Saturday, March 21, 2009

Learning Journal and Record

Design your own education; no one else can know your needs and desires better than you. Your goals may, probably will, change over time, especially as you learn more, but you have to start somewhere. The best place to start is wherever you are. What's most worth learning for you right now?

A learning journal helps you to keep track of where you've been and to plan where you should study next. It also helps you to learn by making you pay enough attention to what you've been doing and to what you are thinking about doing in the future to record it accurately. Record your ideas, insights, reactions, reflections, problems, and doubts. Your journal is not about what you've learned so much as for what you have thought about it. Also for the future you need to develop your project plans and experiments starting with your hopes and dreams. Also review your journal, recall how you were and how you've changed.

When you're considering a learning project ask yourself:

1. Does it advance my purpose?

2. Will it be enjoyable or will I come to dread working on it?

3. Is it economical in, that is an efficient use of, both money and time?

4. What is the opportunity cost? That is, what else could I be doing with that money and time?

Record anything you think you may find useful about your learning:

1. Maintain a record of what you are working on, what you have completed, how you felt about the projects you have done, what you have learned from them, how you could have done them better.

2. Maintain a complete portfolio of material produced. Write something significant to yourself each day. Write lots of short papers.

3. Describe the particular work done to produce the materials.

4. Keep a chronological record of how the work progressed. Note particularly which parts you think deserve more care, these can become future projects.

5. List employers, co-workers, or employees who can verify parts of the portfolio and your description of your abilities.

These records are primarily for your own benefit, to help your learning be more effective, but secondarily you can use them for potential employers should you decide to work in your field of study.

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