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Community Champion

Canvas FastTrack Ep. 30 - Let's Start a Journal

The Canvas FastTrack Video series is a collection of quick videos aligning Canvas with Dr. Puentedura’s SAMR Model of Technology Integration.  This model has been used by many institutions as a framework for infusing technology into teaching and learning activities.  In the video collection we will dive into the various tools in Canvas and how they align with the SAMR Model of Technology.  Watch this four-minute video introduction to SAMR if you aren’t already familiar with the model.

Episode 29 is a 2 1/2 minute video about utilizing discussions as a space for personal journals or blogs in Canvas.   At the Modification level of technology integration moving from the typical paper and pencil journal to an online space where students can type, record audio or video to a weekly, daily, monthly blog post is easy and engaging in Canvas. 

Thanks for watching and please feel free to leave feedback, requests, and suggestions in the comments below!

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10 Replies
Community Contributor

I like the idea of each of my students having a learning journal in Canvas.

I wonder...

Could all their prep (homework) assignments be submitted here? I would love a space whereby students can see, week by week, how their work is developing, how their grades are changing, and what my feedback has been (especially if I am saying the same thing each time, e.g. you keep spelling economics incorrectly - please learn the correct spelling!) I can imagine it like a long blog with posts per week with their work and my comments being found in one place. My mark/grade for each post should be put into the electronic mark book (speedgrader?) easily.

Also, could their parents be invited to be observers of the journal (not able to comment), but then easily see their child's progress?

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @drimmer ​, in "theory" yes, all homework assignments could be submitted here. Yet, this probably wouldn't work out that well grading wise.

To set this up you have one discussion, that means there is only ONE grade going into the gradebook for this discussion regardless of how many things/assignments the students submit to it. One possible way around this is to use a rubric with the discussion so that each assignment is a different row on your rubric. This would allow students to see the grade they got on each assignment and feedback specific to that assignment. Yet, it would look really strange in the gradebook because it would only be one grade and wouldn't calculate correctly until you had grades in for all assignments that were included on the rubric.

I like the idea of where you want to go with this, but I'm not sure grading wise this is the best idea. Granted, I'm not sure how your assignments and class is set up, so it might work out ok, but I wanted you to be aware of what you'd need to do to make it work grading wise.

As for the parents being invited to be observers of the journal, I'm not 100% sure because I'm Higher Ed, but I think parental observers can view students grades and feedback/comments, which would include comments and rubric scores you entered for this discussion/journal. And no, they would not be able to actually comment or post to the assignment themselves, just "observe" it.

Hope this helps!

Community Champion

Thanks  @kona ​!  You read my mind on the pro's and con's of having one discussion housing the entire grade.  Absolutely can be done, just a tiny bit clunky in the gradebook as that grade would be accumulating.  However if you set expectations with students in this manner, you should be fine. 

 @drimmer  As for parent observers, parents will be able to see everything their student sees.  If this "journal" discussion is a graded discussion, the parents will be able to see what their child posted, the only time a parent would not be able to see a discussion is if the box "user must post before seeing replies" is selected.  The observer role, can see the description of an assignment, the directions for a quiz and the prompt and responses in a discussion. 


Community Participant

I'm still learning about groups & discussions so the idea of all the individual journals is still bubbling to a reduction.  I like that this could be a portfolio to show progression & student thinking. It could be a very rich experience - but planning ahead on how to manage, monitor and provide feedback will be critical to it's success.

Community Contributor

 @lstark , I like this idea a lot and appreciate you modeling some great metacognition prompts for students to consider on a recurring basis. 

Community Participant

 @lstark ‌ this is so cool! I never thought of using discussions this way. I'm excited to share this with my teachers! Thank you.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Brilliant idea  @lstark  . I can see huge potential for this in primary school to differentiate for each student, or just a group of students.

Community Member

Thank you so much @Leslie because I've learn so many skills in your video.I've never thought a discussion can turn into that way.
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Community Participant

 @veronica_armour ‌ - Check this resource out for creating journals in next semester's Gender and Tech course! Smiley Happy Definitely a tip worth sharing at the Course Design SPA Day, yes?