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Journals, Blogs, Discussion, Wikis … What’s the difference? (And which to use when)

Blackboard’s suite of asynchronous social tools — Journals, Blogs, Discussion, and Wikis — provide students with different methods of sharing and recording their thoughts. Each tool functions very differently, and it’s important you match the right tool to the right assignment.


Journal posts are generally only visible to the student who made them (and to the course faculty).

Journals are good for self-reflection exercises, stream of consciousness free-writing, and personal activity logs.


Blog posts are generally made by one student (who may be the representative of a group, depending on the assignment), then read by the rest of the class. The readership may then comment on the blog post, but blogs are generally not designed for more back-and-forth interaction.

In his Chronicle of Higher Education article A Better Blogging Assignment, Mark Sample proposes the following assignment:

Each student will contribute to the weekly class blog, posting an approximately 200-300 word response to the week’s readings. There are a number of ways to approach these open-ended posts: consider the reading in relation to its...

Permalink Last updated 01/12/2017 by R. Davidson

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