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Introduction to Psychology - Reflective Journal Assignment

Link to Western's Learning Commons and Library for resources and support for your reflective journal writing project.

Reflective Learning Journals

What is Reflective Learning?

Our default way of tackling almost anything - assignments, projects, and even life - tends to be more like a checklist. We "tick the boxes" when we've finished a task and move on. How often do we REALLY stop to think, question, or reflect on what we've read or learned, or what we've learned. Mostly we're just glad to be done!

Watch the video below to learn a better approach. The concept of reflection - deciding how to make use of knowledge, information, or experience is a significant part of the learning process.


What is a Reflective Learning Journal?

A learning journal is about writing that's done for the purpose of learningYou are writing to learn. There is no single right way or wrong way to write a reflective learning journal. You simply write down, using your own personal everyday language, what you thought about or what you felt or experienced as you engaged with the reading or other course materials. Reflective writing or reflective practice help you develop the skills to be an independent learner.

If You're Stuck....



Your instructor laid our her expectations in the guidelines she provided to the class, but you may still find yourself stuck when encounter that blank page. Here are some idea that might help you get unstuck:




  • Write as though talking to yourself or a friend. This puts you in touch with your writing voice and helps you express your thoughts which in turn, helps you connect what you're learning to the ideas or experiences meaningful to you.
  • Don't censor what you are thinking ahead of time. Don't judge what you are writing.Something that might seem silly or stupid at first may just be the seed that turns into something strong and focused as you continue to work with it.
  • Don't be afraid to express a negative reaction to something you read. Again, as you work with it, you will begin to understand why you responded the way you did. You may learn something about yourself, you didn't expect to.
  • Start to look for connections in the theories you are reading about to knowledge you have in other areas whether your personal life, other courses, your job or workplace, your family life, relationships etc. Notice patterns that may begin to emerge. This expands your learning and understanding in a real-world context.

Still stuck? Maybe some of the Student Reflection Question listed in the link below willhelp  jump start your thinking.

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