Blackboard: Creating a Blog
About Blogs in Blackboard
- Blogs in Blackboard act as an online journal for an individual or a group to create entries (posts) related to the course which are then available for other course members to see and post comments
- The openness of blogs make them a useful collaborative tool
- Posts are not limited to just text - a wide variety of media can be used
- Posts can be commented on and comments can be anonymous if the creator of the blog chooses
Types of Blogs available in Blackboard
- Individual: only the blog owner can creates posts but all other course members can see and add comments
- Course: all course members can create posts and comment on other other peoples posts
- Group: limited to group membership only - all group members can post and comment on other members posts
- (Group blogs are created via the 'Group' tool and not via the 'Blog' tool)
Below are some of the common tasks you will need to complete in relation to Blogs.
|Creating a Blog
Creating a Blog
- Open the course
- From the Control Panel select 'Course Tools'
- Click on 'Blogs'
- Click on 'Create Blog'
- Give the blog a name and add any instructions for students
- If you want to make the blog available immediately select YES or NO if you want to suspend this until later
- You can also limit the Blog’s availability to dates of your choice. Use the dated fields provided.
- Specify which type of blog this will be from either (a) Course or (b) Individual (it is vital you select the correct choice here as it cannot be undone afterwards)
- Choose whether to allow anonymous comments (this can encourage critical discussion)
- The default 'Index Entries' setting is monthly which should be sufficient for all but the most active blogs but you can elect to change this to weekly if you prefer
- Choose whether to allow contributors to edit and delete entries and comments
- Choose whether you will be grading the blog or not and if so the points possible (this selection is not changeable later - choosing this option sets up a column in the Grade Centre)
- Click on 'Submit'
|Making the blog visible
Making the Blog visible
- You can create as many Blogs for the course as you wish.
- Blackboard automatically provides a generic storage area to store any Blogs created.
- Once a Blog has been created you need to create a link to it to make it visible to students.
- The link can either open the generic storage area which then lists all the available blogs or directly open an individual Blog.
- The link can be created from any existing content page or you can create a new one specifically OR
- The link can be created in the left side course menu panel (to generic storage area only)
Option 1: Making the Blog visible by linking from a specific content page
- Open the content page you want the Blog to be linked from (or create a new one for this purpose)
- Move the cursor over the 'Tool' button and select 'Blogs' from the list provided
- Choose to link between the generic Blog summary page or this one specific Blog
- Click on 'Next'
- Enter any date/time restrictions you wish to apply or leave blank
- Click on 'Submit'
Option 2: Making the Blog visible by linking from left side course menu
- Click on the 'Add Menu item' icon (blue square with white cross)
- Click on 'Create Tool Link' from list provided
- In the 'Name' field create a name for the Blog eg. "Course Blog" or whatever you wish
- In the 'Type' field select 'Blogs' from list provided
- Click in the blank box at side of 'Make Available to users' if you want students to see the Blog straight away or leave blank if you wish to do this later
- Click on 'Submit'
- A link to the Blog has now been created in the left hand course menu.
- If you elected not to make the Blog available to students at stage 5 above it will not be visible to them now but will appear on your course menu with a symbol of a box with a line through it to remind you it is not yet visible to students. When you are ready to let students see the Blog simply click on the action links (chevrons) at the side of the link and click on 'Show link'
|Creating a Blog entry
Creating a Blog entry
- Open the Blog using the link created above
- Click on 'Create Blog Entry'
- Enter a title for the entry
- Type your Blog text in the 'Entry Message' field - your entry can contain text and other media and you can attach files saved on your PC via the 'Browse My Computer' button or elsewhere in Blackboard using the 'Browse Content Collection' button
- When the Blog post is ready click 'Post Entry' or 'Save Entry as Draft' if you wish to finish the entry later.
- After clicking 'Post Entry' the blog title appears in the main panel of the screen
- The contextual menu to the right of every Blog title gives the option to mark an entry as new, increasing its visibility and sending out a notification of a new Blog entry. If the Blog creator has set the Blog up to allow users to edit and delete posts these options will also be available here
- To the right are details about the Blog, a navigation index of the Blog entries and navigation tools to Blogs of other individuals if you are in an individual Blog.
|Commenting on a Blog
Commenting on a Blog
- Open the Blog
- Click on the right side 'Comment' box
- Type your comment
- The option to comment anonymously may be available if the creator of the blog chose to allow this
- Click on 'Add'
- Your comment will now be listed underneath the actual Blog under a 'Comments' link
- The total of the number of comments made is shown with this link
- Unread comments are flagged as 'New'