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Student Journal or Blog Feature

Student Journal or Blog Feature

In the past, I designed courses that allowed individual students to keep their own blogs as a journal/log assignment. Is there a way to include a blog feature for individual students (like a journal assignment). This could be set to allow only instructors to see the students' individual blogs OR allow all students to see the blogs but each student can only edit their own. I thought of using "pages" but those can only be made editable by all students or none. Perhaps a slight modification to allow teachers to select individual students to enable editing would suffice.

 

Ideally, this feature would also allow for multi-part assignments, where the student is graded at certain "checkpoints" as they compose and edit portions of a cumulative assignment.

 

Originally posted by Robert Anderson: Student Journal or Blog Feature : Help Center

 

  Response from Instructure
October 2016 update from Chris Ward
There are a lot of blogging solutions out there that have excellent solutions in this space. Because of this, we'll be archiving this feature idea. Thanks for voting and participating in the community!
71 Comments
Community Member

In another LMS, I used private journals for student reflections. Students tended to be more insightful because their classmates couldn't see their posts.

Community Member

I too have used private journals for student reflection in another LMS.  You could use the ePortfolio in Canvas for students keeping a journal - this can be private or public.

Surveyor

Good point, Catherine. The ePortfolio tool could be a viable solution. I'll need to think more about the logistics of Canvas ePortfolios -- whether or not they have limitations that could hinder the pedagogy for these types of assignments.

Surveyor

Some instructors would like to create a Journal activity or assignment for students to post to periodically throughout the semester. Right now, the only way to do this would be to create a discussion. However, by doing this it would mean that the journals would be public instead of private.

It would be helpful if there was an LTI or an assignment format that would allow instructors to set up a journal for each student. Student can make posts in this journal, upload images or documents, and instructors would be able to see what the students are posting in their journals. Or, students could then upload that journal to an assignment at the end of the semester.

Currently, there doesn't appear to be an easier way for a Journal-type activity within Canvas.

Instructure
Instructure

I've shared this with a few of my clients that have expressed interest in a similar feature.  There are some LTI tools that come close to this kind of feature set, but I'm not sure what the cost associated would be and I don't think any are exactly what you have described above. 

I like the suggestion and will continue to refer schools to this Idea if/when they raise a similar request with me.

Surveyor

Hi anthonem@seattleu.edu​ -

I'm with you! I suggested the per-user Page editing idea here - perhaps these two ideas could/should be merged for voting purposes? Deactivated user​, would a merge make sense?

Surveyor

Hi G.Petruzella@mcla.edu,

I agree we seem to have a decent amount of overlap in our requests, so perhaps we should merge.

I like where you're going with the single-user page idea. I wonder how the page could be configured as a multi-part assignment, meaning the instructor could set multiple due dates leave incremental scores/feedback for this one page? Perhaps moving forward with your idea, there could be a single "site" assigned by the instructor where students can create multiple "posts" (Canvas pages). A nice place to look for this feature is indeed the ePortfolio feature in Canvas, as mentioned by c.t.coltman@bham.ac.uk​ above. Maybe Canvas could integrate the ePortfolio tool with Assignments -- including multiple due dates and stages of instructor feedback/grades?

The request I've copied over from the old community also includes the ability for a journal feature, rendering the student posts private between themselves and the instructor, wanted to keep this option in the mix (the Canvas ePortfolio tool already has this feature).

Surveyor

Hi anthonem@seattleu.edu​ -

Good point - I hadn't thought about the private journaling. That would be a distinct feature from what I'd suggested. But something, anything, along these lines would be an excellent idea - I'll be standing by to upvote your idea in T-6 days!

Community Member

Hey Gerol,

I really like your idea about improving the functionality of Pages Per-user Page editing permissions. I think that your idea is a possible solution to the student journaling/blogging feature that many people are interested but it may still feel like a work-around if we just add those components. As a result it's probably best to keep these ideas separate.

There may be some other reasons a teacher might want to allow "Per-user Page editing permissions" (and privacy adjustment options). Other than blogging/journaling, perhaps you can come up with and add some other use cases in your feature idea description? Gerol Petruzella

I don't know, but it may be easier to build your feature request, and if so, it could stand as a workaround to this (blog/journaling) feature request in the interim.

Surveyor

Many of our teachers used a personal blog/journal in our previous LMS and used it quite frequently during the writing process.