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Learning Technology Team

Workflow 4: Blog, Journal, Discussion Board

Information for Staff

Blog vs Journal

The main difference between a blog and Journal tool is the permission of who can access the posts. Journals are private between the tutor and student, whereas a blog is viewable by all students in the module site and each can add comments.

Both can be graded - even if they are not assignments viewing the submissions in the grade centre can be useful to monitor submission activity.

Setting up a NILE blog

From your course’s content area expand the 'Tools' menu and select 'Blogs'.

Screengrab - Add blog using Tools Menu

Create a new blog, or link to an existing blog if they have already been created.

Screengrab-add blog

Enter a Name and any instructions.  For instructions, you may wish to inform your students that all instructors and students may view and add comments to the blog.

Blackboard Blog Information - Screengrab

For students to be able to access the blog, Blog Availability must be set to Yes.

Blackboard, Blog Availability, screengrab

If you wish you may place date and time limitations on when this blog will be available to students.

Blackboard Blog date and time, screengrab

Blogs can be set up either as 'individual to All Students', or 'Site'. 

  • Individual blogs: Students can add entries only to their own blogs. All other course members can view and add comments to it.
  • Site blogs: You can create a course blog and choose the topic. All course members can add blog entries and comment on blog entries.

Set the blog settings according to your preference:

Index Entries: Choose for entries to be indexed in a monthly or weekly format.

Allow Users to…: Choose whether you wish users to be able to edit and delete their entries and/or comments.

Blackboard blog settings, screengrab

If you wish to add a Grade Centre column for the blog choose to Grade Blog and set the number of points possible to 100.

Blackboard blog, grade settings, screengrab

Link to your blog by selecting it from the list, click next.

Screengrab - link to blog

Add the link information and review the settings. Note. this text that will show in the content area, not within the blog. 

Screen-grab, Blog link

Click on Submit to finish then check the link to your blog.

Use 'Student Preview' to check how students will experience your blog. 

Adding a Journal to a module site.

From your content area select the 'Tools' and click on 'Journals'.

Screen-grab, tools, add journal highlighted.

Create a new journal, or link to an existing Journal if it has already been created in the site.

Screen-grab, create journal

Enter a Name and any instructions.  You may wish to inform your students that all instructors and students may view and add entries to the Journal. Scroll down for further settings. 

Screen-grab, Create journal window

For students to be able to access the blog, Blog Availability must be set to Yes.

Screen-grab, Journal Availability options.

If you wish you may place date and time limitations on when this Journal will be available to students.

Screen-grab, Journal date and time settings

The Index Entries option allows users to customise how Journal entries are organized. 

Only tick the Permit Site Users to View Journal, option if you do not want journals to be private between the student and instructor.

Screen-grab, journal settings

If you wish to add a Grade Centre column for the journal select the 'Grade' button and set the points possible to 100.Screen-grab, journal grade settings.

Click Submit to confirm settings.

Screen-grab, submit

Link to your blog by selecting it from the list, click next.

Screen-grab, create link journal

Add the Link Name and Text, and review the availability settings before clicking Submit.

Note. This Link Name and Text information will show in the content area, not within the Journal. 

Screen-grab, Journal, Link information window

Use 'Student Preview' to check how students will experience your Journal. 

Screen-grab, journal in content area.

 

 

Reviewing Blog / Journal Posts

The simplest way to review your students' blog / journal posts is to click on the link you added in the module activities area. 

 Screenshot, blog link highlighted.

You can also access your blog / journals in the following ways:

  • Within 'Site Management, Control Panel, Site Tools,' you will find links to 'Blogs' and 'Journals', these are useful if you have created more than one blog or journal within your site.
  • Via the Grade Centre if the blog / journal is set to be graded.

When inside the blog / journal tool you will first see your own blog / journal area, to view your student's posts click the (small) downward arrow on the right-hand side under your name. 

Screenshot, journal link to students post highlighted

This will reveal all the posts saved by your students.

Screenshot, students journal highlighted

You can add comments to each blog / journal post, and overall feedback / grades if the blog / journal has been set to be graded.

Screenshot, Blackboard Journal submission highlighted.

 

Should you require urgent assistance with NILE, please contact the LearnTech Support Helpdesk via the online contact form