Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

1 Keeping a study journal

Throughout your studies at the OU, and especially while you’re new, you’ll be taking on lots of information, continually developing more skills and, at times, maybe facing challenges.

One way to keep on top of all of this is to keep a study journal. If you’ve been taking any notes while working through this course you’ve already got the makings of your own study journal.

A study journal is just a formal term used to describe your personal notes. Watch the following video about how a study journal works and its benefits.

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Transcript: What is a study journal?

What is a study journal? People keep a study journal for many different reasons. For some, it helps them remember key information. For others, it helps them reflect on and understand ideas. For others, it helps them organise their learning.
A study journal doesn't have to be anything fancy. It could be a notebook you carry around. Or you could keep your journal on a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. Whatever format it takes, it works as a central place to make regular notes and capture useful information as you work through your studies.
You might want to make a note of web pages to refer back to. You might record your thoughts about articles that you've read, new ideas that you would like to think about or discuss with others, and areas that you would like to revise or study in more detail. It could be a record of what you've done and what you still need to do. And you might want to note how you feel about your studies. Reflecting on your experiences can really help with your motivation.
The process of bringing together your ideas into a study journal, however you write and store it, has proved a very useful tool for students to store and organise information. So that with everything in one place, when you come to important moments in your studies, you can look back and bring it all together. So why not try it out and start writing your study journal today?
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What is a study journal?
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If you haven’t already, you might like to start making some notes in this session.

You’ll find you need to take notes in some form when you start your studies, for example notes on different topics you are studying or notes when you plan an assignment, so it’s good to get in the habit now. If you find it useful you might wish to continue using a specific study journal just to reflect on your learning through your studies or you could do it as part of your other notes. There’s no right or wrong way – do what works for you.

Here are a few methods you could use to keep your journal:

  • a document on your PC or mobile device
  • a digital notebook, such as One Note
  • a blog/journal.

You can, of course, also take paper notes. Many students find that doing this helps them absorb information better. It’s also worth setting something up on your computer, however, as you might want to save useful web links you come across.

Keeping a study journal can help with making a success of distance learning. In the next section you’ll look at some more tips to guide you on your way.


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