Student Journaling and Blogging


Journal writing and blogging are active learning strategies where students write as a means of personal reflection and/or to hone their critical thinking skills. Journal writing has typically been used as vehicle for personal reflection that is only shared between the student and the instructor. A blog, or “web log,” is an online forum for personal commentaries and the posting of hyperlinks that appear in chronological order. What distinguishes blogging from journaling is that blogs are public whereas journal entries are typically private. That is, blogs encourage the solicitation of comments by others so that two-way communication between all readers and author is common. As a teaching and learning tool, blogs provide a forum of discussion among classmates and instructor that typically includes information that goes beyond the course text and fosters peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and acquisition.

Practical Applications

For journals and blogs, it is important to inform students of your expectations for the assignment. For instance, for journals, instructors should make clear several things:

  1. ​What is the purpose of the journal?
  2. What is the expected format of the journal?
  3. What would you like students to write about?
  4. How extensive should each journal entry be (i.e., length requirements)?
  5. Who will be reading the journal?

For blogs, it is suggested that the instructor create a Blog using the similarly named Blackboard Tool versus on the Internet for all to access. Once created, the same expectations stated for journaling are recommended for blogging.

Recommended Resources

​Related Evaluation and Assessment Resources

Posted by: Dina Battaglia

Original Posting Date: 10/27/14