The Blackboard collaborative tools – including chat, blogs, journals, and wikis – allow students in your class to work interactively online with you and/or with others in the class.

We offer other tools, including Zoom for video collaboration, a blog service (based on WordPress), and a Confluence wiki service – all outside of Blackboard – for situations which require more robust tools; however, in many situations, such as where students are writing reading responses to be shared with other students, the Blackboard tools are sufficient, with the advantage being that students do not have to learn another tool. The Blackboard blog and wiki tools are integrated with the Blackboard Grade Center.

Information on this page:

Blogs and Journals

Video Videos: Creating a Blog“; “Creating and Editing Blog Entries“; “Creating a Journal“; “Creating and Editing Journal Entries
Vendor documentation: “Blogs”; “Journals

The Blackboard blog and journal tools allow students to express themselves in an area of the Blackboard course that can be accessed either by the entire class or by just the instructor. Examples of use include reading responses, reflective journals, and other writing exercises to be shared by students.

The blog tool allows all students to see and comment on other students’ entries; the journal tool is private between the student and the instructor.

The Blackboard blog and journal tools are best for writings that are primarily text. For blogs that will contain a lot of images, or other types of heavy use, you might consider using the Cornell Blog Service instead.

In Blackboard, both blogs and journals can be graded; however, it is important to note that using the built-in blog and journal grading tools, there is one grade for all of the blog or journal entries combined; e.g. although a student’s blog may have 10 entries, the blog grading tool enters one column in the Grade Center. For instructors who want to grade each blog entry separately, there are two possible workarounds:

  • Use the blog (or journal) grading tool, and for each blog entry, enter the grade for just that entry. In the Grade Center, you will be able to see the grade history for that item, and can adjust the final grade at the end of the semester.
  • Or, instead of using the grading tool: in the Grade Center, create a column for each week’s entry, and enter the grades directly into the Grade Center column.


Video Videos: “Creating a Wiki“; “Editing a Wiki Page“; “Viewing a Wiki Page History“; more
Vendor documentation: “Wikis”

The wiki tool in Blackboard can be used as a space for students in your course to work collaboratively. A wiki can be created for the entire class or for student groups; for course-wide access or just for a specific project.

A wiki allows multiple students to add to or modify the wiki page’s contents (including the deletion of some content.) This can be useful in a group situation where, for example, multiple people are making contributions to a paper or article.

The Blackboard wiki tool is good for basic work but is not intended for long term use. It is not as fully featured as the Confluence wiki that we have in use at Cornell, but is best used for small projects when used in conjunction with other Blackboard features.

Once the wiki page is created: as long as it is open to editing, anyone who has access to it may make changes to it. Each user’s changes are tracked, and in addition to letting students see their own individual contributions, the instructor can see the contributions made by each student. The instructor is also able to see a summary report of the number of words modified, the percentage of words modified, the number of page saves, and the percentage of page saves for each contributor.

Instructors have the option to grade a wiki page, and may choose to attach a rubric to the wiki for grading.



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