Skip to content



Journals are a personal space for reflection and communication between a student and teacher. They can be used for informal tasks or for assessment.

This guide covers how to use and set up a Journal, and is primarily aimed at teaching staff.

Relevant VLE site design principles

  • 4.1 Essential: The assessment section contains all information about module assessments.
  • 4.2 Essential: Assessment instructions are clearly labelled and explain the task and requirements.

When to use Journals

Journals can be useful in a variety of situations:

  • reflective practice
  • demonstrate development over time
  • ongoing individual project work
  • non-anonymous formative/summative assessment tasks
  • student-directed or teacher-directed entries

Set up a Journal

Journal location

Consider where students would expect the Journal to appear.

With module materials

Journals used for informal reflection or project work may be best placed alongside the relevant module materials, or in a dedicated project area.

In the Assessment section

Journals listed as either a formative or summative assessment in your module catalogue entry should appear in the Assessment section of the site. If you also want the Journal to be accessible through a weekly content folder, use a Course Link.

Create a Journal

  1. In the relevant location, click Create > Journal.
  2. Give the Journal a descriptive name at the top left.
  3. Add a prompt with instructions.
  4. Choose whether the Journal is graded and adjust other settings as needed.
  5. Set the Journal as Visible to students or specify Release conditions in the top right.


This is demonstrated in the video below, or for more detail see Blackboard's guide to setting up Journals

Blackboard guide: Create a Journal in the Ultra Course View [YouTube]

Marking a Journal

Journals can be used for assessment purposes, and marked online in the Ultra site. You can include a marking rubric.

For details on the marking workflow, see Blackboard's guide to Grading Journals.