What is the Reflective Journal?

Modified on Wed, 10 Apr at 4:42 PM

Your reflective journal is an important component of all Learna programmes and will be assessed by your tutor, counting towards your overall module mark. 

But what is a reflective journal?

Reflective practice is not a new concept and can be used to enhance your own experiences, not merely articulating your experiences, but reflecting upon these experiences to optimise that experience.

The purpose of the reflective journal is to examine critical issues related to your programme, to think about applying your learning to your professional practice or work experience, or even to your personal life. 

We want you, by this process, to enhance the development of your own professional practice, to examine some of the ethical problem-solving skills that might be quite difficult to address, and to be involved in self-examination about your values and also to derive personal relevance to your work and studies.  

How should I approach my reflective journal?

We recommend using a reflective model, particularly for your end-of module reflection, so let your tutor know which one you have chosen. Below are a few examples.

  • ERA Cycle; Experience/ Reflection/ Action Cycle

  • Driscoll’s What Model

  • Kolbs Experiential Learning Cycle

  • Gibb’s Reflective Cycle

Methodologies for this component are discussed in detail in the Study Skills module.

Your journal should be a progressive, continuous, structured, personal process or journey, and should be written in the first person, that is using ‘I’. This will differ from the more formal narrative style you use in the academic forum and module activity components. 

The content may contain some subjective and some objective elements. Some content will relate to your thoughts, however, if as part of your learning you identify a gap in your knowledge, you may want to go to the literature and in that instance you can demonstrate your learning by adding a reference.

In terms of frequency and time-managing this task, you should be making weekly entries.  

For the first week of each module, set out your expectations, perhaps drawing on the learning aims and outcomes set out at the top of the module page on Moodle. For each of the middle weeks, draw on one learning experience or aspect of the module content or a particular scenario, and briefly reflect on it, including insights you have gained and how you might apply it to your work. In the final week, write a fuller reflection on the module learning as a whole. 

Your reflective journal is not a personal diary - you will enhance your learning and your marks by reflecting on topics studied and writing about how you might apply them to your professional practice. We also recommend that you make entries each week so that you can receive formative feedback from your tutor as you progress through each module. 

Reflective Journal Breakdown Example:
Week 1: Set out your expectations of the module and what you want to learn from this part of your programme. You may want to draw on the learning aims and outcomes set out at the top of the module page.
Aim to write 100 - 150 words

Weeks 2 to 5: Give a short reflective progress report (Please note, these do not have to be completed using a full reflective cycle)
Aim to write 50 words

Week 6: Reflect on the module as a whole, perhaps using a fuller reflective cycle such as the Gibbs or Kolb methods. 
Aim to write approximately 200 words.

Depending on your programme, the weighting for your reflective journal is between 10 and 20 percent of your overall module mark. Be guided by the word count advice so that you spend an appropriate amount of time on this component. 

How to complete my reflective journal submission on Moodle

There is one submission area for all your entries. Take care when making a new entry that you don’t overwrite a previous entry.

To add a Reflection, locate the link to the Reflective Journal on your module page. 

Click "Add Submission". 

Then click "Save Changes" when you have finished inputting your entry. 

Please note that the reflective journal has one submission area. 

For Weeks 2 - 6

Please do not delete previously submitted work. 

Click edit submission,

Paste your additional content beneath your previous week's entry.

Now click Save Changes. This should take you back to the Submission Status screen


To check that your submission has been successful, check whether the word count has increased.

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