Instructional Journals


Link to: Lisa Perreault's Portfolio | Mini-Course: Understanding Reflection: Using the Reflective Learning Journal

WHY USE JOURNALS? As an educator, you have many options for using reflective learning journals for student learning and understanding. The traditional pen/pencil notebook is frequently used in classrooms. Students can also draw a picture(s) and write captions or a summary of their reflections. With the computer, students can also type their reflections and submit via e-mail or a course-designated online posting forum. There are online blogs, brainstorming and mapping, e-portfolios, word press, and digital videos.

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Bullet black.png Reflective Journal Writing Prompts - [Click to watch this video]

The teacher prompts or asks a question or provides a statement that focuses the student to think more deeply and to develop awareness.

Bullet black.png Reflective Writing - [Click to watch this video]

Learners write about their experiences by expressing their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

Bullet black.png Blogging

This is journal writing on a website that can be updated continuously. It is available for the public viewing and participation.

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Design your blog on Google. This website provides a variety of templates with flexible layouts and backgrounds that can be edited.

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You can create a wall and collaborate with other students, friends, or for the public. Multimedia can be added to the wall. Bullet black alt.png

Bullet black alt.png Kidblog -

Used to create classroom discussions, learn digital citizenship, practice writing skills, create an e-portfolio, reflect on learning, and formatively assess writing.

Bullet black alt.png Wordpress -

Is web software you can used to create a website or blog.

Bullet black.png Brainstorming

This is useful for facilitating reflective thinking and learning. Mind mapping helps students to think individually and collectively with other students.

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A simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online.

Bullet black alt.png Popplet -

A mind-mapping tool to help student think and learn through visualization.

Bullet black.png ePortfolios

Bullet black alt.pngUsing ePortfolios as a reflective teaching tool - Case study - [Click to watch this video]

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Digital Videos

Educators and students use digital videos to reflect on their learning and understanding of the subject matter. Digital storytelling is a form of reflection where students tell a story about a particular situation, event, or topic. It is useful as an authentic form of assessment to show how students acquire knowledge and develop critical thinking skills. In the videos, students can express thoughts, feelings, ideas, and problem-solving abilities. Concepts and ideas can be shown in many creative ways. By using multimedia technology, students can bring their own creative process to producing the video. Inquiry, active learning, and knowledge construction contribute to the creation of the video.

Digital Video Multimedia Tools

Windows Movie Maker -

PhotoStory3 -

ComicLife -

StoryBird -

VoiceThread -

Glogster EDU -

Story Maker -

Story Kit -


Fotobabble (free) -

Pixntell (free/paid for full version) -

30 Hands (free) -



Unit 1: What is Reflection?

Unit 2: What is Gibb's Cycle of Reflection?


References and Web Sources