USE OF JOURNAL WITH SERVICE LEARNING (sample)
Students are requested to make a journal entry after each visit to placement sites. The faculty member requests that students' journal entries "be no less than 2 double-spaced, typed pages." (This is just a guideline-you can certainly hand-write them and take more time, but this should act as a minimum.) These journal entries can be very descriptive don't anguish about putting your experiences into "academise."
Purpose of service learning was clearly evident in the syllabus:
"The purpose of the service learning component is to provide you with an opportunity to reflect on the process of communication and the rules, language and cultural specificity that become apparent when we are placed in new situations."
Guided questions for journal entries were part of the syllabus:
"Consider the following questions in your journal entries. With the exception of the first and the last, which should be answered in the first and last entries of your journal, you can answer them in any order. Issues will be raised at different times in different placements. You are also not restricted to these questions, but should address them. Not all will be relevant to each placement, (See numbers 8,9,10) which is why there are more questions than there are weeks at the placement. Some may be combined if you wish, but check with me before you decide NOT to answer a question. And please drop by or give me a call if you have any questions."
1. Reflect on your preconceptions about the people you will be working with. Where did you learn those preconceptions? How were they communicated to you? How did they influence the way you interacted with the individuals at your placement on your first visit?
2. What role has non-verbal communication played in your visit? Are there certain things that you believe are not being expressed verbally (due to shyness, not really knowing one another), but which you are picking up on nonverbally'? Are you aware of your own non-verbal communication? (You can discuss one particular incident or a regular behavior that you have observed.)
3. We have discussed how subjective human communication is and that the process is one of constant negotiation. Consider an example of a moment or situation at the placement where you seemed to be cross-communicating with someone. ("You said the same thing but didn't get it.") What might explain the different expressions of the same idea? How did you ultimately figure it out (or did you)'?
4. If the director of the agency at which you worked asked you to create a public service announcement to raise money for their organization, what would you say must be taken into consideration about the receivers? Who (or what) would you use as the source of your message?
5. Consider the way you communicate verbally when you are at the placement. Are there certain rules to the conversations you have? Are they different from other conversations? Why? What can you learn about the people you are working with by the way they use language? What do you think they can learn about you?
6. Consider the stages of relationships that Ruben sets out in Chapter 10. Can you apply these to a relationship you have developed in the placement? How did it evolve? Do any of the factors he lists as influencing patterns of a relationship apply? Do you recognize any of the relational patterns that he describes in this chapter in your own relationship at the placement?
7. Are there evident groups at your placement? How do they define themselves? What role do you think they play? Who appears to wield authority and how is that communicated?
8. If possible, observe media use at your placement (or talk to someone about how they use the media). What functions does it serve for these individuals? Do they have favorite media? Shows? Which are they and why?
9. Your placement has been designed to serve a particular population. Given that population, what is your own sense of how they are portrayed by our mass media? Is the portrayal accurate? In what ways? Do you believe this could be an important source of information for the larger population? How could others use media in the socialization process and what might be the result?
10. Talk to some of the people at the placement or people who work at the placement. If they could create a television show, film, magazine, book ... about themselves or the people they work with, what would it be like? What would they try to communicate? How would it be different from what is out there right now?
11. In your final entry, consider what role communication has played in your experience. How has it helped you learn about the people you work with and yourself. Are you more aware of yourself as a communicator? Have your ideas about the role of the placement changed? How and why? Has this been a helpful way to study communication for you?