Scholar has a Journals tool that allows students to keep a journal which is, by default, shown only to the instructor and the individual student.

By default, the journal tool is hidden from students.  To show the tool to students, click on the dropdown next to Journals and click “Show Link”

Scholar Show Journal Link

The link will then be displayed to students.

Scholar Journals Link

Clicking this link will take students directly to the Journals tool. There, you can create the journals you wish to use in your class. For students, it is a page that allows them to navigate to their journal.

Scholar Journal Space

This page lists all of the Journals in the course.

Scholar All Journals In Course

You can edit (use the echelon symbol next to the name) and alter availability here (use edit, or the check boxes and Availability button). Also, note that under Entries any material you have not read yet will be listed as 'new'.

To start a Journal assignment, click on 'Create Journal'.

Scholar Create Journal

On the Create Journal page you'll put in quite a bit of information.

First, enter a title for the journal.  You can then include any instructions that you’d like to give students for how to complete the journal.  This text box supports pictures, video, or attachments.

Scholar Journal Title Description

Next, choose whether or not you want the journal to be available. Generally, the selection here is 'yes'. If you wish to manually control availability and do not want the journal accessible by students until a later date you can select no here.

Scholar Journal Availability

The Journal Date and Time Restrictions control the window of time in which the journal is available for student view. These are identical to the availability settings anywhere else. You must have 'yes' selected in section two for these to work.  As Blackboard has very specific date and time formats, you’ll want to use the calendar and clock buttons to set the dates and times.

Journal Availability Restrictions

In the Journal Settings section, you can control how often journal entries are indexed, the ability of users to edit and delete comments, and whether the students can see each others journals.

Scholar Journal Settings

You can set a weekly or monthly time frame for the indexing of journal entries. This cleans up the look of the journal moving entries to an index whereby you can still steer to older entries. If you require a high volume of entries then weekly is probably the better choice here.

You can opt whether or not to allow users to edit and delete their own entries and comments. In this case, adjustments might be made after you have entered grades if the Journal remains available. You can also opt to let course users view the journals of their classmates. This function also allows them to comment.

Finally, you’ll need to set whether the journal is graded.  If you select “Grade” you’ll have to enter the points possible for the journal.  You’ll also see the option to select how many entries should occur before seeing the ‘needs grading’ prompt on the blog page and in the grade center. A column will be created in the Grade Center once you submit this page. You can also add a rubric if you use them for grading.

Journal Grade Settings

If the rubric has point values you will be prompted to accept that total as the value for the Points Possible field.

**While the rubric can be created during this step, it is generally a better workflow to create rubrics separately prior to creating the assignment and simply attach them to the assignment.

Once all your settings have been entered, hit submit. At this point the journal assignment is ready for students.

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