Learning Journals in Higher and Continuing Education Research Proposal

Pages: 4 (1173 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

¶ … Learning Journals in Higher and Continuing Education (2002), Arthur M. Langer of Teacher's College at Columbia University, examines in-depth and with great authority the issue of utilizing learning journals "as vehicles for encouraging critical reflection among non-traditional students" and for comparing "variances with studies among traditional students" (2002, p. 337). In this case, non-traditional students are those who have not attended an institution of higher learning in many years or have never attended such institutions, mostly comprised of adults over the age of 50 (Petersen, 2005, p. 224). Overall, Langer's main focus is to clearly understand how adult students in a "technical computer class responded to the requirement for learning journals" in a classroom setting, while the qualitative research provided in this article focuses on whether "learning journals have been proven to be an effective teaching tool" in science-based classes (2002, p. 337). Therefore, the basic research question asked by Langer concerns "how the use of journals has impacted the learning process of adult students" and how this impact "compares to those of traditional students" (2002, p. 337).

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As to the article's literature review, Langer provides a rather long and detailed analysis of former and existing literature on the subject of using learning journals in higher education. Most of these share common themes concerning "their use as learning tools" and focus on three major areas of research-first, the overall value that such journals contribute to the student learning process in the fields of science, engineering and higher mathematics; second, how learning journals offer a transition between theory and practice; and third, how the various kinds of learning journals have been used in the past "to facilitate critical reflection in student learning" objectives (2002, p. 339).

Research Proposal on Learning Journals in Higher and Continuing Education Assignment

Langer also provides some examples related to a computer technology curriculum, such as J.A. Moon's suggestion that there are clear indications "of the manner in which learning journals have been used to facilitate learning" in the above-mentioned disciplines and the fact that learning journals have been shown to initiate the replication of facts and ideas in students enrolled in science classes (2002, p. 339). In addition, it has been demonstrated that science students who maintain learning journals, being "much like a diary in which a student writes down what has been learned and any new ideas that deserve some exploration" (Wilson, 2004, p. 245), have improved upon their personal learning and communications skills at all levels, particularly in the disciplines of science and mathematics (Langer, 2002, p. 339).

In regards to data collection/research methods, Langer employs two approaches, an evaluative review of the learning journals kept and submitted by students and an interview process of selected students that completed a specific course. With the first approach, Langer utilized researchers to read and evaluate all of the submitted learning journals for style, content and subject matter and then examine these journals with a critical eye, looking for common themes and learning concerns (2002, p. 342). With the second approach, Langer solicited student volunteers to be interviewed with the objective being "to gain an understanding of student perceptions related to journal writing assignments" and the overall effects of these journals on student learning and comprehension (2002, p. 342).

The results of Langer's explorations into the effectiveness and benefits of learning journals is based on an analysis and two summaries of data collected from the individual journals and the interviews. Langer then compares the data to past and current literature related to the application of learning journals in higher educational environments, especially… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Learning Journals in Higher and Continuing Education."  Essaytown.com.  September 14, 2009.  Accessed January 16, 2021.