I was looking for ideas of how people are connecting blogs and journals for their class in canvas.
David, for your question do you mean using built in Canvas features or using other third party solutions? Also, since there really isn't a right or wrong answer for this would it be ok if I switched this over to a discussion? That way the conversation can be continued without anyone looking for a right answer.
For my question, I actually was wondering about both canvas features and a third party solution. It is fine to switch to a discussion. Thank you so much for the support!
Very good! I'll get it switched! :-)
David, you could use the ePortfolio in Canvas for the journal and a third party solution for the blog. We have used the ePortfolio for first year modern languages students to keep a reflective learning diary which they have been sharing with their personal tutor throughout this academic year. We have used a third party solution for the blog. You may be interested in the collection of postings for the ideaStudent Journal or Blog Feature
Hi Catherine, thank you so much for the suggestion. I will make that suggestion to the faculty.
David, I thought you might be interested in an update to my reply to you in July. The academic I was working with has been in touch with me to say that second year language students will be using their ePortfolio as a learning diary in their first and following intercultural seminars as they prepare for their year abroad. It was useful carrying out the ePortfolio sessions at the start of their first year and the academic has stated that 'it has offered unexpected positive oppotunities for student development.'
Canvas does not have a blog or journaling tool - i am planning to use Campus pack (despite some functionality limitations)
see Campus pack and canvas -
see also *A proper wiki tool for Canvas and A proper journal or blog tool for Canvas
UPDATE 12 APril 2015
I have now got Campus Pack set up in Canvas and can use it for individual / group wikis and blogs - whether freeform or templated.
Only downside for now is fact Canvas groups not recognised by campus pack but the work around works ok
see my recent update at Campus pack and canvas -
I just watched a video --part of the Canvas FastTrack Series by Leslie Stark--that shows how to leverage Canvas Groups to create a graded journaling activity for students. It's a nifty and simple solution: have a look! Canvas FastTrack - Let’s Start a Journal - YouTube
I was just searching for an answer to David's question for my own course and found this discussion. I'm going with your suggestion, Stefanie, to use Leslie Stark's idea. I'll use the Canvas Discussion tool for student journals. It seems easier for me and my students, and flexible enough to use for other student-teacher sharing purposes too. Thanks to both of you!
Doh! Now that I went to set up the Discussion-Journal, I realize that scoring will be problematic. I can only score it once and had intended students to submit weekly entries. I suspect the grading workarounds I found aren't satisfactory for our students and parents. So I'm shifting gears and would like feedback.
My new solution is to create weekly Journal Assignments with an Online: File Upload submission. Each weekly journal entry will be written in a single Google Document throughout the marking period.
As students add entries at the top of the Google Doc, they submit it to the current week's Journal Assignment. I can read and comment on them using SpeedGrader, and can also see past entries to get a sense of developing ideas and understanding over time.
Does anyone foresee other benefits or problems with this workaround? Thanks in advance for your feedback!
Joe, before you abandon the idea of using groups for this, I wonder if you'd mind sharing some specifics about why the scoring piece would be problematic. If you create your student groups (one student=one group), then create a graded discussion assignment (to which you attach a rubric--more on that below), and then assign the graded discussion to all of the groups, you should be able to modify the score every time a student updates the journal in his/her individual group space/discussion.
Leslie doesn't mention a rubric in the video, but it would be a welcome complement to the group discussion/journal process. You could create a Journal Rubric that has rows for Week 1, Week 2, or however you choose to grade the journals, and every week you could update the rubric and add feedback in the form of comments in the SpeedGrader. So students would receive a new notification every time you change the grade and add a new comment. And both you and the student would be able to view the entirety of the journal--the student can see it in the group space, and you can see it in the SpeedGrader--and you can choose to visit the student's group space to comment directly in the journal/discussion, if you so choose.
Can you explain why you were only able to score it once, and why students can't submit weekly entries? If this doesn't work, I'd like to know more. Thanks!
Thanks for your thoughts, Stefanie! Your workarounds are clever and practical. They would allow multiple entries and scorings for one "assignment". But there are several reasons these would be problematic in my school.
My journal rubric includes several rows of criteria. Collapsing them into one would make my feedback less specific and likely lead to grading questions and/or challenges from students. Alternatively, repeating all three rows for each week of each quarter would make this rubric quite large.
Second, marking one week at a time would provide an inaccurate and changing journal score and marking period average — that's a big deal for students and parents in our district! Despite a prior explanation from me, some students and parents here would be confused, or even upset.
Third, this weekly assignment wouldn't show up each week on students' calendars, etc.
For my situation, I think separate weekly file upload assignments of a single Google Doc will better serve my students.
Thanks for clarifying, Joe: I can readily see the challenges here, especially when the rubric is detailed and the journal needs to be updated multiple times every week. And yes, notwithstanding the added complication of the grading period overlay, even college students are likely to be confused by an accumulating yet partial grade.
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