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
- Change Edit Mode to ON.
- On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Journals.
- On the Journals listing page, click Create Journal on the action bar.
- On the Create Journal page, type a Name for the journal.
- Type optional Instructions for the journal. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia, mashups, and attachments using the functions in the content editor, if needed. Attachments you add using the content editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder.
- For Journal Availability, select the Yes option to make it available to users.
- For Journal Date and Time Restrictions, you can set a journal to display on a specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times or type dates and times in the boxes. Display restrictions do not affect the journal availability, only when it appears.
- In the Journal Settings section, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries.
- Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries.
- Optionally, select the check box to Allow Users to 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.
- 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 the 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.
- 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.
- Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric to access the drop-down list. To learn more, see Using Rubrics.
- Click Submit. To learn more, see The Journal Topic Page.
The journal topics appear in alphabetical order on the Journals listing page. You can sort columns by clicking the column title or caret.
You can also provide links to journals in course areas such as content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders. To learn more, see Linking to Tools in a Course Area.
How to Create Journal Entries
You and your students can create journal entries. Only you can comment on students' private entries. You and group members can comment on group entries.
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.
- On the Journals listing page, select a journal title.
- On the journal's topic page, click Create Journal Entry on the action bar.
- On the Create Journal Entry page, type a Title for the journal entry.
- Type text in the Entry Message box. Format the text and add images, links, multimedia, mashups, and attachments using the functions in the content editor, if needed. Attachments you add using the content editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
- In the Journal Entry Files section, browse for a file to attach to the journal entry.
- Click Post Entry to submit the journal entry or click Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.
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 can 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.
- On the Journals listing page, select a journal title.
- On the journal's topic page, select the journal entry to view by selecting the user’s name in the side panel in the More Journals section. The user's journal entry opens in the content frame.
- Click Comment following the user’s entry. The Comment box appears.
- Type a comment in the Comment box.
- Click spell check at the bottom of the Comment box to check the spelling of the content before continuing.
- Click Add. Click the Comments link below the entry to view the comment.
Creating a Journal (Flash movie | 3m 10s)
Creating and Editing Journal Entries (Flash movie | 2m 24s)
Commenting on a Journal Entry (Flash movie | 1m 27s)