Journal Requirement

From Gerald R. Lucas

An important part of education is working through problems in a way that will help your community. Often, when we document our process, we can understand both our successes and failures more easily. By sharing our understanding — our insights, discoveries, struggles, and epiphanies — we can help clarify the process for ourselves and help strengthen the community we’re building.


Keep in mind that the goals of this journal are various:

  1. Documenting your work;
  2. Reflecting on your progress;
  3. Practicing your writing and wiki skills;
  4. Planning your work; and
  5. Helping others who might be facing similar challenges.

While this journal is not a blog, you might get some additional strategies about how to approach it in “Blogging: Some Considerations.”

Location of Your Journal

Since this class uses Wikipedia, this would be the obvious place to house your journal, linked as a sub-page of your Wikipedia user page. Keeping it on Wikipedia will give you daily practice on using the wiki, too. So, I would create my journal by editing my user page and adding:

* [[User:Grlucas/NMAC 5108 Journal|NMAC 5108 Journal]]

Or something similar. Once you save the page and click on the created red link, you will have created your journal page. Start adding your content in the edit window the same as you would any Wikipedia article.

Frequency and Format of Posts

You should aim to post at least two journal posts per week throughout the semester. Use your journal to practice all that you’re learning in your reading, training, and assignments. Design will be up to you, but it should be logical and consistent. For example, each new entry could begin with a header:

==March 1, 2019: Sourcing Issues==

This would create a section for your post, giving it a title and date. Try out different approaches; you can always preview before you save, and revert back to a previous version if you decide you do not like a change.

Commenting and Responding to Others

In addition to your own posts, you should also comment on your colleagues’ posts and respond to their comments when appropriate and necessary. Try to comment on at least one other person’s journal once a week, though more is better. Not only can you learn from what they’re writing, they could gain insights from your comments. Use the talk page format for commenting and responding. (See: Reply, Respond, Comment.)

After everyone has created his or her journal, I will link them all off the syllabus.

Keeping Backups

Since anyone on Wikipedia could edit your journal, it might be a good idea to keep a local, backup copy of your posts. It’s also possible some administrator could decide that this type of journal is inappropriate for Wikipedia, but we should not have any issues.

Final Post

You last post of the semester should be an essay that reflects on your semester’s work — think of it as a self-evaluation that summarizes your efforts, struggles, and successes. This post should be your longest of the semester, about 1000 words, or so.