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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, Global Issues in the Construction Industry. Join the course to learn more.

Capturing your thinking

During Week 1 of this course, we encourage you to select a topic you think requires further investigation.

From this, you will derive a research question and we will support you in drafting a research proposal in Week 2. In this activity, you will receive feedback on your own ideas and give feedback to others about their ideas.

Consider how you’re going to capture your thoughts as you develop them, as well as reflecting on your learning. If you capture your thoughts step-by-step throughout the course, you will find it easier to create your draft proposal.

Keeping a learning log or portfolio

A learning log or portfolio is a useful way to help you reflect on your learning. The aim of a personal learning log is to regularly look back on what you have learned, and articulate your thoughts and feelings about the experience.

You might also find it useful to record the answers to your tasks and keep them all in one place.

A quick way to capture your reflections is to use the following questions as prompts:

  • What’s good, useful or interesting about…?
  • What questions have arisen?
  • What actions will you take to… (further develop, apply, etc)?

You could record your log entries in a notebook, or use one of the many online tools and apps available.

By following any of the links below you will be taken to a third party website. On this website, you may be asked to submit some information about yourself. Please make sure you are familiar with the terms and conditions, and privacy policy of the third party website before submitting your information.

Whether you follow the links below and submit your personal information or not, your course progress will in no way be affected.

Blogging and journaling tools

Blogging and journaling tools such as Blogger, Tumblr, Wix and WordPress are designed to be updated regularly, which makes them an ideal tool for keeping a learning log. You can usually choose to publish them publicly, or keep them private to yourself and anyone you choose to invite.

FutureLearn has provided some useful guidance about using blogging tools to support your reflective practice.

Journaling apps

You might find an app useful if you own a smartphone or tablet and prefer to record your thoughts on the go. An example of an extremely simple journaling app is  Day One.

Note-taking tools and apps

Note-taking tools provide digital ‘notebooks’ where you can save and organise your notes and to-do lists. They range in functionality from very simple tools, like Shrib, which allows you to save text to the web and share it with a link, to tools with a great deal more features.

Some tools enable you to clip from websites, include images, collaborate with others, and even convert your handwriting to text.

If you are interested in using these features for your learning log, you could investigate EverNote or Google Keep.

If you are a registered Coventry University student you have access to Office 365 and you might like to explore using OneNote, which has a lot of additional functionality.

Portfolio tools

Portfolio tools are designed to help you collect and showcase your work. They have lots of functionality, including the ability to upload a variety of file types and multimedia, so it’s easy to keep information from lots of different sources in one place.

You can choose to keep your portfolio private, make all or part of it publicly available, or to share it with specific people.

There are a number of free portfolio tools available including PortfolioGen, PathBrite, and FolioSpaces.

Your task

Why else do you think keeping a learning log or portfolio could be useful?

Do you have experience using any of the tools mentioned? Can you think of any other tools or apps that might help you with this?

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This article is from the free online course:

Global Issues in the Construction Industry

Coventry University