Resources Hub

Blackboard Original Help & Support

Journal: Using Journals for Summative Assessments

Every Blackboard site can have a Journal area added. In contrast to Blackboard Blogs which are intended to be public in nature, Blackboard’s Journals tool are a personal space for students to communicate their learning privately with the module team. Students can also use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their ideas, and discuss course-related materials.

You can create journal assignments that are broad and student-directed as your students reflect on changes in their perceptions and attitudes. You can also create instructor-directed journal entries that are more formal in nature and list topics for discussion.

Step One: Adding a Journal to the Blackboard Site and Configuring Settings

  1. Click on the plus icon on top of the menu bar.
A screenshot of the Blackboard Module Site Navigation Menu. The top of the menu is shown, it contains the site name and ID, and a plus icon in the top left.
  1. Click on the Tool link option.
A screenshot of the Blackboard Module Site Navigation Menu. The Add menu is expanded and the Tool Link option is highlighted.
  1. Click on Journals from the drop-down, give the item a name describing the activity and tick Available to users.
A screenshot of the Add Tool Link menu in Blackboard, the Name field, the type field, which is set to Journals, and the Available to Users checkbox is shown.
  1. Move the item up on the menu bar using the Reorder menu items tool.
A screenshot of the Reorder Menu Items feature of a Blackboard Module Site. A list of items is shown including Assessments, Learning Materials and Jou, two arrows are shown to move an item up or down in the navigation menu.
  1. Click on the menu item and Create Journal.
A screenshot of a Blackboard Module Site, the Journals page is shown, a red box highlights the Create Journal button.
  1. The Create Journal wizard is comprised of five sections. For the first section, type in the Name of the activity and Instructions for students.
A screenshot of the Create Journal page of a Blackboard Module Site. Two text boxes are shown, the first is Name of the journal, the second is Instructions for how to use the journal.
  1. Fill in the Date and Time Restrictions area.
A screenshot of the Create Journal page of a Blackboard Module Site. The Journal Availability setting is shown with the option to set to Yes or No. The Limit Availability option is shown with date and time fields for Display After and Display Until.
  1. Fill in the Journal Setting details.  You may want to untick Permit Site Users to View Journal as this would make your journal more into a public blog. Select how you want the entries indexed. Weekly is optimum. Decide whether you want to allow students to delete and edit entries after posting (recommended) and whether to delete their comments after posting (recommended).
A screenshot of the Create Journal page of a Blackboard Module Site.  The Journal Settings allow you to index entries monthly or weekly, and you can permit by checking the box, users to edit and delete their entries and or comments. You can also permit course users to view the journal.
  1. If grading, choose the appropriate option and type the number of Points possible as 100. Set ‘Needs Marking’ status as ‘1’’ entry. Set the Due Date. After you enable grading, a column is created automatically in the Grade Centre.
A screenshot of the Create Journal page of a Blackboard Module Site. The Grade Settings allows you to select total points possible if applicable, at what point does the user show as Needs Marking in the grade centre, and the Due Date for entries.
  1. Click Submit. Your Journal is now almost ready to use with students.

Step Two: Hiding the Total Column and the Journal column in Full Grade Centre

  1. Go to Full Grade Centre.
Screenshot showing the full grade centre menu item in the left hand navigation bar in Blackboard.
  1. Click the chevron next to the Total column and go to Edit Column Information.
A screenshot of the Total Column in the full grade centre. The chevron arrow is shown next to the column title, the expanded menu shows the Edit Column Information option.
  1. In the Options area, make sure Show this Column to Students is set to No.
A screenshot of the Edit Column Information menu for the Total Column in the Grade Centre. The option to make available to students is set to No.
  1. Do the same for the column relating the journal summative assignment. Your summative Journal assessment is now ready to be used.

Step Three: Unhiding the Journal column in Full Grade Centre to release marks

On the day you are releasing marks and feedback, you need to go to Grade Centre, click the chevron for the Journal column, choose Hide from Students (on/off), and the red line will disappear