• Developing journal writing skills in undergraduates: the need for journal workshops

      Hockings, Christine (University of Wolverhampton, 1998)
      In recent years, journal writing has become a popular tool for assessing student learning in Business Studies courses throughout UK universities. The writing-to-learn literature is full of the benefits of journal writing, not just as a means of assessing learning but as an essential part of the learning process itself. (Barclay, 1996; Borasi & Rose, 1989; Emig, 1987; Hogan, 1995; Holly 1987; Yinger & Clarke 1981, etc.). In the personal experience (as tutor) explored in this paper, however, journal writing failed to live up to expectations, both as a means of assessing the acquisition and application of subject specific knowledge, but also and more importantly, as a means of developing high level cognitive skills, such as reflection, analysis, critical thinking, evaluating, and hypothesising. In this paper I explain why journal writing failed to develop high level skills amongst a group of first year undergraduates in 1996. I then evaluate the effectiveness of a journal writing workshop designed to address high level skills amongst two similar groups of students in 1997.