KU's Learning Management System

Journals

Journals are a great option when you want students to reflect on a certain topic or experience. Journals are by default private between you and a student. Entries are in chronological order and the instructor can add comments to any entry. Instructors have used journals to collaborate with students on portions of their written work. If appropriate, you can make student journals visible to other students.

Campus Pack Journals are no longer an option in the KU Blackboard system as of the end of 2021.

Features of Blackboard Blogs, Wikis, and Journals

We have highlighted a few key points about these tools. If you have any additional questions about the functionality of these tools please contact KU Educational Technologists at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600 for further assistance.


Blackboard Blogs, Wikis, and Journals

  • Allows for creation of multiple blogs, wikis, and journals for a course or individual. Groups are limited to only one blog, wiki, or journal through the Groups tool.
  • Does not allow for the creation of assignment templates for copying of prompts.
  • Does not allow for blogs, wikis, or journals to be exported outside of the Blackboard system.
  • Offers integration with Needs Grading in Blackboard. Grading can be done while viewing students' posts, and grades will automatically transfer to the Grade Center.
  • Allows Instructors to use Blackboard Rubrics for grading.
  • Does not allow Instructors to make blogs, wikis, and journals "read-only" after a specific date. Instructors can set availability restrictions.
  • Blogs, wikis, and journals will take on the theme of the Blackboard course.
  • Users must be logged into Blackboard to be able to access blogs, wikis, or journals.

Access an Existing Journal
  1. In the lower left Control Panel area click Course Tools and select Journals.
  2. On the Journals listing page, click the journal title you want to access.
  3. The journal listing page appears.
Create a New Journal Topic

Only the instructor can create a journal topic, but after creation, students can create entries. The journal topics appear in alphabetical order on the journals listing page. 

  1. In the lower left Control Panel area click Course Tools and select Journals. Click the Create Journal button. -OR- Navigate to a content area (like Course Documents), put your cursor on the Tools button and select Journals. Click the Create New Journal button.  
  2. Enter a name for the journal.
  3. Enter any instructions you want students to see.
  4. Change the availability and date/time restrictions if desired.
  5. Under Journal Settings you can opt for entries to be organized Monthly or Weekly.
  6. You have the option to allow users to edit and delete previous entries; delete comments; and to permit course users to view journal entries. By default these options are off, consider carefully before changing them.
  7. By default the journal topic is set to No grading. You can change this by selecting Grade. You have to enter the Points possible for the journal and have the option to add a due date and a rubric.  
  8. Click Submit.
Create a New Journal Entry

Once a journal topic has been created students can create entries. The journal topics appear in alphabetical order on the journals listing page. Create and post journal entries or save them in draft form for later posting.

  1. In the lower left Control Panel area click Course Tools and select Journals. -OR- Navigate to a content area (like Course Documents), put your cursor on the Tools button and select Journals.   
  2. On the Journals listing page, select a journal to open.
  3. On the Journal Topic page, click Create Journal Entry.
  4. Add a title.
  5. Type the text in the Entry Message textbox.
  6. Optionally, in the Journal Entry Files section, attach a file by clicking Browse My Computer or by dragging and dropping a file from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area.
  7. Files added by students will appear with the entry, but are not stored in the Content Collection.
  8. Click Post Entry -OR- Click Save Entry as Draft to save the entry for later posting.
Viewing Journal Drafts

You can save journal entries to post later by clicking Save Entry as Draft. You can view these drafts by clicking View Drafts on the main journal page.

Comment on a Journal Entry

Students can add a comment after the instructor comments on an entry to continue the conversation.

Students 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 in a group journal. For group journals, all group members and their instructor are allowed to make comments on individual entries.

  1. In the lower left Control Panel area click Course Tools and select Journals.
  2. On the Journals listing page, select a journal to open.
  3. On the Journal topic page, click Comment for the selected entry.
  4. Type a comment in the Comment box.
  5. Click Add.
Edit or Delete a Journal Entry

Students can edit or delete their own journal entries only if the option Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries is selected. If a student edits or deletes a gradable journal entry, the original graded entry will be lost.

Grade a Journal

NOTE: If grading is enabled after students already submitted their work, then a grading rubric is associated, any rubric data entered on the first grading attempt will not be saved. 

  1. In the lower left Control Panel area click Course Tools and select Journals.
  2. On the Journals listing page, click a journal name to open it.
  3. In the right column click the arrowhead under the first name to expand the list and see everyone who posted.
  4. Each student with an ungraded entry will have the Needs Grading icon (yellow circle exclamation point) next to their name. Click a name to grade the student's work.
  5. Enter a grade and optionally type a message to the student in the Feedback to Learner textbox. When finished click Submit.
  6. Optionally you can enter comments on each journal entry.

 


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