Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bb 9 - Blogs and Journals: FAQ's

Last week I posted links to some videos about how to use blogs and journals and that post raised a few questions that are answered here.

Blogs and Journals provide students and instructors with a social learning tool for expressing their thoughts and reflecting on their learning, either privately (with the instructor) or publicly (with others in the course). These tools empower all course users to create and share ideas, while instructors maintain the ability to edit or remove any inappropriate material.

What is the difference between Journals, Blogs, and Discussion Board forums?
  • A journal is like a private diary that the student shares with the instructor.
  • A blog is like an open diary that everyone in the class can read and comment on.
  • A discussion board forum is like an open meeting where anyone can participate equally.
An example of when to use an individual blog instead of a discussion board would be when you want students to post an essay and have other students comment on it.  Using a blog for this assignment would keep the essay intact with all the comments attached to it.  In a discussion board forum this type of assignment often spawns other threads and it can be confusing where the original essay is located and difficult to find all the comments it generated.

Where Do Blogs and Journals Appear?

Instructors can find them in the Control Panel under Course Tools.  Instructors can provide access to students through links in content areas, blog or journal links on the course menu, or a Tools Area link on the course menu.

Can I make Blogs and Journals Public?

No. The privacy of students' course work needs to be respected. Opening these tools to the outside world may violate privacy laws.

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