University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Blogs

A blog is a searchable list of postings displayed in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Blackboard allows you to create multiple blogs in each course. You can create blogs that are open to all students in the class, individual student blogs, or blogs for specific groups. You have the option to set up more than one blog for the students in a class.

In Blackboard, the blogs are self-contained within the course, that is, they are not open to the general public. (For blogs that can be made public, see our pages about Wordpress at UVM.)

Why Use Blogs?

Blogs work well for posting opinions to which others can respond, for expository writing, for posting latest news items, for use as a research diary or organizing space, or for any type of writing that is chronological. Blogs also allow you to upload and attach files, so you can use them to collect student assignments that are created in other programs like Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.

Journals

The journal tool is very similar to the blog tool with the exception that it is, by default, private. This means that a student's journal can be read by only that individual student, the instructor, and TAs. There is an option to make journals public to the rest of the class. You have the option to set up more than one journal for the students in a class.

Why Use Journals?

The feature of being private is clearly valuable for some assignments but, because the journal can be made public at any time, some instructors have used it for writing assignments that they want revealed to the rest of the class only after everyone has submitted their own work.

Things to consider

The Blog Tool presents several variations. You can create blogs for the entire class to post to, for groups of students, or for individuals. You might have a general blog for the course or blogs for specific group projects.

See also: Ideas for Blog Use

Read the blog how-to page or the journal how-to page

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