Moodle: Student Journals

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

Before You Start, you may 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

If menu option is not mentioned, use the default value.

  1. On the course main page, click Turn editing on (if it isn't already). 
  2. Click +Add activity or resource in the section where you want to place the activity. 
  3. Click the Activity tab and choose OU Blog.
  4. Type a name for the entire activity 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 can contribute to a group or class blog.
    • Separate individual blogs: students can't see each other's journals
    • Visible individual blogs:  students can see each other's 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.
    • Type journal in the Alternate activity name box to replace "blog" with "journal" 
  8. (Optional) Set start and end dates for the journal as a whole under Contribution time period.
  9. If you want to grade journals, expand Grade, choose Teacher grades students, then choose a Scale or set a Point value.
  10. Click Save and return to course.

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

  1. Include grade in a comment on the post (if journals are not visible to other students!)
  2. Enable Ratings, rate each post, and have Moodle auto-calculate grade based on all ratings

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 in all journals as shown below; students will see only their own entries. 

  • 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).


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