Blackboard Blogs and Journals

Please note Journals work in exactly the same way as Blogs, but are private between the student and their tutor.

Blogs and journals can be useful tools for encouraging student expression, reflection, and communication. There are many blog platforms available online but Blackboard has its own blog tool that can allow you to set up blogs that are specific to your module rather than public to the world. This page contains guides to the different types of blog that you can create using the blogs tool and how to manage them for your course.

Contents


Types of blog

In Blackboard Learn, blogs consist of two elements:

  • Blog entries: Text, images, links, multimedia, and attachments added by course members.
  • Comments: Remarks or responses to blog entries made by other course members, including the instructor.

You can choose to allow students to participate in blogs in three ways:

  • Course Blogs: A single blog for all students to contribute to. All course members can add blog entries and comment on blog entries.
  • Individual Blogs: Each person can add entries only to their own blog. All other course members can view and add comments to it.
  • Group Blogs: If you set up groups (see Groups in Blackboard for more information) and enable the blogs tool for the group, they can perform the following tasks:
    • Group members can add blog entries and make comments on blog entries, building upon one another.
    • All course members can view group blogs, but non-group members can only add comments.

Private blogs

The blogs tool does not allow private posts or posts only visible to an individual student and tutor. If you require this function you will need to use the Journals tool.

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Create blogs

Enable blogs

Step 1
To create blogs you will first need to enable the tool on your module. From July 2016 blogs will be enabled on all modules by default.

Step 2
You will then see a large chart listing all the possible tools in Unilearn. Scroll down to Blogs, check the box in the column next to it and click Submit to save.

Please note: Do not select Blog Tool as this is a completely different tool.

Set up the blogs

Step 1
Select Communication and Tools from the navigation menu.

Step 2
From the list of tools, click Blogs.

Step 3
You will then see the blogs overview page. Click the Create Blog button.

Step 4
Give the blog a title and, optionally, add a description or instructions to students if needed.

Step 5
Make sure that the blog is available to students. Or, if you don’t want them to be able to see it before/after specific dates you can set these in the availability restrictions.

Step 6
Select the type of blog to set up.

  • Course Blogs: A single blog for all students to contribute to. All course members can add blog entries and comment on blog entries.
  • Individual Blogs: Each person can add entries only to their own blog. All other course members can view and add comments to it.

You can also choose whether to allow or disallow anonymous comments. We generally advise that anonymous comments are not enabled.

Group blogs are controlled and set up through the Groups function. Read more about Groups.

Step 7
Choose the settings and grading options for your blogs that suit the needs your module.

Step 8
Click submit to complete the setup process.

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Access and view blog entries

Both you and your students can access the blogs to add entries and comments in the same way.

Step 1
Click Communication and Tools from the navigation menu.

Step 2
From the list of tools, click Blogs.

Step 3
You’ll then see a list of all the blogs available in the module. Select the blog.
Note: Individual blogs still appear as one header, once you access it you’ll be able to see each student’s blog and entries separately.

Step 4

  • Group blogs – you will see a list of all entries in the centre and an index of the entries on the right.
  • Individual blogs – when you enter you will see your own blog area (which may be blank if you have not made any posts). To view student blogs/posts, click your name where it appears on the right column of the blog to reveal a dropdown list of all students who have created posts and use this to navigate between blogs.

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Delete blog entries and comments

As tutor you can delete any blog post or comment made on the module.

  • Posts – Click the grey action button next to the blog post title to reveal the menu and select delete.
  • Comments – Click the red cross icon next to the comment to delete it.

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Video guide

The following video will show you how to set up blogs in Blackboard.

Can’t see the video? Watch it on YouTube.

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