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skreitzer
Community Contributor

Journaling

Is there a journaling feature in Canvas?  A high school biology teacher wants his students to answer a "bell ringer" question every day to start class.  At the end of the marking period he wants to see the responses sorted by student so he can grade them as he would if they were doing it in a notebook with pencil and paper.  It would also be nice for the students to have a copy of the questions and responses to study for exams.  Is there currently a way for students to do this in canvas? 

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14 Replies
Robbie_Grant
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @skreitzer ​,

There is not a journaling feature, but what you can do is create an Assignment that has no Due date and no Until date.  Assignments can be submitted as many times as needed or desired.  Another option would be to create groups with only one student in each group.  Then the instructor could create a Graded Discussion for each day that he would like to have the students enter a journal entry.  Both ways can utilize the SpeedGrader for grading.

Robbie

klundstrum
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi - As Robbie Grant said, Canvas does not have a journaling feature. In addition to multiple submissions for an assignment and the individual discussions, I have one other idea: If you have Google Apps, students can create an ongoing journal in a Google Doc and submit to the assignment itself using Google Drive or sharing its URL.

skreitzer
Community Contributor

If there's no due date on the the assignment, it won't show up in the Canvas gradebook and transfer to Powerschool?  In order to create a text entry assignment, it has to be graded (versus not graded).  The instructor isn't going to grade every journal entry.  They pretty much grade for completion at the end of the marking period so it would be bad if each assignment went into the Canvas gradebook. 

Can you elaborate on the second suggestion about creating groups with one student?  What's the advantage there? 

skreitzer
Community Contributor

I actually suggested one shared google doc with the teacher, but he didn't want to take the time for the student to type in the question or copy/paste it.  This is supposed to be a quick 5 minute or less activity at the beginning of every class.  But that's the way I would go!

skreitzer
Community Contributor

Here's something I don't like about the first solution...when I look at a student in the speedgrader, I still have to use a drop down window to flip through their submissions.  I'd like all submissions to be in one window for easy grading.  Is that possible?

cortny
Instructure
Instructure

Perhaps this is something worth looking at our https://www.eduappcenter.com/  or  Partnerships to see if some other tools could be integrated to provide an online journaling feature within the Canvas classroom.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

As previously stated, Canvas doesn't have a designed student journaling tool.  However, I wanted to link to a few other related posts.  awilliams​ provides a great list of pros and cons to using differentiated assignments in How Can I Create a Daily Journal Entry Assignment​.  There is also more on specific work arounds in this conference presentation; ​.

lindalee
Community Champion

One way of creating an individual journal is to use graded group discussions. Have Canvas automatically create groups equal to the number of students in the class, which will place one student in each group. Students will be able to see only only their own discussion forum. The instructor will be able to see all the entries in order within SpeedGrader (without needing to use the drop down menu to switch among submissions), and provide comments either within SpeedGrader or within the Discussion forum. There will be only a singe gradebook entry for the journal, though an instructor can provide as much intermediate feedback as desired.

clong
Community Champion

Lots of good suggestions here, but I think the part about seeing "the responses sorted by student so he can grade them as he would if they were doing it in a notebook with pencil and paper." is where the issue lies.

What I would do is make an assignment for the day include the question in the description text. Make it so the Assignment setting for submission type is "On Paper" and then make a Google Form which you would either embed or link to on the assignment page.

The form would need to have

1) Last Name, First Name

2) Section (optional)

3) Question

Then the teacher would be able to easily see all the responses at a glance of one Google Sheet and then go into their gradebook and use the dropdown on the assignment for "set default grade" and set all the grades to whatever the point value is. Then go back and delete the scores for students who were absent or did not get credit.

Does that sound like a solution that might work?