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Blackboard Help

Create a Journal

The journals tool offers students the opportunity to reflect on course content and communicate privately with you. You can use the tool to gauge understanding and guide students in their knowledge acquisition. Your comments can help students refine their writing and ideas.

You can create one or more journals for use by students in your course. You must create journal topics before students can add their entries.

How to Create a Journal

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and click Journals.
  2. On the Journals listing page, click Create Journal on the action bar.
  3. On the Create Journal page, type a name and optional instructions. Make the journal available.
  4. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect the journal availability, only when it appears.
  5. In the Journal Settings section, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries. Optionally, select check boxes to allow users to edit and delete entries, or delete comments.​
    • Optionally, select the check box to Permit Course Users to View Journal. If selected, the journal becomes public. All users can view all journal entries made to the journal topic.
  6. In the Grade Settings section, select No grading or the Grade option and type the number of Points possible. Points possible will apply to one or more entries made by a user to the journal topic. After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. It is permanently gradable, and you cannot change the setting to No grading.
  7. Optionally, select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and select the number of entries required. Applying this setting will show the needs grading icon in the Grade Center and place the entries in the queue on the Needs Grading page after the specified number of entries are made.

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  8. Optionally, add a rubric. To learn more, see Rubrics.
  9. Click Submit.

The journal topics appear in alphabetical order on the Journals listing page. You can sort columns by clicking the column title. To learn more, see The Journal Topic Page.

You can also provide links to journals in course areas, such as content areas and folders. To learn more, see Link to Tools in a Course Area.

How to Create Journal Entries

You and your students can create journal entries. You are the only one who can comment on students' private entries. You and group members can comment on group entries.

Watch a Tutorial

Double-click the video to enlarge the viewing area.

On the Journals listing page, information is provided about each journal. Students can see if their entries are private—between the student and you—or public.

  1. On the Journals listing page, click a journal title.
  2. On the journal's topic page, click Create Journal Entry on the action bar.
  3. On the Create Journal Entry page, type a title and entry.
  4. Optionally, browse for a file to attach.
  5. Click Post Entry to submit the journal entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.

View Drafts

To view or add to saved drafts, click View Drafts on the action bar on the Journals listing page.

How to Comment on a Journal Entry

Journaling can be essential for interaction between you and your students, especially in a web-based course. Student entries and your comments can help build rapport and create a healthy intellectual exchange.

A student can make a comment after you comment on an entry to continue the conversation. Students cannot make comments on another student’s journal entry, even if you made the journal public. Students can only comment on another student’s entry when they are members of a group. For group journals, you and all group members are allowed to make comments on individual entries.

  1. On the Journals listing page, click a journal title.
  2. On the journal's topic page, select the journal entry to view by clicking the user’s name in the sidebar in the name drop-down list. The user's journal entry opens in the content frame.
  3. Click Comment following the user’s entry and type a comment.
  4. Click Add. Click the numbered Comments link to view all comments.

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