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Blackboard Help

Grade Journals

This information applies only to the Original Course View. Your institution controls which tools are available.

You can grade journal participation for individuals and groups.

How journal grades behave

When you enable grading for a journal, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. As students submit entries, icons begin to appear in the Grade Center, on the journal topic page, and on the Needs Grading page:

  • The needs grading icon—an exclamation mark—appears when student activity has met the threshold you chose in the journal settings. For example, if you choose to be notified after four students submit their work, this icon appears after at least four students submit their journal entries.
  • The in progress icon appears when:
    • Student activity does not meet the minimum number you set.
    • You did not select the Show participants in needs grading status check box.

You can grade a journal entry in the Grade Center, on the Needs Grading page, or by going to Control Panel > Course Tools > Journals within a course.

Edit the column information in the Grade Center to determine whether or not students can view their grades and feedback in My Grades.

More on grade columns and items in the Grade Center

As you grade students’ journal entries, the grades show immediately in the Grade Center. When you edit an assigned grade from the journal topic page, the Grade Center is updated.

Change a journal topic from graded to ungraded

You cannot change a graded journal topic to ungraded. You need to delete the graded journal topic from the Journals listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded topic.

However, you can set the journal's Grade Center column to not be included in calculations. Effectively, the journal continues to be considered graded by the Grade Center, but any results or grades assigned are ignored in the student's overall grade.

The journal topic page

Access the journal topic page in the following ways:

  • In the journals tool, access a journal. In the sidebar, select the list with your name to access all course members.
  • On the Needs Grading page, access a journal’s menu and select Grade All Users.
  • In the Grade Center, locate the column for the journal you want to grade. Move your mouse cursor over a cell with the needs grading icon to access the journal’s menu. Select Grade User Activity.

There are two main sections on the journal topic page. View journal entries in the content frame. In the sidebar, you can view information about the journal topic or entry, expand the Index, grade the entry if applicable, and select an individual user's name to view his or her entries alone in the content frame.

If you do not see the grading feature in the sidebar, your school has not turned it on.

  1. In the sidebar, you can expand the Journal Details section to display information about the current selection, including the number of entries and comments. Select the right-pointing arrow to collapse the sidebar for more viewing room for entries. Select the four arrows to view the journal entries and sidebar in full screen.
  2. Journal Instructions are expanded by default. You can minimize them. Select Alignments to add alignments.
  3. To view all course members, select the down-pointing arrow next to the user's name to view a list and select a member. The selected member’s entries appear in the content frame. Use the left- and right-pointing arrows to navigate to the previous or next student. Select Show Empty Journals to see which students have not written an entry.
  4. For graded journals, icons designate the status of a user’s activity. The needs grading icon indicates that a user has met the minimum activity for grading you set for the journal. The in progress icon appears when a user has some activity, but has not yet met the minimum number required to trigger needs grading status.
  5. In the grading sidebar, provide a grade and feedback for the student.
  6. The Index displays the titles of the entries created by an author during the selected time period. Select the minus sign to collapse the title list.

Grade individual journal entries

Begin grading journals from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, or the Course Tools section in the Control Panel.

  1. On the journal topic page, locate the list with your name to access all course members. Select a user's name with a number. The user's journal entry or entries open in the content frame.
  2. Type a point total in the Grade box. If you associated a rubric for the journal, expand and complete the rubric.
  3. To edit an existing grade, select the Grade box and change the grade.
  4. You can also include notes for the student by typing in the Feedback to Learner. Select Add Notes to leave notes that appear only to you and the grader role. Select the Content Editor icon if you'd like to use all the content editor functions.
  5. Select Submit to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Grade Center.

Grade a group journal

Grade a group journal using the same steps as for individuals. When the minimum number of entries are submitted, all group members' names appear with the needs grading icon. If you haven't assigned a group member's grade, the needs grading icon appears in the Grade Center, on the journal topic page in the All Group Members list, and the group journal is listed on the Needs Grading page.

When you add a grade for a group journal, the grade is automatically given to all group members. You can change this grade for individual group members to reflect their contribution.

Students can view their group journal grades in My Grades and on the group journal topic page by selecting their names.

Give a different grade to group members

You can assign an individual group member a different grade than the group. If you change a group member’s grade and then assign a new grade to the group, the new group grade doesn't affect the individual’s grade. A student only sees their own grade, not what each of their group members earned.

In the grading sidebar, select the pencil icon to change the group grade for a member. Type a new grade and select the check mark icon to save it. This grade becomes an override grade.

The group grade and the individual group member’s edited grade appear in the Grade Center. Grayed out cells appear in the group journal column for course members who are not part of the group.

Change a group member’s grade back

You can revert a member’s edited grade to the original group grade, which all group members received.

In the grading sidebar, select the pencil icon for the user with the edited grade. Select the left-pointing arrow to change the grade to the original group grade. The override icon is removed and the change appears in the Grade Center.