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Permissions and roles

To complete the procedures in this article, you must be assigned a role having the necessary permissions. This often excludes Students and TAs by default. To determine your role, follow the directions in Participant roles.

For a basic understanding of roles and permissions, see Permissions and roles.

There are a number of ways to encourage students write and record journals in Sakai/Isaak. This both provides a lot of options and a lot of confusion. With that in mind here's a guide.

There are a number of tools that can be used for something that could be referred to as journaling: Forums, Drop Box, Blogger and Assignments.


[edit] Journaling with the Forums tool

Example of using Forums tool for class journals
Example of using Forums tool for class journals

Using the Forums tool for journaling works well because in most cases the Forums tool is already in use and students are not forced to learn a new interface. The Forums tool is generally easier for students to use as unlike the Blogger tool every posting is visible to instructors.

Here is how a journal forum can be created once the Forums tool has been added to the course:

  1. In your site's menubar, click Forums. The Forums screen will open.
  2. At the top, click New Forum. The Forum Settings screen will open.
  3. In the "Forum Title" field, type your forum's title - something like "Journals".
  4. In the "Short Description" field or "Description" field you may provide a (brief) description detailing that this will be the students private journaling space the only the student and instructor(s) can see.
  5. Under "Permissions", you can modify permission levels for the "Student" roles as follow:
    Required forum permissions for private student journals
    Required forum permissions for private student journals
    • Disable New Forum
    • Disable New Topic
    • Enable New Response
    • Disable Response to Response
    • Disable Post to Gradebook
    • Disable Change Settings
    • Disable Read
    • Mark as Read is irrelevant
    • Disable Moderate Postings
    • Edit Postings: Use the radio buttons to indicate if the participants can edit their own postings or not - enabling this is likely a good idea.
    • Delete Postings: Use the radio buttons to indicate if participants can delete their own postings. If they can edit their posting the can blank it out, which is like deleting it except that there is at least a record of the posting's existence.
  6. Next to "Gradebook Item", use the drop-down list to choose an item with which the forum should be associated. Note: To add an item to the Gradebook, see Creating/adding, editing, or deleting a Gradebook item.
  7. When you're finished, click one of the following:
    • Save Draft: Save your forum as a draft. You'll return to the Forums screen. Forums saved as draft will not be available to site participants 'INCLUDING TAs'.
    • Save Settings & Add Topic: Save your changes and add a topic to your forum. You will need to add a topic so site members can post their journal postings.
      • "Add Topic" screen:
        1. In the "Topic Title" field, type your topic's title - something like "Week 1 Journal", or "First Topic".
        2. In the "Short Description" field or "Description" field you may provide a (brief) description detailing what this topic is to be about.
        3. Under "Permissions" all of the previous permissions you created should appear - no changes are required.
        4. When you're finished, click one of the following:
          • Save Settings: Save your topic.
          • Save Draft: Save your topic as a draft. You'll return to the Forum screen.
          • Save Settings & Add Topic: Save your changes and add another topic to your forum.

[edit] Journaling with the Drop Box tool

The Drop Box feature allows instructors and students to share documents within a private folder for each student. The Drop Box works like Resources to allow you to upload many types of files and many files at a time.

If participants compose their journal entry in a common file format like TXT, RTF or DOC they can then upload it to their own folder in the Drop Box tool. Alternatively participants can select the Add button in the Drop Box tool and choose Create HTML Page to compose their journal posting in Sakai/Isaak itself. Instructors can latter review the participants folders from their view of the Drop Box.

All that is required for this is to add the Drop Box tool to the course and share the instructions with participants.

[edit] Journaling with the Class Blog tool

The Class Blog tool allows course site participants to create and maintain blogs as well as comment on the blog posts of others. This allows a class to make individual blog postings and for the whole class to comment on them.

There is also a quick View authors area that displays who has made a post and how many, as well as who has commented and how many comments they have made.

There is an RSS feed of all posts or individual author's posts that can be syndicated outside of Isaak-Sakai.

[edit] Journaling with the Assignments tool

Individual assignments can be created for each journal entry, for example each topic of week. Student can then type directly in Isaak/Sakai or attach a file (the instructor can control this). Instructors can then Grade the assignment, and even sort by who has completed the assignment and who has not.

[edit] Journaling with the Assignments tool and open web blogging

In this scenario students area expect write and publish their own on-line blog.

Students are encouraged to use any free, on-line blogging site, such as Blogger or Wordpress to create their blog, and are potenitally expected to comment on their classmates' contributions as well. Students could reuse existing blogs they may be maininting, if appropriate.

Students are then asked to submit the unique URL for a student's blog posting to the corresponding assignment in the Assignments tool. This ensures that there is a definitive timestamp and submission act that the assessment of the blog posting can be conducted with. Instructors (or TAs) can then track submitted blog posts easily and provide grades and comments privately and through a defined workflow.

Other articles about Isaak/Sakai's tools and how instructors can use them:

Core Tools:   Image:Flag blue.png Announcements | Image:Page edit.png Assignments | Image:Lessons-icon.png Lessons | Image:Comments.png Forums | Image:Report.png Gradebook | Image:Folder.png Resources | Image:Calendar.png Schedule | Image:Pencil.png Tests and Quizzes

More Tools:   Image:User comment.png Chat Room | Image:Folder page.png Drop Box | Image:House.png Home | Image:Comment.png Messages | Image:Chart bar.png Statistics | Image:Page world.png Web Content

Related articles:   How to add tools to your course | Using the Text Editor | Manage Groups | Permissions and roles | Contact the CPI for help

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