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Journals in Canvas

Journals serve as a private form of reflection for students about their learning experience(s). Typically, journals are compiled for a period of time in the course and allows students to demonstrate their learning progress, as well as changes in attitudes and opinions about a given topic. Similar to an assignment, a journal is viewable to the individual student and the instructor.

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

  1. Select Discussions from the left-hand course navigation menu.
    Red arrow points to the Discussions link on the course navigation menu.
  2. Select the +Discussion button located in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen.
    Red arrow points to the +Discussion button.
  3. Enter the title of the journal assignment (e.g. Service Learning Journal).
  4. Provide instructions for the journal assignment.
    Top red arrow points to the title field. The example is entitled Service Learning Journal. The second red arrow points to the content text box where instructions for the assignment are input.
  5. Make the appropriate option selections (e.g. Graded, Allow threaded replies, etc.)
  6. Check This is a Group Discussion.
    Red arrow points to the checkbox for This is a Group Discussion.
  7. If the course already has groups, select the New Group Category button. If no groups exist in the course, skip to step 8.
  8. Enter “Student Journals” or a similar title in the Name for Groups field.
  9. Select Split students into ___ equal groups and enter the exact number of students on the course roster.
    First red arrow points to the Name for Groups field. The second red arrow points to the group structure options for Split students into # equal groups. In the example, the course has 7 students on the roster, so the groups are split into 7.
  10. Select Save.
  11. Enter the number of Points if the journal is to be graded.
  12. 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.
Red arrow points to the list of seven discussions created for each student.

 

Edit the student groups

  1. Select People from the left-hand course navigation menu.
  2. Select the Journals group set from the tabs along the top of the People page.
    Red arrow points to the group set called Student Journals.
  3. 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.
  4. Select the three vertical dots at the far, right-hand side of this group and select Edit from the drop-down menu that appears.
    First red arrow points to the chevron/triangle to display the student in the group. The second red arrow points to the Edit option from the drop-down menu.
  5. Change the current name to the name of the student and select Save.
    The first red arrow points to the Group Name field that has been changed to the student's name. The second red arrow points to the Save button.
  6. 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.
A red arrow points to the renamed groups that reflect the actual names of the students enrolled in the course.

Support Contacts

UMKC Instructional Design & Technology
24/7 Canvas Support 

☎ 816.235.6700
its@umkc.edu

UMKC Technology Support Center
☎ 816.235.2000
techsupportcenter@umkc.edu
Technology Support Center