Create Private Discussions for Student Journaling

Creating private groups with restricted discussion areas can provide students an outlet for writing reflective journals.

To Create a Private Group:

  1. Click on Collaboration on the navbar and choose Groups.
  2. Click on the New Category button.
    Image shows New Category button under the manage groups page.
  3. Give the category a name and add an optional description.
    New category options, including name and description.
  4. Click the drop-down menu under Enrollment Type, and select Single user, member-specific groups.Enrollment type options with
  5. In the Additional Options area, click the box to Set up discussion areas.
    Discussion area options.
    1. Click the forum drop-down menu to select an existing forum to associate the restricted discussion to, or click [New Forum] to create a new forum.
    2. Select Create new topic to create a new restricted topic.
    3. Select Attach to existing topic if a topic has already been created.

      NOTE: This option is only available for topics that have no posts or group restrictions enabled.
  6. Click Save.

To Create Restricted Topics

  1. Select Create one topic with threads separated by group.
  2. Edit the Title of your topic.
  3. Add a description with instructions or a prompt for students to follow.
  4. Click Create and Next.
    Restricted topics options with title and description.
    NOTE: Once you click Create and Next, these options cannot be changed.
  5. Click Done.
    Workspace button with

To View Discussion Topics and Associate to a Grade Item

  1. Click on Collaboration > Discussions, and scroll down to the restricted topic.
  2. Click the arrow beside the topic and select Edit Topic.
    Topic menu options with
  3. Click the Assessment tab.
    1. Click the drop-down menu under Grade Item to select an existing grade item to associate the discussion to, or click [New Grade Item] to create a new grade item.
    2. Input a value in the Score Out Of field.
      Topic assessment tab with grade item and score out of options.
  4. To assess each journal entry individually, check the box to Allow assessment of individual posts.
    • Click the calculation drop-down menu to select the calculation method.
      Calculation options for individual posts.
  5. To assess the entire collection of journal entries, leave the Allow assessment of individual posts box unchecked.