand each and every student in the class. Eventually, the teaching technique as well as the learning process will improvise and it will bring out wonderful difference in every student.
    Thank you David Sir for sharing this blog. I am looking forward to more, so that I get to learn something from it. Wish you great writing ahead.

  • | May 18, 2023 at 9:23 am

    Writing a journal is a critical piece of work congratulations for a work well done, with a lot of lucidity.

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