Moodle: Student Journals

Although Moodle does not have a purpose-built journal activity, you can use the OU Blog Activity in Moodle to create individual journals that your students can post to over time. 

Before You Start, you will need access to the following:

  • an Instructor of record or Other editing teacher role in a Moodle course to create a journal activity
  • any teacher role (e.g., Instructor of record, Other editing teacher, Non-editing teacher) to view and grade student work

Create a Journal Activity

  1. Toggle the "Edit Mode" switch on (if it isn't already). 
  2. Click +Add activity or resource in the section where you want to place the activity. 
  3. In the Activity menu, choose OU Blog.
  4. Give the activity an appropriate name in the Blog name box (e.g., Student Journals).
  5. Choose the appropriate Allow comments (if chosen for post) setting:
    • Yes, from logged in users:  users who are part of the class or group can comment
    • Yes, from everybody (even if not logged in): anyone who can see the post (class users or guests) can comment. Guest comments need to be approved by instructors before they are visible to all.
    • Comments not allowed: No one, including instructors, can comments. Teachers will not be able to give feedback on entries if selected. 
  6. From the Individual blogs drop-down menu, choose:
    • No (blog together or in group): No individual student will have a blog, but they can contribute to a group or class blog.
    • Separate individual blogs: each student will get their own blog. However, they will not be able to see any other student's journal
    • Visible individual blogs:  each student will get their own blog and be able to their classmates' journals.
  7. (Optional) Expand Advanced options to customize the participate interface: 
    • Check Show blog usage extra statistics to add the date of the last post to views.
    • Alternate activity name will determine what word or phrase comes after what you wrote in the Blog Name field. For instance, an activity whose Blog Name is "Student Reflections" and Alternate activity name is "Journal" would display to students as "Student Reflections Journal" on the course page. If this field is left blank, the default ("blog") will be used.
    • Enable post import: Check this if you want students to be able to import posts from other blogs they have access to.
  8. (Optional) Expand Contribution time period if you want to set limits on when students can post on their own blog and (if allowed) post comments on classmates' blogs.
  9. If you want to grade journals, expand Grade. Choose Teacher grades students, then choose whether you want to use a Scale or set a Point value. Otherwise, leave the default, No Grade, in place.
  10. Leave all other settings as their defaults.
  11. Click Save and return to course.

View and grade student work

Once students began to post to their journals/blogs, the entries will show up when a user opens the journal activity. If you set the activity up as Separate individual blogs only teachers will see entries from all students. Students will see only their own entries when they access the activity

  • Choose a name from the Separate individuals filter to view only their entries.
  • Click the Participation by user button to see the number of posts and give students grades for the activity. 
  • Click View all participation for an alternative way to read journal entries, which also lets you filter by date and type of entry (post or comment).

Note: There is no way to Grade individual posts/entries, but there are two possible workarounds:

  • Include grade in a comment on the post. Then enter that grade manually in your gradebook. Only do this if students' journals are not visible to each other.
  • Enable Ratings and rate each post. Moodle will use these ratings to auto-calculate a grade for the overall activity.


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor