Journals in Canvas
While Canvas does not have a specific tool called “journal,” instructors may use a discussion board along with student groups to achieve the same instructional principles. To set up journals, there are two stages: create the student journals and edit the student groups. The steps below outline these stages.
Create the student journals
- Select Discussions from the left-hand course navigation menu.
- Select the +Discussion button located in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen.
- Enter the title of the journal assignment (e.g. Service Learning Journal).
- Provide instructions for the journal assignment.
- Make the appropriate option selections (e.g. Graded, Allow threaded replies, etc.)
- Check This is a Group Discussion.
- If the course already has groups, select the New Group Category button. If no groups exist in the course, skip to step 8.
- Enter “Student Journals” or a similar title in the Name for Groups field.
- Select Split students into ___ equal groups and enter the exact number of students on the course roster.
- Select Save.
- Enter the number of Points if the journal is to be graded.
- Select Save and Publish.
This process automatically creates groups of 1 for the discussion, so each student receives his/her own discussion board that no other students can see.
Edit the student groups
- Select People from the left-hand course navigation menu.
- Select the Journals group set from the tabs along the top of the People page.
- Select the chevron/triangle to the right of the generic group name (e.g. Student Journal 1) to display the actual student in the group.
- Select the three vertical dots at the far, right-hand side of this group and select Edit from the drop-down menu that appears.
- Change the current name to the name of the student and select Save.
- Repeat steps 3 through 5 for the remaining groups.
Once the groups are renamed, the journal assignment will reflect the changes. While it may take some time to rename the groups depending on the course enrollment, the grading process will be easier with each discussion/journal clearly identified.
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