I teach Anatomy and Physiology, a content heavy course that requires problem solving and critical thinking. Studying the material after each class and coming to class prepared is crucial to the students’ success. My solution to this problem was to implement the use of learning journals. Learning journals have been used for a number of years by the physics faculty at our school and more recently the chemistry faculty have adopted them as well. Last year, I used them for the first time with great success.
I have been using the learning journals for Bio 202 for over two years. I have received a number of positive feedbacks. 1) Students tell me that the journals have helped them on tests. 2) Students have returned to tell me that they are doing journals in classes that does not require it. 3) Students are using the journals in their continuation classes, such as pathophysiology, nursing, and pharmacy school.