As methods of developing an awareness of processes, these techniques serve a very useful purpose and reveal a wealth of student knowledge and skills not detected by other methods, especially those that concentrate on outcomes. However, they can be very time consuming to grade.
Guidelines for a Preparing Reflective Journal/Diary
NURSING STUDIES VI - A GUIDELINES FOR WRITING A REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
(Adapted from: Holly, M.T. (1984) "Keeping a Personal - Professional Journal" Geelong: Deakin University)
Writing to reflect involves a cyclical pattern of reflection: first, reflecting on experiences before or as you write; and then, reflecting on the journal; entries themselves at some later stage, which may provide material for further reflection and writing; and so on.
In you journal you should try to address the following questions about your nursing practice experience:
- What happened? What are the facts?
- What was my role in the event?
- What feelings and senses surrounded the vent?
- What did I do?
- How and what did I feel about what I did? Why?
- What was the setting?
- What was the flow of events?
- What were the important elements of the event?
- What preceded the event and what followed it?
- What should I be aware of if the event recurs?
These are suggestions only, not binding regulations.
It is important, however, that you write in your reflective journal as soon as possible after an event to capture the "essence of it".
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR WRITING UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE THE DUE DATE FOR SUBMISSION!
(Originally published in Trigwell, K. (1992). Information for UTS staff on Assessment. Sydney: UTS Working Party on Assessment).