Definitions of Learning Logs How do logs help? As an assessment method Formative assessment How can they be set? Samples My experience Suggestions Three approaches References
WHAT ARE LEARNING LOGS?
“A learning log is a log or record or journal of your own learning. It does not have to be a formal writing. It is a personal record of your own learning. It is a document which is unique to you and cannot be right or wrong”.
“Learning logs are records kept by the students about what they are learning, where they feel they are making progress, and what they plan to do to continue making progress”.
“They are dialogues between student and trainer; they afford a unique opportunity for a teacher to offer various kinds of feedback to learners”. “Learner diaries can inform the tutors of the items that students enjoyed, found difficult, did not understand, etc., sometimes with reasons given”.
Brown, 2003. Jordan, 1994.
HOW DO LOGS HELP? Learners can go from: Reactive to reflective Unskilled communicators to skilled communicators Impulsive to diplomatic Intolerant to tolerant Doing to thinking Being descriptive to analytical Accepting questioning Miller et al. 1994
AS AN ASSESSMENT METHOD
Record learning, experience and reflection Could be structured in many ways A synthetic reflection that allows a learner to appreciate the linkages between their recent personal experiences and the bigger picture. Cottrel (2003)
Formative Assessment “Is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes”.
James, W. 2008
HOW CAN THEY BE SET?
What have you learned? What has it been significant for you and why? What has not been significant for you and why? How can you improve for next time?
A ‘reflective’ sample “To be honest, I think that I have lots of things to learn in the future. I really enjoy my class of English, and one of my goals is to improve my skills on writing. The way that my teacher teaches is good, but I think she needs to be more dynamic”
A ‘learning recording’ sample “The most important thing I learned in class was the new vocabulary and the friendship of the class; I also learned that I can express myself (speaking) in a very good way and my classmates too. I don’t like the books, so if I could change something it will be it. No books, only for questions. I liked a lot the speaking activities, so when we have to talk to someone else, I like a lot. Personally I don’t like to do the HW especially when it’s boring and I have to write on the books. I like to explain myself so I like to write about personal things, such as vacations or how my day was…”
Guided me very positevely Strengths and weaknesses (teacher-students) Know my students better Useful and motivating
SUGGESTIONS ď Ž
Write an assignment, a report or an essay in which they can quote from their reflective writing (a learning log, a dialogue journal and a portfolio) to support their views or arguments. (Moon, 2004) Learners can get the assigned percentage of the final grade just by carrying out the task.
According to Entwistle, (1996) there are three approaches: The deep approach: the intention is to understand the idea for yourself by relating ideas to previous knowledge and experiences. The surface approach: the intention is to cope with course requirements by studying without reflecting on either purpose or strategy. The strategic approach: the intention is to achieve the highest grades possible by being alert to assessment requirement and criteria.
1996, Moon, 1999:122
Brown, D. (2001). Teaching by Principles. An interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. Second edition. New York. Longman. Cottrel, S. (2003) Skills for Success: the Personal Development handbook, Palgrave Macmillan. Graves, K. (2000). Designing Language Courses. Canada. Newbury House Teacher Development. James, W. (2008). Transformative Assessment. USA. Popham. Jordan, R. R. (1997). English for Academic Purposes. A Guide and Resource Book for Teachers. UK. Cambridge Language Teaching Library.