Journals are a personal space for students to communicate privately with you. Students can also use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and analyse course-related materials. You can create journal assignments that are broad and student-directed as your students reflect on the learning process and document changes in their perceptions and attitudes. Students can describe problems faced and how they solved them. Also, you can create instructor-directed journal entries that are more formal in nature and that narrow the focus by listing topics for discussion.

Journals are ideal for individual projects. For example, in a creative writing course, the owner of each journal creates entries and instructor comments. In this manner, a student can refine a section of a writing assignment over a period of time, using an instructor’s guidance and suggestions. A student can also comment on his or her entries to continue the conversation

Click Below for Videos and Tutorials on Journals (opens in a new window)

Create a Journal
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Frequently asked questions

How do I create a Journal? (Original Course)

  1. You can create one or more journals for your students to use in your course. You must create journal topics before students can add their entries.
  2. In the Journal Settings section, select Monthly or Weekly Index Entries. If you want, you may 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.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Journals and select Create Journal.
  4. Type a name and optional instructions. Make the journal available to students.
  5. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions don't affect the journal availability, only when it appears.
  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. The journal is permanently gradable, and you can't change the setting to No grading.
  7. If you want, select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and select the number of entries required. If you apply this setting, the Needs Grading icon will show in the Grade Center. The entries will appear in the queue on the Needs Grading page after student activity meets this threshold.
  8. Optionally, add a due date and a rubric if you want.
  9. Select Submit.

How do I create Journal entries? (Original Course)

On the Journals listing page, select a journal title. On the journal's topic page, select Create Journal Entry. Type a title and entry. Select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. You can also attach a file from the repository: Course Files or the Content Collection. -OR- Drag files from your computer to the "hot spot" in the Attach Files area. If your browser allows, you can also drag a folder of files. The files will upload individually. If the browser doesn't allow you to submit your assignment after you upload a folder, select Do not attach in the folder's row to remove it. You can drag the files individually and submit again. You can use the file name or provide another name for the file. Select Post Entry to submit the journal entry or select Save Entry as Draft to add the entry later.

How do I comment on a Journal entry? (Original Course)

You can comment on journal entries to create essential interaction between you and your students. Once you have made a comment students can reply to your comment promoting discussion.

  1. On the Journals listing page, select a journal title.
  2. Select the journal entry to view by selecting the user’s name in the list in the sidebar. The user's journal entry opens in the content frame.
  3. Select Comment below the user’s entry and type a comment.
  4. Select Add.
  5. To view all comments, select the numbered Comments link

How do I grade Journal entries? (Original Course)

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 feedback for the student in the Feedback to Learner box. Select the editor icon represented by the letter A to open the pop-up editor window. You can embed an audio/video recording of your feedback as you grade.
  5. Select Add Notes to leave notes that appear only to you and the grader role.
  6. Select Submit to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Grade Center.

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