Journaling with WISE

The Forums, Drop Box, Blogger, Blog, Assignments and Wiki tools can all be adapted to encourage site participants to write and record journals in WISE.  The choice of tool depends on both your workflow and your desire to explore tools whose interface is less traditional.

Journaling with the Forums Tool

The Forums tool is easy to use because its interface resembles a threaded email discussion and all posts are visible to the poster and the instructor by default.  Follow these steps to create a journal forum:

  1. Use Site Info>Edit Tools to add the Forums tool to the site
  2. Select Forums from the Course Tools list on the left of the screen; the main forums screen will display
  3. From the Forums menu, select "New Forum."  The forum settings screen will display
  4. In the "Forum Title" field, type a name ("Journals")
  5. Optional: In the "Short Description" or "Description" field, provide instructions.  If you set student access to disable reading (see below), you can notify students that the journaling is private between poster and instructor.
  6. In the "Permissions" area, select the "Student Role" and enable (check) or disable (uncheck) the following permissions:
    • New Forum: Disable
    • New Topic: Disable
    • New Response: Enable
    • Response to Response: Disable
    • Post to Gradebook: Enable if grading journals; otherwise Disable
    • Change Settings: Disable
    • Read: Disable for private journal; otherwise Enable
    • Mark as Read: irrelevant
    • Edit Postings: select "own"
    • Delete Postings: optional
  7. "Gradebook Item": use the dropdown list to choose an item (previously created in the Gradebook tool) with which the forum should be associated.
  8. To finish, click either:
    • Save Draft: forum is not available to any other site participants until you edit again and add a topic
    • Save Settings & Add Topic: saves the forum settings and opens a page for a new topic.
  9. "Topic Title" field: name the topic ("Week 1 Journal")
  10. Description/Short Description: optional
  11. Permissions: no changes needed
  12. To finish, click one of the following:
    • Save Settings: saves topic, makes forum available to site participants
    • Save Draft: saves topic, forum not available to site participants
    • Save Settings & Add Topic: saves topic, opens page to add another topic ("Week 2 Journal"...)

Journaling with the Drop Box Tool

The Drop Box tool provides a private channel for instructors and students to share documents.  Organizing files and subfolders and uploading files to a drop box is identical to working with the Resources tool.  Journal entries (and instructor) responses can be composed in common file formats (.txt, .rtf, .doc, .pdf) and uploaded to a student's Drop Box folder.  Entries can be composed within WISE by selecting the "Add" button to the right of a Drop Box folder name, choosing "Create HTML Page" or "Create Text Document" and typing text directly into the WISE editing box.