How do I use Blackboard Blogs & Journals?
Blackboard Blogs come in two flavors: the course blog and the individual blog.
If your instructor sets up a course blog, all entries will be visible when you enter the blog. Everyone will contribute to the blog, and you will see the most recent entry first. If you want to see only the entries submitted by one person, choose that person from the list of contributors at right, under View Entries. If your instructor sets up individual blogs, then when you log in and click on your blog link, you will by default see only your entries. In this case, everyone has his or her own blog, and all blogs are visible to all students. You may see other students’ blogs by clicking their names in the list at right, under View Entries.
Journals are very similar to blogs, but they are private. If your instructor sets up journals for the course, then you will see only your journal and its entries. You will not be able to see other students’ journals, and they will not be able to see yours. The instructor will be able to view and, if applicable, grade your journal.
· To create a blog or journal entry, enter the blog/journal and then click on the button at the top: Create Blog Entry or Create Journal Entry.
· Be sure to click on Post Entry when you are finished with your blog or journal entry. You can also choose to Save Entry as Draft if you are not ready to publish.
· If the instructors allow it, you can add comments to blog entries (your own or other people’s) by clicking on the Comment button at the bottom right of an entry. Comments are saved, and to open the comments, click the Comments: (#) button at the bottom left of each entry.
· Type your entry and use the small formatting buttons much as you would in a word processor. The third row of buttons will help you place and embed media in the blog entry. The button in the second row that looks like a globe is the Hyperlink button for inserting URLs. Note: If you do not see the text editor buttons, change the option for Visual Editor is: (you may see instead see Text Editor is:), located on the top right of the Entry Message box, to ON.
· When placing photos in the blog entry, if you do not choose a size option, you can resize the photo when editing the blog entry by clicking and dragging from the corner of the photo. You can also set the width and height (see tip below).
· When placing video in a blog entry, it will be too small unless you enter the pixel size you desire. A good size is 420x300. To add the video: Click on Add MPEG/AVI Content for *.mpeg, *.avi, or *.mov files (this is third button in Row 3). For *.swf files, choose Add Flash/Shockwave Content (sixth button in Row 3). Next, choose your video, and for Set Width enter 420 and for Set Height enter 300. (This also works for photos.) Click on Submit. Click the play button to ensure that your video works properly. If it does not work you may need to update your browser plugins. Click Submit again in the next window that appears. You will need to save the entry to see it (the portion with the video will look blank until you do). Please note that *.wmv files cannot be embedded, but they can be added using Attach File (First button in Row 3) so the student can download and then view the video.