I know there are other community ideas out here posted Blog / Journal Tool as well as theStudent Journal or Blog Feature. To me this issue could be solved by an enhancement / update to the existing assignment tool as a new Online Submission Type.
A journal is something meant to happen over a span of time with multiple entries, and while the assignment tool can do just that, what seems to be the hangup is the multiple-due dates associated to the assignment as well as grading options for the instructor.
What seems to be critically lacking for instructors is the ability for students to (ootb) submit private assignments to a single assignment (ie the Journal) where they can see previous submissions, and also to decide whether to grade the entries individually or grade them as a whole.
What if you simply enhanced the existing Assignments Tool to allow for the following:
- Add a new Submission Subtype to the "Online" and call it "Journal Entries".
- Instructor decides the # of entries student will submit which must contain a number (and could be modified if needed), whether it's graded or not, and whether each entry is graded or a single entry is graded.
- Each entry gets it's own due date separately so it is explicit.
So the functionality add is three database fields, as well as some sort of process by which multiple entries automatically get associated gradebook items.
In Speedgrader, the instructor would then be able to look at each entry and enter grades at the entry level and/or assignment level, thus updating grades for each student entry, which updates a single Grades area, but with breakdown of points for each entry. Entries simply speak to the assignment button. I would think having each entry look similar to the rubric button is now.
When a student submits their assignment, they get a Text Entry box, one for each entry perhaps, where they can edit and update entries as they progress throughout the semester. "Submit Assignment" then from there, one link for each entry created by the instructor as well as past journal submissions easily accessible from the screen, like it is now, only perhaps having an index of submissions display for students.