Blackboard Journals are often used by students as a learning journal only visible to themselves and the module tutors. The tutor might want them to write posts that record progress on a project, or their thoughts about the material presented in lectures or seminars.

For example, suppose an assignment is to write a reflective essay about some of the key ideas presented in the module. The students could be instructed to post a short piece (say 150-200 words) after each lecture, then choose the best five and use those as the basis for the final 1000-word essay. The aim would be to encourage the students to reflect on their learning throughout the course while minimising the time required to complete the assignment.

The problem is, how can the tutor encourage the students to engage and regularly post to their journal? Suppose the lecture is each Tuesday, and that the deadline by which students must post their thoughts is midnight the following Thursday.

Step 1: when creating the Journal, is to set Grading to (e.g.) 100 points, check ‘show participants in “needs marking” after every X entries’ and set X = 1 to check student contributions every week.

Step 2: on Friday, log on to Blackboard, access the module and select ‘Needs Marking’ from the Grade Centre area of the Control Panel. Increase the grade for each student by 10 points

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  • Published: 1 year ago