Monday, September 11, 2006

The Marking of Student Journals ...

For non students in the blog community, please be patient with me while I do one more entry on journals for students. Due to the lack of entries while blogger was down I feel a little behind and sincerely want to make sure my own students get some more hints and ideas ... after all I read their journals every week ... it is only fair they get an insight in to something about me in return ...

a) Yes - it is a privlege to mark student papers at the best of times ... but it is especially a privleged position to makr journals.
b) Yes - it does affect how you teach the unit. Over years of marking journals for the same unit, it has helped me to evaluate my own progress.
c) Yes - I keep a 'teaching journal' to assist me along with the unit too ... it works for me. In the end, what works for me improves the student experience (I hope!).
d) Yes - I know that writing a journal and having someone mark it is a difficult task. It can make you feel vulnerable. I also know that for many students, writing a journal is about par with going to the dentist. I also know some students love it. Most rewarding? Are the students who tell me (sometimes years later) that they now keep a regular journal.
e) Yes - Sometimes when you write something down in your journal it will affect how you feel about it. That might be a positive thing. That might be a negative thing. It is, at the very least, an adventure. See it for the adventure it is ... not therapy. Therapy is what you do with a therapist.
f) No - I don't subscribe to writing anything you don't want to disclose. The journal exercise gives you total control over what you want to include. Keep the power with you.

Remember ... you are only being marked on your ability to reflect and demonstrate applied knowledge and learning. You are not being marked on your opinion.

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