As I understand it, the Journal (without using the utility that is available to alter Journals) provides a text area for students to use as such -- but their Journals can not be graded and included in the gradebook automatically.
The Text Assignment also allows for journaling. However, these activities can be auto-graded and will appear in the gradebook.
I could be mistaken.
I've been looking into this myself as a way of countering the apparently imminent demise of the beloved Journal. Here are some observations:
- The Journal does allow you to grade work (without any utilities to alter it), though I am not sure if the grades appear in the gradebook or not as I've never bothered grading them!
- Linguistically I have some "issues" with the Online Assignment.
- The use of the word "assignment" instead of "journal" - It might not seem like much of a difference, but in some cultures it's huge. Journal is a word that I like because it has connotations (for me at least) of reflective practice, self-observation, and is generally a "non-threatening" kind of scenario. Assignment, on the other hand, is laden with connotations of pressure and judgement and, perhaps most disturbingly, someone else assessing the work - which is not at all the approach I try to encourage!
- Related to the above, when a student has finished their entry, they are required to "submit" it - it's a small point, I'll admit, but again, it screams of pressure and handing over responsibility for assessment to someone else.
Hope this helps a little,
Online text assignments aren't useful for the way that I use journals.
My students have to complete very short journals (answer 2-5 questions) before every class to aid in their comprehension of read material.
As teacher I skim through all of their responses very quickly (5-10 minutes in total for a class of 30 students) to give myself an overall idea of their understanding of key issues. I also typically give a short written response to a handful of randomly selected students, so that each student experience teacher feedback from time to time.
This is supposed to be a task of very limited time consumption for both student and teacher. Here the "everything in one window" feature of the journals is absolutely essential. As a teacher I want this process to be quick and smooth with no clicking around.
In Denmark I don't think many teachers are concerned with grading these kind of assignments. We typically would not do that. But we are concerned with having something as useful, fast and easy like the journal. Frankly, the online assignment doesn't even compete.
Needless to say, I'm very disappointed that the journal will be discontinued. I feel that it will seriously hamper the reception given to Moodle in Scandinavian countries.
If I get some time I'll sort out a 2.0 version. We'll go from there.
Is there a compromise here? perhaps an additional online assignment, perhaps called nJournal (largely copied from online text assignment), which could be included in Moodle 1.9 with an included setup routine that would convert old journal assignments to "nJournal.... with some tweaks to the gui of online text assignment for njournal to make it appear like the old journal? This would not materially increase dev load on Moodle 2, but help transition away from old journal while keeping the "journal" around, with a gui that reflects the interests of the users??
As far as I am concerned OTA in 2.0 is very like Journal. The matter is moot for me in 1.9 as I have no motivation to do any work on it (hours/day/people shouting) AND there is a big clampdown these days on making substantial changes to stable code.
I don't really understand what Petr was talking about in his comment. You'd have to ask him.
Rena, I never used journals, how did journals work regarding submitting the entry? was not required to click submit???
BTW... if you don't like the name you can change the name of anything in Moodle by editing the language strings. There's even a UI for it in Site Administration > Language
Here's what my teachers really love about the journal and don't love about online assignment:
1) The Journal can, but the online assignment cannot, sustain back and forth dialogue once the teacher responds to the first entry. Once a teacher responds to an entry using the online text assignment, that's it, the dialog is over. This is huge. The purpose of a paper and digital journal both is to create new understanding and deepen it. That's not currently possible with the online text assignemnt, so when I read that the online text assignment is (or has?) replaced the journal, all I can think is that in its current iteration, that's not remotely true. Pun not really intended.
2) For a teacher reading student journal entry, the date last edited is right at the top. This is important if completing a journal entry is an actual assignment.
3) The teacher view of journal submissions is "easier, and clearer on the screen" than its online assignment counterpart.
If the "fixed" online text assignment in 2.0 addresses these issues, then the journal can vanish without weeping and gnashing of teeth, but otherwise, it's just not nearly as useful a tool as the journal and the journal will be sorely missed.
Could you provide some graphic illustration of the use of online assignment for journaling so as to assuage the fears of those who will be migrating ;=} A picture is worth a hundred posts
Lisa is so right about the fundamental differences.
The jumping in and out of screens with online text is the frustration but the back and forth dialogue is the key to the current journal.
Just make it link to the gradebook. It should be simple.
That, unfortunately, I doubt
The above thread has a a journal fix that was posted by David Monllaó that fixes the issue.
Many teachers at our school use the Journal module in different ways that are not currently replicated in the assignment activity. I understand that it will be in 2.0, but they wanted it now. Plus...we greatly customize our deployment for the K-12 environment and only recently brought the conversions to 1.95. It seems to be working fine.
I use it as a tool to track student work on projects and find it very easy to see it all in one place, on one screen. Other teachers use it as a formative assessment tool so they can see the responses of the entire class on 1 screen...which is far easier that the current online assignment tool for this purpose. Although they are both really the same from the students view, from a teachers perspective it is far nicer to see all the students responses on a single page.
Hope this helps!
I'm new in this, and have not done any Moodle teaching yet, but am now developing several courses. Nor have I posted before, so have some faith!
I've been following the journal issue with much interest because I also wanted to see a single page with "interlaced" discussion (ie: alternating prof and student). As it appears now, the best that text-assignment (or any other form of assignment that I have tested) can do is like a list of FAQ's with answers that has been sorted putting all the questions onto one page and all the answers onto another! Even text-assignment with inline option turned on, gives only ONE "interlacing" and thereafter its again like the separated FAQ's format.
With considerable experimenting and jumping in and out of prof role and a fictitious student role, it looks to me like the prof could do the following without too much extra time: (I'm using version 1.9, and do not know how this view might be different in earlier versions.)
The prof upon opening the student's text assignment sees two windows: student and prof. The prof at this point can quickly and easily cut and paste the student's most recent comment into his own window, and then proceed to write his own comments. There isn't any automatic dating, or spacing in this approach, but a double-dash line could quickly be added. This only works as long as you only add text at the bottom of the file.
Unless with my lack of experience I'm missing something this would appear to be a fairly simple way of creating a fairly good journal. If the prof does the cut-and-paste for each new addition by the student, then the prof's window becomes a complete, interlaced dialogue. The student also can see both windows, so can look either at his own window with just his own comments, or at the prof's feedback window to see the complete dialogue.
I'd be interested in any feedback or improvements on this.