ODE Help Desk

Using Journals in Blackboard

Creating Journals in Blackboard

A journal is a self-reflective tool for students. Journals are private by default, meaning only the student and the instructor are able to view and comment on journal entries. However, journals can be made public by the instructor to allow other enrolled users to read the entries, though commenting is disabled. To allow users to comment on each other's reflections, the blog tool may be the more appropriate tool choice. (See Using Blogs)

To get started with Journals:

  1. Click Course Tools on the Control Panel, then select Journals on the expanded menu.
  2. Click the Create Journal button.
  3. Provide the journal name. An optional text box is provided for instructions.
  4. Set journal availability. New journal availability is set to Yes by default.
  5. Limit journal availability by date and time, as needed. The Display After and Display Until boxes must be checked to limit availability.
  6. Set indexing options to organize entries chronologically. All entries made within a single month will be grouped together by default. Weekly indexing is another option.
  7. If desired, click to allow users to edit and delete entries they have already posted.
  8. Click the checkbox to Permit Course Users to View Journal to allow students to view each other’s journal entries. Only the author and instructor can post comments. Leaving this box unchecked creates private journals, which can only be viewed by the author and instructor.
    Note: For private reflection journals which should only be viewed by the author and instructor, this option should not be enabled.
  9. Grading of journals is easily integrated with the course grade center.
    • To link a journal with the grade center, select the Grade option, then set points possible.
    • By default, the Needs Grading symbol will be displayed in the grade center after every journal entry. If you require multiple entries for full credit, you can set the minimum number of entries to record before displaying a Needs Grading symbol. In the sample screenshot below, the “needs grading” symbol will be displayed once the user has posted at least 3 journal entries.
  10. Click Submit to create the journal.
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Viewing Journals

  1. Click Course Tools on the Control Panel, then select Journals on the expanded menu.
  2. Click the name of the Journal to view entries. The number of entries is listed, with new, unread entries clearly displayed.
  3. Select a user to view the corresponding journal by using the navigation arrows.

    Note: Only users who have made entries are displayed by default. Click the Show Empty Journals button to list all users, regardless of participation.
  4. Click the Comment button to respond to a journal entry.
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