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Reflective Journaling & Creative Expression


Entry requirements

Cohort 2021 students of the Honours College FSW programme.

Course description

During your studies you participate in many courses and activities within and outside your study programme. In addition you move around in various environments, you encounter all kinds of situations, and you adopt diverse roles within different communities. All of these things help you shape your own identity and your position within the society around you.

To broaden and deepen your learning experience it is important to take time to process all of it. Reflective journaling encourages you to take time to process the things that you encounter, it helps to integrate them, and it helps you to get insights in your personal development. A reflective journal stimulates critical thinking and self-awareness, and in keeping it, it stimulates growth. Furthermore, sharing your journey with fellow Honours students enhances a sense of community amongst peers and creates the possibility to learn from each other.

Through this creative course we also want to help you cultivate your growth mindset. It is all about learning more about yourself and in that sense it focusses on the process just as much as on the presentation of the outcomes. Also in terms of peer to peer contact it is all about inspiring each other, supporting each other, and learning from each other’s experiences.

In this course, you express what you have learned about yourself through the journaling experience in an creative way. This could be via a painting, a podcast, a letter, a column, a video, a dance performance, a musical performance, a photograph, etc. Art is a very powerful form of expression which can be very inspiring (to the artist as well as to the audience). It is a strong communication tool which can stimulate societal change. Furthermore, by nourishing your creativity it allows you to look at yourself and how you can contribute to the society from a new perspective.

The scope of this course is very broad because we want to give you the opportunity to choose themes that are important to you. For example: an exchange experience, dealing with a global pandemic, you as an emerging adult, etc.

Learning objectives

This course covers the following ‘shared transferable skills’:

  1. (meta-)cognitive skills (skills that we use in relating to the world): analysing.
  2. interpersonal skills (skills that we use in relating to other people): oral communication, written communication, and presenting.
  3. intrapersonal skills (skills that we use in relating to ourselves): reflecting, independent learning, and resilience.

Below is mentioned: the learning objectives followed by the related ‘shared transferable skills’ (bold) and the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands) competences (Italic).

This course enables you to:

  • Interlink your experiences in your own discipline (i.e. regular BA programme), your insights gained from the courses Personal and Professional Development, and your life outside the university, which together help shape your identity.

    • Analysing: no. 3 Analytical capacity
    • Reflecting: no. 32 Self-reflection, no. 1 Vision
  • Make use of a curricular space to process all information and experiences gained during your study life.

    • Analysing: no. 3 Analytical capacity
    • Independent learning: no. 5 Capacity to learn, no. 22 Initiative
    • Reflecting: no. 32 Self-reflection, no. 1 Vision
  • Cultivate your growth mindset.

    • Independent learning: no. 5 Capacity to learn, no. 22 Initiative
    • Resilience: no. 29 Flexibility, no. 31 Stress-resistance
  • Experience the value of and discipline in practicing reflective journaling.

    • Reflecting: no. 32 Self-reflection, no. 1 Vision
    • Oral, Written and/or Visual communication (depending on your choice of method) among others: no. 13 Verbal communication, no. 7 Empathy, no. 8 Persuasiveness, no. 12 Written fluency
  • Cultivate creative expression.

    • Independent learning: no. 5 Capacity to learn, no. 22 Initiative
  • Connect your own experiences to those of your peer group and to reflect and develop together.

    • Collaborating: no. 7 Empathy, no. 9 Cooperating, no. 30 Integrity
  • Give and receive feedback to and from peers who are part of a similar personal trajectory

    • Oral and Written communication: no. 13 Verbal communication, no. 7 Empathy, no. 8 Persuasiveness, no. 12 Written fluency
  • Convincingly present your personal trajectory in a creative way.

    • Presenting: no. 14 Presenting, no. 8 Persuasiveness

Mode of instruction

This course is 4 ECTS, level 300, which translates to 112 study hours (SBU). It is composed of the following components (1):

  • In class meetings (5 x 2 + 5 x 1 = 15 SBU).

  • Preparation of meetings and literature study (20 SBU).

  • Journal entries (including time to reflect) and responses to other students’ entries in subgroups of five students (56 SBU).

  • Final product: creative work (20 SBU).

  • Extraction wrap (1 SBU).

(1) These numbers are an indication and can differ per student. Each student is required to spend the 112 SBU but can allocate time to specific parts based on personal preferences/ selected methods as long as they meet the requirements.

Assessment method

The following components need to be completed sufficiently:

  • Preparation of meetings.

  • Active on campus (2) participation during all five meetings.

  • Journaling entries and responses to other students’ entries in subgroups (quality and quantity should met the requirements).

  • Final product: creative work.

  • Final presentation of final product.

  • Extraction wrap.

(2) Online attendance is only allowed if you are abroad.


Brightspace will be used for all communication around the course as well as for submission of all journal entries and peer to peer responses. Announcements about (changes to) the course are made in Brightspace. Students are advised to check Brightspace regularly to remain informed about meetings, schedules, and details of assignments. Lecturers assume that all students read information posted on Brightspace. Students who have applied will be enrolled by the SSC. Due to the nature of this course, having regular access to Brightspace is essential to be able to successfully complete this course.


All meetings are held on campus and physical attendance is required. Those students who are abroad, will be able to attend online. Details such as dates and times will be published on Brightspace.

Course schedule

This course spans a full year and three different semesters:

  • Meeting 1: 15 June 2022

  • Meeting 2: September 2022

  • Meeting 3: December 2022

  • Meeting 4: March 2023

  • Meeting 5: May 2023


To be announced.



Number of participants