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Learning Journals 8 total

Journal Entry Format

In addition to reading the text, choose a topic or two of interest and do what you can to learn more. Take an hour or two to search for related journal articles in the library, search Google and YouTube for appropriate information, etc. Follow your curiosity, learn, and document the process and results. This is a new assignment for me, so we will learn as we move forward, but I suspect it will take 2-3 pages per learning topic to adequately document your efforts. so total of 8 2-3 page documents

Adopt a journal entry format similar to the following:

This journal entry documents my efforts to learn about (the assigned topic). The book chapter(s) on this topic included …. The discussion of ___, included in Chapter ___, reminded me of (a news story, another class, real-life, class discussion, etc). Expand ….

It was interesting to learn …. Explain. Discuss additional resources used to learn more. Cite (2015) also discussed …. This is similar to research by Cite2 (2018), who ….

I was especially interested in …. This topic is interesting because (job, experiences, politics, news events, etc). My research helped me learn more, including a few surprises. Expand ….

Peer-reviewed articles related to the topic include readings by Cite3 (2012) and Cite4 (2017). The Cite4 (2017) article …. This was interesting because …. I learned … from this activity.

The multimedia resources included …. A video about ___ was especially interesting and I learned a lot about ….

Summary ….

References (APA or ASA)



Students will submit a written account of their efforts to learn about the topics included in each this class. Quiz completion is somewhat mechanical, although many key topics are learned. Our discussion activities allow us to focus on broad topics related to courts, again providing an opportunity to learn. Journals are expected to document your efforts to learn more than is possible with these mechanical activities, while also allowing students to follow paths of personal interest.

What do you, personally, want to learn? What topics are most interesting, perhaps interesting enough to try to learn more? Follow paths of interest, documenting your efforts with APA or ASA citations to at least two classroom resources and two additional sources for each journal entry. Refer specifically to journal articles, multimedia resources, discussion topics, readings, and additional research on related topics of personal interest – what did you learn and what resources were used to learn it?


A learning journal is a semistructured written assignment that provides evidence that you can translate course concepts for use in the real world. In addition to documenting the paths taken to learn more about specific topics, journal entries should apply topics included in each module to personal understanding and experiences.

The learning journal differs from a personal journal in that it is more structured: It is not “stream-of-consciousness” writing, although it can certainly be written in an informal style. Each entry must demonstrate the application of course concepts and some critical thinking about those concepts. Because journals are substitutes for exams, you must clearly show your understanding of the concepts you choose to discuss. That is, clearly name them and explain in detail how they relate to your (evolving) understanding and experience.

What a learning journal is not: A learning journal is not a copy of your class notes, it is not a summary of the reading materials, nor is it a forum for personal opinion.


Entries 1 through 8 should discuss a concept, theory, or practice from the reading and other research related to the assigned topic (see topic list below). Do not attempt to write about everything within the topic. What you choose to write about should be meaningful to you, and should have a link to some personal experience (work or non-work, past, present, or related to your future career).

Entry 9: Wrap-up: This entry should contain your reflections on what you have learned in the class. What did you learn that is significant to you? What did you learn about learning?

The topics for each learning journal entry are as follows. Due dates are listed in the classroom

  1. Understanding Criminal Justice Organizations.
  2. The Criminal Justice System in Its Environment.
  3. Communication and/or Motivation
  4. Job Design and/or Leadership.
  5. Occupational Socialization.
  6. Power, Political Behavior, and/or Organizational Conflict.
  7. Decision Making.
  8. Organizational Effectiveness and/or Change

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