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Dealing With Evaluation – Learning Review Journals

Feedback given by professors or tutors regarding our assignments represents a fundamental part of the Open Learning and teaching process and therefore, we should learn to embrace this type of evaluation. We should view this type of feedback as an opportunity to learn or improve from any mistakes we might have made or indeed in areas where we did well during our assignment or project. For example, I remember getting a poor result from one tutor who stated that I did not interpret the question posed in the assignment correctly. This poor grade had a demoralizing effect on me, if felt like I had been burnt by a hot poker (OK, an exaggeration I know but you get the idea).

However, rather than sulk or procrastinate, what I did was to take out my learning review journal and enter a quote from Marshall and Rowland from their book “A Guide to Learning Independently”, (page 85). What I wrote was: “Rigorously analyzing a set question is a fundamental prerequisite to answering it, and failure to do so is one of the main reasons capable students do not produce work which reflects their ability”.

When I was finished reviewing the tutor’s comments I immediately set about taking notes and correcting the errors in the assignment. I then entered the tutor’s comments into my learning review journal with a few comments of my own. I then looked around my desk for a highlighter and highlighted all suggestions for improvement put forward by the tutor. After all, I considered myself a ‘capable’ student, and why therefore was I making fundamental mistakes? When you enter comments in your learning review journal try and write in the first person, as I find I get more out of these comments when I return to them later. For example, I’d write something like this: “I must focus, focus, and focus before I read an assignment question again. I must READ THE QUESTION OUT LOUD!!!!!! Note: I sometimes put sketches or stick pictures [Light Bulbs or Pointing Finger] to further emphasis stupid errors or to stress areas here highlighting is not enough.