Journals are personal space for students to communicate privately with course instructors, or group members. Students can also use journals as a self-reflective tool to post their opinions, ideas, and concerns about the course, or discuss and analyze course related materials.

Create and Manage Journals

  • Document student changes in perceptions and attitudes: Students can use journals to reflect on the learning process, describe problems faced and how they solved them.
  • Track responses to instructor prompts: Narrow the focus of journals by listing topics or prompts for discussion.
  • Ideal for feedback individual projects: Students can share draft writing assignments in journals, they or a instructor can comment on their entries to continue the conversation.
  • Facilitate group reflections on collaborative projects: When used in the group area, members of a group can view and comment on each other’s entries for the group journal.
  • Grade student performance: You can grade journal entries or use them solely for communication. In either instance, a student can make multiple entries for one journal topic.

Using Journals in your Course

Tutorial Course Experience
Create a journal in your course Original
Create a journal entry Original
Grade journal submissions Original
Create a journal in your course Ultra
Create a journal entry Ultra
Grade journal submissions Ultra


  • Organization: You can create a journal within a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder, based on you organize your course. In Blackboard Original, select Tools to access the menu and choose the Journal tool.
  • Instructions and Options: On the Create Journal page, provide instructions for the journal, set availability, determine whether users may edit and delete entries and delete comments, and choose whether to grade entries.
  • Grading: After you enable grading, a column is created automatically for it in the Grade Center. The journal is permanently gradable and you cannot set it to No grading.
  • Needs Grading (Original View): If you choose to grade a journal, select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and select a number from the drop-down list. After a user meets the specified number, the item appears on the Needs Grading page. If you do NOT select the check box, the needs grading icon does not appear in the Grade Center or topic page, and items do not appear on the Needs Grading page.
  • Unenrolled Students: If a student is removed from the course, the student's Journal will be deleted, along with all entries and comments.