Capturing your thinking

If you are undertaking this course as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and are required to collect examples of your CPD for your professional portfolio, including reflection on your participatory and non-participatory learning, then you will find it useful to keep a learning log or portfolio.

If you are a healthcare professional, please consult your professional body for any tools or templates that have been designed for this purpose.

We have collated some general notes about keeping a learning log or portfolio that you might find helpful.

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 learnt 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 simply record your log entries in a notebook, or you might prefer to use one of the many online tools and apps that are available.

By following any of the links below you will be taken to a third party website of a suggested tool that may help you record your thoughts. 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.

Notetaking tools and apps

Notetaking 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 NoteHub, which allows you to save text to the web and share it with a link, to tools with a great deal more features like OneNote.

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.

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 is 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 share it with specific people.

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

How to create and share your glossary

To support your learning, we suggest that you create a companion glossary as you go through the course. This may consist of definitions of new words that you have come across and/or of web links to related topics.

It is really important that you consider the reliability of any medical information that you see posted on the internet.

Whilst you can use paper, there are any number of ways you can create a glossary online using a number of the tools outlined above.

You might like to create a glossary that you can share with fellow learners. You will just need to ‘copy and paste’ the URL (web address) to share in the comments below.


Your task

Have you got experience of using any of the tools that are mentioned?

Can you think of any other tools or apps that might help you in creating your glossary or capturing your thinking?

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This article is from the free online course:

Understanding Continence Promotion: Effective Management of Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction in Adults

Association for Continence Advice

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