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Blackboard Help


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

The journals tool provides a personal space for you to communicate privately with your instructor. You can also use a journal as a self-reflective tool to post your opinions, ideas, and concerns about your course, or discuss and analyze course related materials. For example, you can describe problems you faced and how you solved them. Your instructor can direct journal entries to be more formal in nature and narrower in focus by listing topics for discussion.

Your instructor can choose to make journal entries public, allowing all course members to view all entries. You can read what other students wrote and build on those ideas.

When used in the group area, members of a group can view and comment on each other’s entries for a group journal. The group can communicate with their instructor as a whole and all members can benefit from the comments made.

Your instructor can grade group journals and apply the grade to every member of the course group. Journal entries can also be used specifically for communication. In either instance, you can make multiple entries for one journal topic.

Where to find journals

You can find journals on the course menu or on the Tools page. On the journals listing page, select the name of the journal topic you want to access. The journal topics appear in alphabetical order.

Journal topic page

The journal topic page is divided into two main sections: the content frame and the sidebar.

  1. Create Journal Entry: You can create as many journal entries as you want.
  2. Journal Instructions: Expand the section to view the journal instructions and any goals your instructor may have aligned to the journal.
  3. Journal entry: Your journal entries appear in the content frame.
  4. Comment: Select to add your thoughts.
  5. View Drafts: Access any entries saved as drafts.
  6. Journal Details: In the sidebar, expand the section to view the journal information, including if comments were made.
  7. Grade: This section appears if your instructor enabled grading for the journal. You can see if your journal entries have been graded.
  8. Index: View the titles of your selected entries for either the week or the month, determined by the settings your instructor makes during journal creation. The most recent entry title appears first.

Create a journal entry

Only your instructor can create a journal topic, but after creation, you can create entries.

  1. On the journal topic page, select Create Journal Entry.
  2. Type an Entry Title and Entry Message.
  3. Optionally, in the Journal Entry Files section, select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. You can also upload a file from the course's storage repository:
    • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, select Browse Course.
    • If your institution licenses content management, select Browse Content Collection.

      Files added by students appear with the entry, but are not stored in Course Files or the Content Collection.

  4. Select Post Entry


    Select Save Entry as Draft to save for later posting.

See journals in action

Watch this short video to learn more about creating and commenting on journal entries.

Video: Create and comment on a journal entry

View journal drafts

If you saved a journal entry to edit later, select View Drafts on the journal topic page. Select the title of the entry to edit and post.

Comment on a journal entry

If allowed by your instructor, you can comment on journal entries. You can add a comment after your instructor comments on an entry to continue the conversation.

You cannot make comments on another user’s journal entry, even if the journal has been made public. Users can only comment on another user’s entry when they are members of a group. For group journals, all group members and their instructor are allowed to make comments on individual entries.

Edit or delete a journal entry

Your instructor determines if you are allowed to edit or delete your journal entries. On the journal's topic page, access the entry's contextual menu and select Edit or Delete. Deleting a journal entry is final and irreversible.

View journal grades

After your instructor grades your journal entries, you can view your grade in two places. The grading information appears in the Grade section on the journal topic page and on your My Grades page. Any feedback and the date the grade was assigned also appear in these areas. To learn more, see Grades.


If your instructor associated a rubric with the journal and made it available, select View Rubric to display grading criteria.


  • If your instructor deleted the journal while you are posting, the journal and all comments are deleted.
  • If a journal is made unavailable while you are posting, the journal remains visible to your instructor in Edit view but is not displayed to you.
  • If the Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries setting is changed, entries remain but you cannot edit them.
  • If the Allow Users to Delete Comments setting is changed, comments remain but you cannot edit them.