Reflective Journaling Entries Instructions

The Goal: The goal of reflective journaling is to interact with and assimilate information that is particularly meaningful to your interpersonal arena in an attempt to discover resources and/or solutions that will empower communication and connection in your relational context. Meaningfulness may be determined by particular information providing a general understanding, interpretation, and/or application regarding your overall context. Meaningful moments may also be experienced when a learning activity empowers you to identify, understand, and interpret personal need(s) that may provide a truth, insight, and/or technique to resource any personal needs at the same time. This is not to be the same material discussed in the Discussion Board Forums.


Journaling: Journaling is similar to taking notes while moving through all of the reading and learning activities. If you have ever kept a journal such as a travelogue, journaling is similar except that you are interacting with the material you are reading rather than journaling about places and/or people. You may also interact with points made by others in the Discussion Board Forums as they impact your learning. The dynamic of this experiential research approach is its requirement to listen, learn, and launch the enlarging my conversation (EMC) equation when something is speaking to you in the course readings. Therefore, the key to journaling is in developing the habit of actively drawing from all of the course material and interaction with others in order to apply the EMC equation (Identified Needs + Intentional Resourcing = Enlarging the Conversation).


Each journal entry must:

  • Be identified by module/week and number.
  • Be personal and reflective. Therefore, they can be written in first person and must be about yourself (not others); they also must be less focused on ideas and more focused on your personal communication as it relates to what you are reading from the course.
  • Include your name on the title page of the document.
  • Be 300–500 words (each).
  • Provide a reference point for each entry. For example, a possible reference point may be a quote that is generating reflection:
    • W1 #1: According to Stewart (2012), “Communication is the continuous, complex, collaborative process of verbal and nonverbal meaning-making” (p. 21).
  • Define a specific need that you identified through any current reading assignments and learning activities. How did the readings provide resources to meet your interpersonal communication needs?
  • Identify in what ways, if any, that the assessments, presentations, Discussion Board Forums, readings, and exercises thus far present possible contradictions. What conclusions have you drawn as a result of these opposing tensions? A journal entry may be created in order to compare and contrast, or even discuss, a contradiction about a particular issue addressed by the various readings.
  • Consider identifiable truths, insights, and techniques your interactive journaling provided for your particular interpersonal communication needs and for controlling your behavioral blend.
  • Attempt to integrate a biblical worldview when appropriate. This may involve incorporating an insight or technique from the spiritual disciplines.
  • Interact, as opportunity presents, with other material in the learning journey. Interaction may be in light of contributions from the various readings and learning activities of this learning journey or another. Assist classmates in making substantial contributions to all of the learning activities. For example, a Discussion Board Forum assignment may benefit from insights logged in the journal.
  • Be typed, double-spaced, spell-checked, proofread, and cited/referenced according to current APA format.


An example of a journal entry:


W1 #1

Nexting versus Nixing

Stewart (2012) identified a particular skill called nexting that may help me to overcome my C tendency to be critical (Uniquely You Assessment) and even move to level 3 listening instead of my level 1 and 2 listening propensity for fake listening or hearing just enough to interject my position or argument into the conversation (Burley-Allen, 1995). I need to remember the definition and comments about this skill:


By nexting I mean something helpful next, responding fruitfully to what’s just happened, taking an additional step in the communication process….Since you realize that communication is complex, continuous, and collaborative, you’ll always recognize that, no matter what’s happened before and no matter how bad things currently look, you always have the option to try a next step. (Stewart, 2012, pp. 29–30)


Nexting is especially helpful when I realize that my internal conversation does not often think about how I can move the conversation or relationship forward, but more about how I can move someone over to my point of view. Perhaps I need to think about how I can move the conversation up to a new level. As a believer, I can provision the Holy Spirit to help me remember this insight and pursue the good of another rather than what I want (1 Cor. 10:24). In fact, nexting will probably help me to communicate more effectively with my son. I also wonder if some of the other readings ahead are going to provide some techniques to help me check the C-ness of my internal conversation.


Note: This is a short example and does not meet the required word count of 300–500 words. Most importantly, depth of personal reflection related to the study must be considered first and foremost, not number of words.


Submit each Reflective Journaling Entry by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned module/week.

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