Another reason that I assign a hand-written journal: seeing as you will be tested largely by hand writing essays in class, fluency and practice are crucial. The journal is a training ground.
From the article:
“Students completed a measure of handwriting ﬂuency and provided samples of writing from exam conditions and a formative class essay. The results indicated that, compared to a class essay, exam writing was constrained by the low level writing skill of handwriting ﬂuency. Surprisingly, it was found that the undergraduates were very slow writers whose writing speed was equivalent to published ﬂuency data on 11-year-old schoolchildren. The relationships between handwriting ﬂuency and writing quality were also very similar to those of published data on 11-year-old children, with handwriting ﬂuency accounting for large amounts of the variance in writing quality and tutor marks for exam answers. The results of the current study indicate that lower level processes constrain the higher level performance of undergraduate students to a signiﬁcant extent.”
Worth a read if you want to see for yourself.