University of Rochester

Blackboard 9.1

Using Journals, Blogs and Wikis

What's the difference?

Journals are a personal space for students to communicate privately with the instructor.

Blogs - a shorthand term that means Web logs, are personal, group or course online journals that are frequently updated and intended for consumption by all course members.  In Blackboard Learn, only enrolled users can view and author blogs.

Wikis allow multiple students to share and collaborate on one or more pages of content.  Wikis are also available only to registered members of the course.

Journals

Students can use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and analyze course related materials. 

Journals are ideal for individual projects - the owner of each journal creates entries and the instructor can add comments.  The student can also comment on his or her entries to continue the conversation with the instructor.

Journals can be used as a graded assignment or ungraded to gather opinions and information.

Instructors can create one or more journals for use by students in their courses. Journal topics must be created before students can add their entries.

Creating a Journal (Blackboard online documentation) 

Blackboard Ondemand Videos:
Creating a Journal (Blackboard Flash video; 3 m., 10 sec.)**Please note that the menu item "Interactive Tools" is now labeled simply "Tools."
Creating and Editing Journal Entries (Blackboard Flash video; 2 m., 24 sec.)
Commenting on a Journal Entry (Blackboard Flash video; 1 m., 27 sec.)

Blogs

In Blackboard Learn, Blogs consist of two elements:

Blog entries: Text, images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments added by Course members open for comments.
Comments: Remarks or responses to Blog entries made by other Course members, including the Instructor.

An Instructor can choose to allow students to participate in Blogs in three ways:

The Instructor can edit and delete entries in any of the three Blog types and delete user comments.

Creating a Blog (Blackboard Flash video; 2 m.,4 sec.)
Creating and Editing Blog Entries (Blackboard Flash video; 2 m., 7 sec.)
Commenting on a Blog Entry (Blackboard Flash video; 1 m.,27 sec.)

Wikis

Course wikis are created by instructors. Instructors can create one or more wikis for all course members to contribute to and wikis for specific groups to use to collaborate.  Wikis can also be used to record information and serve as a repository for course information and knowledge. In this case, the instructor would to be the sole author.

Instructors can view all changes to all pages in the wiki. You can view changes at a high level and then drill down to retrieve information about the development and contributions for any individual.

You choose whether to assign grades to student contributions to a wiki. After a wiki is set to be graded, a grade column is created automatically in the Grade Center. Individual student and group contributions then can be graded inside the Wikis tool, where all pages and edits can be referenced as the grade is determined.

An assigned grade can also be edited from inside the Wikis tool and the Grade Center is updated. Grades for wikis are changed, deleted, reverted, and overridden just like other grades in the Grade Center. Students can view their wiki grades in the My Grades tool.

Creating a Wiki (Blackboard Flash video; 2 m.,46 sec.)
Editing a Wiki Page (Blackboard Flash video; 1 m.,36 sec.)
Linking Wiki Pages (Blackboard Flash video; 1 m.,43 sec.)
Viewing a Wiki Page History (Blackboard Flash video; 2 m.,37 sec.)
Grading a Wiki (Blackboard Flash video; 1 m.,43 sec.)