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Related Info - For Staff

Related Info - For Students

Blogs

Blogs have two parts: entries (text, images, links etc added by individuals) and comments (responses to entries by other students/staff). Entries appear as a reverse chronological list, with newer posts appearing at the top.

It is very similar to the Journal tool. The main difference is that the Blog is designed to be shared with others and can’t be made private to an individual/Group whereas a Journal can. In general, use the Blog tool for sharing and the Journal for private work.

Here are the different types of Blogs/Journals you can create:

Type Blog Journal
Module All module members can fully participate. You can create any number of module blogs.

All entries are shown together by default, there's an option to see entries by one member at a time.
N/A
Individual This creates a blog for each module member but members can view and comment on each other's blogs.

Blog entries are kept separate for each module member and cannot be viewed together.
This creates a journal for each module member; there is the option to let module members view each other's journals.

Journal entries are kept separate for each module member and cannot be viewed together.
Group Create when creating/editing Minerva Groups (using adaptive release rules won’t restrict access). Group members can add entries, other module members can view and comment.

All entries are shown together by default, there's an option to see entries by one member at a time.
Create when creating/editing Minerva Groups (using adaptive release rules won’t restrict access). Group members can add entries, other module members can view and comment. If you don't want other module members to access the Journal, edit it (see section below) and deselect the Permit Members to View Journals option from the Journal Settings.

All entries are shown together by default, there's an option to see entries by one member at a time.

Instructions

Create a Blog

These are the instructions for creating a module or individual Blog. See the Groups tab for a Group Blog.

In the Control Panel, click on Module Tools and then Blogs.

Blog option in Control Panel

If you have already created Blogs for this module, they will appear here. Click on Create Blog to create a new one.

Create Blog icon

Enter a name for the Blog and instructions as necessary. Next check that you are happy with the default settings:

  • Blog Availability: The Blog will be created as available to students by default
  • Blog Date and Time Restrictions: Enter dates if you wish to restrict the availability by date
  • Blog Participation: Here choose whether you want an Individual or Module Blog (the difference is described in the introduction section). You can also disable the option for people to add anonymous comments
  • Blog Settings: The Blog can be indexed monthly or weekly - this affects how the posts are grouped. Select whether you want users to be able to edit/delete entries and comments
  • Grade Settings: If you want to mark the Blog, you can select the Grade option and enter points possible. This will create a column in the Grade Centre automatically. See the Grading section

Click Submit to create the Blog. Next you need to add a link to the Blog.

Add the link to the Blog

Now you need to add a link to the Blog so that your students can access it. There are two ways to add a Blog link:

  1. Add a direct link to the module/organisation menu (this will show a list of all the Blogs you have created for the module)
  2. Add a link from a content area (e.g. Learning Resources)
1. Adding a Blog link to the module/organisation menu
  • Select the + icon at the top left of the menu, then click Tool Link
  • Enter a relevant name e.g. Blogs
  • Choose Blogs from the dropdown menu
  • Ensure you check Available to Users so students will see the item
  • Click Submit

Adding a link to the blogs page via the

menu

2. Adding a link to a Content Area
  • From your module/organisation menu click on the relevant Content Area e.g. Learning Resources
  • Ensure that Edit Mode is switched ON from the top right of the screen, if it isn’t already
  • Select the Tools action link and click Blogs

Add Blog link to a content area

Now you have a choice. If you plan to create many Blogs, you may wish to add a link to the main Blogs page so that people will see all the Blogs you have created when they click on the link. This is also useful if you plan to use Group Blogs and want to encourage cross Group comments. Alternatively, you may wish to link directly to a particular Blog.

Link to the Blogs page

  • To do this, select Link to the Blogs Page and click Next
  • Add a Link Name, any Text you want students to see, check the Options (note you must check the Display after and Display until boxes if you choose Date restrictions) and then click Submit

Blogs can also be created from this page.

Link to a specific Blog

  • Select Link to a Blog, select the relevant Blog then click Next
  • Add a Link Name, any Text you want students to see, check the Options (note you must check the Display after and Display until boxes if you choose Date restrictions) and then click Submit

Students can now access the Blog.

Create a Group blog

If you use the Groups tool in your module, you can also create a Blog when setting up/editing the Groups. This method should be used if you only want certain students on your module to post to a Blog, but note that other students on the module will be able to view it and post comments. If you want to encourage cross Group comments, make sure you add a link to the Blogs page (see step 2) so students can easily see other Groups' Blogs.

The interface doesn't allow you to check the blog settings when creating the Group. After you've created the Groups, go to the Control Panel, Module Tools, Blogs. Select the drop down menu and then Edit next to relevant Blogs and change any settings as relevant, notably anonymous posts and comments are allowed by default so you may wish to change this.

Editing a blog

View entries

Click on the link for the Blog to view entries, if easier go to the Control Panel, Module Tools, Blogs for a list of all Blogs in your module.

For an individual blog you will see your entries by default. To see your students’ blogs, you need to select the arrow beneath your name in the right panel to open up a drop down list of all the students who have contributed to the blog:

Arrow to view all contributors

You will see something like this (select the Show Empty Blogs box to see students who haven’t contributed yet):

List of contributors

Alternatively you can click the left and right arrows to navigate through the blogs:

Arrows to navigate through contributors one by one

Remember the Blogs are indexed so you may need to click on the dates under Index to see older posts.

Edit the Blog settings

If you need to change settings after creation, go to the Control Panel, Module Tools and then Blogs.

Select the drop down menu next to the relevant Blog and select Edit.

Editing a blog

Change settings as required and click Submit.

Grading the blog

When you create a Blog, you have the option to enable grading. You enter points and a column is automatically created for the item in the Grade Centre. You also need to consider when you want to be prompted to grade the item.

Grading options

You can grade the Blog from the Blog interface, enabling you to see the student's entries as you add any marks and feedback. When a student has entered the number of entries to prompt grading, you'll see a Needs Grading Flag:

Needs grading flag

Click on the student's name and the grading interface will open for you to enter any marks/feedback:

Grading interface

If you wish, you can open the content editor for the Feedback section to give formatted feedback/attach files:

Content Editor link

Remember to click Submit when you are finished.