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Blogs

Topic Overview

Instructors can release the Blog tool to the group for use in the course, or for public consumption. Blogs are less structured than discussion boards, and they are chronological. Students within the group can post to the Blog and add comments to existing posts.
Instructors can also comment on posts. Blogs are an effective means of gaining insight into students' activities and provide a way to share the knowledge and materials collected and created by the group with the rest of the course.

Steps

How to Create a Blog

  1. Open a course and make sure Edit Mode is ON.
  2. Expand the Course Tools section in the Control Panel, and then click on Blogs.
  3. Click Create Blog and enter a name for the blog. Enter any specific instructions in the text box, and click Yes to make the blog available to users.
  4. Use the Display After and Display Until date and time fields to Limit Availability of the Blog. Click both the Display After and Display Until check-boxes in order to enable the date and time selections.
  5. Determine the Blog Participation by clicking Individual to All Students or Course.
  6. Under Blog Settings, choose between Monthly or Weekly index entries. Click the check-box to Allow Users to Edit and Delete Entries. Click the check-box to Allow Users to Delete Comments.
  7. Edit the Grade Settings for the Blog.
  8. When finished, click Submit.

Creating Blog Posts

Instructors and users can create blog posts that can be commented upon. Instructors can use blog posts to provide structure for discussions on class topics and other issues.

  1. Click Blogs on the Course Tools menu.
  2. Click the appropriate blog.
  3. Click Create Blog Entry.
  4. Enter an Entry Title.
  5. Enter the text in the Entry Message text box.
  6. Click Post Message as Anonymous if appropriate.

Creating Blog Comments

Instructors and users can enter comments on blog posts if comments are allowed.

  1. Open a blog.
  2. Click Comment for the appropriate post.
  3. Enter a comment in the Comment field.
  4. Click Comment on Entry as Anonymous if appropriate
  5. Add comment.

Editing and Managing Blogs

Instructors can edit basic properties of the blog, including the name, instructions, availability, participation, and user permissions. Instructors can also delete their own blogs.

Edit a Blog

  1. Open a course.
  2. Click Blogs from the Course Tools menu.
  3. Click Edit Mode ON.
  4. Select Edit from the contextual menu for the blog.
  5. Make changes.
  6. Click Submit.

Delete a Blog

  1. Open a course.
  2. Click Blogs from the Course Tools menu.
  3. Click Edit Mode ON.
  4. Select Delete from the contextual menu for the blog.
  5. Click OK in the confirmation window.

Change the Availability of a Blog

  1. Open a course.
  2. Click Blogs from the Course Tools menu.
  3. Click Edit Mode ON.
  4. Click the check-box next to the appropriate blog.
  5. Select Make Available or Make Unavailable from the Availability drop-down list.

Troubleshooting Blog Management

If...

Then...

a blog is deleted while users are posting

the blog and all comments are deleted

a blog is made unavailable while users
are posting

the blog remains visible to the Instructor in Edit
Mode but is not displayed to users

the Allow Users to Edit and Remove
Entries setting is changed

entries remain but users cannot edit them

the Allow Users to Remove Comments
setting is changed

comments remain but users cannot edit them

Sources and Relevant Links

Getting Started with Journal Prompts to Improve Student Writing
Creating a Blog