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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, Business Model Thinking. Join the course to learn more.

Capturing your thinking

Before you start generating your business idea, consider how you are going to capture your thoughts as you develop them, as well as reflecting on your learning.

While developing your business idea, you should be cautious about openly sharing new product / business ideas so you may or may not wish to share the idea or the thinking behind it with fellow learners, but it is vital that you capture your thoughts.

In the next step, we will provide you with a blank business idea template that you may find useful in supporting you to develop your business idea.

Your online portfolio

An online portfolio helps you collect and showcase your work throughout your learning experience and is essential for formally recording your research, reflections and progress.

In some modules, you’ll be sharing the contents of your portfolio with your lead educator and course hosts to support assessment and feedback as you learn. It may also be used to provide evidence of a body of work to accrediting bodies that require ongoing proof of study. As such, it’s important that you keep it organised and up to date.

You’re expected to add to your portfolio regularly and will be guided on work to include as you progress.

Get to know your tools

This program invites you to choose a third-party tool to build your portfolio. You’ll be asked to update it at set points throughout your study, so it’s important to understand how your chosen tool works.

There are a number of free third-party options available, including PathBrite, PortfolioGen and FolioSpaces. These offer lots of functionality, including the ability to upload a variety of file types and multimedia, so it’s easy to capture and organise information effectively.

You’ll need to be ready to share your portfolio upon request, so be sure to familiarise yourself with your chosen platform’s sharing options.

Your personal learning log

A learning log is a useful way of compiling your course notes, views and resources as you study. The aim is to regularly look back on what you have learned and articulate your thoughts and feelings about the experience.

Unlike the online portfolio, your learning log is informal and can be kept private. However, in the spirit of social learning, you’re encouraged to share as much of your work with your fellow learners as you feel comfortable.

You can record your log entries offline in a notebook or go digital with easy-to-use online tools (below) to build a more dynamic collection of resources and insight.

Build it with a blog

Blogging and journaling tools such as Blogger, Tumblr, Wix and WordPress can be updated regularly with text, images, videos, audio and more, so they’re ideal for keeping an engaging learning log.

You can usually choose to make blog posts public, keep them private, or share them only with select people. It’s a great way to develop your understanding and share your work week-by-week.

FutureLearn has even provided useful guidance on using blogging tools to support your reflective practice.

Take notes online

Online note-taking tools and apps act like digital notebooks, allowing you to edit, organise and share your notes flexibly.

They range in functionality from very simple tools, like Shrib, to those with more advanced features, like EverNote and Google Keep. If you’re a registered Coventry University student, you also have access to Microsoft OneNote as part of Office 365.

Some of these tools allow you to clip from websites, include images and collaborate with others to maintain a more comprehensive record of thoughts and information. How you use them is up to you.

Your task

Take some time to explore the portfolio and learning log tools discussed above.

  • Do you have experience with these or others that may be useful?

  • Which will you be using and why?

Share your thoughts with your fellow learners.

Please note: following the above links will take you to a third-party website where you may be asked to submit personal details, such as your name and email address. If so, please ensure you are familiar with the respective terms and conditions and privacy policy before submitting your information.

Accessing these third-party websites will not affect your course progress.

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This article is from the free online course:

Business Model Thinking

Coventry University