The format of your activity log may be a looseleaf notebook divided into sections, typed or handwritten. It may also be a series of entries in an electronic form divided by electronic formatting. This may be physically presented using zip or floppy disk,CD, or networked webpage. It may also be a three dimensional "box" with objects as well as written and pictorial works.
The content of your activity log is meant to describe your process, activities and thoughts throughout the time you are taking this class. It is CRUCIAL in evaluating your progress in this class.
It will consist of the following sections:
Fifth Discipline Group Exercises (One per week.)
Meetings: Chosen Discussion Topics
Group Structures and Processes
Journal Reports and Analyses
Fifth Discipline Individual Exercises
Individual Project: Notes, Progress Tracings
Class Notes, Thoughts, Reactions, Ponderings
The Journal is SEPARATE from the Activity Log, a PRIVATE notebook. It has two primary purposes. It functions as a device to capture data to be used in examples to illustrate data analysis with confidential data. Second it is a device to assist in understanding the dictum "Know thyself" and to illustrate various aspects of YOU as individual system interacting with small group systems and larger cultural systems in communication activities (Templates One, Two and Three made experiential: up close and personal). The cumulative RESULTS of your findings regarding your own patterns of information handling and the PUBLIC presentation of your analyses of confidential data will appear in your ACTIVITY LOG.
The Journal consists of twenty minutes of handwriting or three handwritten pages per day done immediately upon waking (before entering the brainwave pattern usually present in day to day work). The content is meant to catch the flavor of your ongoing thought processes and may or may not directly relate to the content of the class. It is meant to capture the systemic nature of your own information processing procedures. This part of the course relates to the Personal Mastery section in Fifth Discipline. Many students have noted that it provides a direct experience of the Delphic/Socratic dictum "Know thyself". Additional frequent and regular information recording in forms other than handwriting at other times of the day will provide additional valuable information for your later analyses. You will rapidly notice the different style of writing done by hand immediately upon waking and that done later in other forms (even when addressing similar content).
During the first three weeks of class you will simply report your journal activity in the Activity Log. For example, you may write: "Wrote three pages today reflecting on the reading I did last night, pasted copies of some of these in the reading section. The most important ideas were ..". Or perhaps," could only write one page today tried to recapture a dream that related to the nightmare scenario I read on X's web page. I am sure I will be able to write more about this later after I have pondered its meaning." In addition to the early morning writing, this is a good place to record personal triumphs and difficulties with group, general life etc. It is also a free think space to ponder 'what if' and generally clarify and document your 'talk to yourself'. You may find that your 'talk to yourself' varies as you change writing media, times of day etc. when you do your later analyses. MOST IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER IS this is your PRIVATE DATA SPACE. It will be treated just as raw confidential data is treated in qualitative research studies.
By the fourth week your journal and activity log will contain enough information for you to practice analysis and reporting of information. This will emulate research procedures you may later want to use if you intend to analyze and report on confidential data gained from interviews, field observations, etc . For example, lurking behind the second portion of the report above may be a very colorful dream that you would not share publicly. However, as you examine the many pages you have written in both the journal and activity log, you may (using data analysis techniques) find patterns that reveal information handling patterns that you can report and share publicly. For example, you may find that both in dreams and in group interaction you emphasize visual and/or kinesthetic information over auditory/verbal information (spoken words). This discovery could be recorded as PUBLIC DATA and methods obtaining it documented in an analytic report in your ACTIVITY LOG.
Just as in published research, only the PUBLIC information (NOT the raw confidential data) will be shared. Also, as in most academic research, the PUBLIC data may be divided into what you choose to share with only the instructor and with both the instructor and the class.