Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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Succeeding in postgraduate study

6 Tools to support reflective learning

There are different tools and methods for reflective learning. Common tools include:

  • learning journals, diaries, log books and personal blogs – your thoughts in written prose
  • lists, bullet points, tables – your thoughts summarised in note form
  • audiovisual recordings – documenting your voice or using video recordings
  • visual representations – mind maps, diagrams, sketches.

Journals and learning diaries require you to write weekly entries, and you can base your reflection on course content. A log book (or a ‘lab’ book) is often used in disciplines based on experimental work, such as science. A log gives you an accurate record of a process and helps you to reflect on past actions and make better decisions for future actions. Reflective notes are often used in law, and encourage you to think about your personal reaction to legal issues that have been raised. Other methods of reflection include peer review, which involves students sharing their work with peers for feedback, and self-assessment, which requires you to comment on your own work. We will focus here on two methods that are frequently used to support reflective learning: learning journals and mind maps.

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