8 “Just One Thing” Learning Log

Laken Brooks

Course: Introduction to Literature (LIT 2000)


To incorporate “Just One Thing” in your class, I recommend that you encourage each student to keep a running Google Doc or spreadsheet. Every entry should be dated for the appropriate class. In the last several minutes of class, instruct students to write one or two sentences of either 1) the most important thing they learned from the class, 2) how they will change their behavior or their insight based on what they learned in today’s lesson, and/or 3) any lingering questions the students have after the lesson has ended. This check-in allows students to reflect on the lesson and summarize the main points in their own words. This moment of reflection encourages students to retain the information, return to their learning logs to study, and consider how they may apply the information to their lives.

For instructors, this learning log can be a helpful assessment tool as students share their Google Doc links. Instructors can check the students’ submissions for factual correctness and can address questions that students have listed. To save time or encourage more student participation, instructors may consider the learning log as a part of a student’s discussion grade, participation grade, or even as a form of keeping attendance.

At the end of the semester, students can look back at their learning logs to see how much they have learned. Likewise, instructors can archive student samples from these learning logs as valuable additions to their learning portfolio, a chronicle of a student’s learning throughout an entire semester.

Assignment Goals/Outcomes

A check-for-understanding activity, a quick assessment, student reflection.

Assignment Setup (Instructor)

An ongoing Google Doc or spreadsheet for each student. Instructors should reserve several minutes at the end of each class for students to write reflections in their learning logs.

Student Instructions

Students should make and share their own Google Doc or spreadsheet that they will update after every class. Every entry should be dated for the appropriate class session

Grading (Instructor/TA)

Check for completeness and factual correctness.

Tips and Suggestions for Instructors

For teachers who want to try this activity as a quick form of assessment instead of as a longitudinal, formative assessment tool, I recommend trying this activity once in a while by prompting students to type their responses in the Zoom chat window instead of in their own Google Doc learning journals.


Keywords: google, journal, reflection, self-assessment, check-in, shared document



No Walls Teaching: The Book Copyright © by Laken Brooks. All Rights Reserved.

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