You can grade journal participation for individuals and groups.

How journal grades behave

When you enable grading for a journal, a column is created automatically in the Grade Center. As students submit entries, icons begin to appear in the Grade Center, on the journal topic page, and on the Needs Grading page:

  • The Needs Grading icon appears when student activity has met the threshold you chose in the journal settings. For example, if you choose to be notified after four students submit their work, this icon appears after at least four students submit their journal entries.
  • The In Progress icon appears when:
    • Student activity doesn't meet the minimum number you set.
    • You didn't select the Show participants in needs grading status check box.

You can grade a journal entry in the Grade Center, on the Needs Grading page, or by going to Control Panel > Course Tools > Journals within a course.

Edit the column information in the Grade Center to determine whether or not students can view their grades and feedback in My Grades.

More on grade columns and items in the Grade Center

As you grade students' journal entries, the grades show immediately in the Grade Center. When you edit an assigned grade from the journal topic page, the Grade Center is updated.

Change a journal topic from graded to ungraded

You can't change a graded journal topic to ungraded. You need to delete the graded journal topic from the Journals listing page and the Grade Center, and create a new ungraded topic.

Alternatively, to retain entries, set the journal's Grade Center column to not be included in calculations. In essence, the journal continues to be considered graded by the Grade Center, but any results or grades assigned are ignored in other calculations.

Grade individual journal entries

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about graded journals.

Begin grading journals from the Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, or the Course Tools section in the Control Panel.

  1. On the journal topic page, locate the list with your name to access all course members. Select a user's name with a number. The user's journal entry or entries open in the content frame.
  2. Type a point total in the Grade box. If you associated a rubric for the journal, expand and complete the rubric.
  3. To edit an existing grade, select the Grade box and change the grade.
  4. You can also include feedback for the student in the Feedback to Learner box. Select the editor icon represented by the letter A to open the pop-up editor window. You can embed an audio/video recording of your feedback as you grade.
  5. Select Add Notes to leave notes that appear only to you and the grader role.
  6. Select Submit to add the grade, feedback, and grading notes to the Grade Center.

Grade a group journal

On the journal topic page, you can read all the entries for a group journal and add one grade for all members. If you haven't assigned a group member's grade, the Needs Grading icon appears in the Grade Center, on the journal topic page in the All Group Members list, and the group journal is listed on the Needs Grading page.

On the group journal page, the grading sidebar appears, listing all group members.

When you add a grade for a group journal, the grade is automatically given to all group members. All members are assigned a grade, regardless if a member didn't contribute, although you can change this grade. Students can view their group journal grades in My Grades and in the group journal by selecting their names in the All Group Members menu.

Give a different grade to group members

You can assign an individual group member a different grade than the group. If you change a group member's grade and then assign a new grade to the group, the new group grade doesn't affect the individual's grade. Students only see their own grades, not what each of their group members earned.

In the grading sidebar, select the pencil icon to change the group grade for a member. Type a new grade and select the check mark icon to save it. This grade becomes an override grade.

The group grade and the individual group member's edited grade appear in the Grade Center. Grayed out cells appear in the group journal column for course members who aren't part of the group.

Change a group member's grade back

You can revert a member's edited grade to the original group grade that all group members received.

In the grading sidebar, select the pencil icon for the member with the edited grade. Select the left-pointing arrow to change the grade to the original group grade. The override icon is removed and the change appears in the Grade Center.

ULTRA: Enable journal grading

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about graded journals.

To motivate students to post insightful contributions, you can make a journal count for a grade. When you enable grading for a journal, a column is created automatically in the gradebook.

Select the gear icon to open the Journal Settings panel. Select the check box for Grade Journal. When you choose to grade a journal, more options appear such as the due date and maximum points.

Provide a due date. Due dates appear on the calendar and in the activity stream. Encourage students to review what’s due now and what’s ahead so they can ask questions as soon as possible.

Provide the maximum points. The points apply to one or more entries made by a student.

Select the grading schema. From the Grade using menu, select an existing grading schema such as Points. You can change the grading schema at any time and the change will show to students and in your gradebook.

Add a grading rubric. Rubrics can help you evaluate student submissions based on key criteria that you define. You can create or add an existing rubric so students can view the requirements of the graded work. You may associate only one rubric to each journal.

ULTRA: Basic journal grading workflow

When a graded journal's submissions are ready to grade, you're notified in the activity stream. Select the link to open the journal in a new layer to review the entries.

You can also open the journal from the Course Content page and use these steps to grade submissions.

  1. After you review a student's journal entries and comments, close the journal layer and select the Gradebook icon on the navigation bar.
  2. On the Gradebook page in list view, you can view how many students have made entries. Switch to the grid view to start grading.
  3. In grid view, navigate to the journal's column. New Submission appears in cells for students with entries. Select the Grade Now link to assign a grade. Click anywhere outside the grade area to save.

You can also use Ultra's grading tools, including feedback and rubrics, to create and post grades. Both participation and submission journal views link to the gradebook for easy grading.

Post grades

When you're ready to release grades to students, select the Post option in the column header. All grades you've assigned for this column are posted for students to see. If you want to post one at a time, click within a student's cell and select Post in the menu. Posted grades appear with a Posted message in the column.

After you post journal grades, students can view their scores on their grades pages or in the activity stream. They can also access their journal contributions and their grades from the journal link on the Course Content page.

Change a graded journal to ungraded

You can change a graded journal to ungraded as long as there are no entries or comments for the journal. You can't change the journal type after entries or comments are submitted.

ULTRA: Delete a graded journal

If you delete a graded journal, the journal is removed from the Course Content page and the gradebook.