In this class, we will be asking you to keep a journal, a technique suggested by Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle, as well as several other models of instruction.  Journals serve as a way to capture your thoughts, organize your thoughts and reflect on what you're learning.  You can write by hand in a spiral notebook, or you can use an electronic version, saving your ideas on the computer.  

We will not look at or grade your journal.  However, the amount of effort and thought you put into your journal writing determines how much you get out of the learning.  Your journal writing will be the basis for your discussion board responses.  Sure, you could shortcut the process by not having a journal, at all, but such a strategy lessens the value of the time you spend in this class.  Do you really want to waste your time?  

First, relax  

Before you get started on your journal, it's best to relax.  Rather than jumping right into the writing, take a moment to slow down, breathe deeply, and relax your muscles.  This slows your brain waves down from the beta waves (fourteen or more cycles per second) to the alpha waves (seven to fourteen cycles per second).  According to Skip Downing, research has shown that while the more active beta waves are effective to get stuff done, the alpha waves are more conducive to thinking and learning.  He adds, "Relaxation also appears to allow the two sides of our brain -- the logical, linear left brain and the creative, holistic right brain -- to work together."