I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. for a project i'm working on I need to be able to have the student and a non-editing teacher have a 'journal' where they can write, add new entries and have pre-filled pointers like "Today I did..." "I learnt..." . It also needs to be seen only by the specific student and the teacher. Basically a cross between the Journal and Blog activity with a bit of Wiki thrown in there. Is there anything out there that people know of?
Believe it or not, you can do what you want with the Journal plugin. Students can write in their text, Entry, area, and the teacher types in the text, Feedback, area. You could use Generico filter or Snippets for the preformatted text you mention. With the Journal plugin, you might want to set up multiple copies, maybe weekly, or monthly, so the scroll length stays fairly short.
Another possibility, would be to set up and use a database activity. It can be set so that a students entries can be seen only by the student and the teacher. "Today I did..." "I learnt..." can be used as labels for text entry areas for each one of those items. In fact, there are a couple of database presets that could be adapted for this journal type of activity. A couple possibilities to look at would be Daily Notes, and Journal. Check the available presets at moodle.net. If you can't find them there, let me know and I'll dig through my stuff and give them to you.
I'm right in thinking with the Journal app though they can only have 1 entry which they can edit if they want, but its still only the one entry isn't it.
What i'm after is all that functionality but with the ability to use this one Activity for a whole course journal so that there is a single point where they can record their thoughts rather than a number of different journal activities.
Correct, with the Journal it is one entry per journal activity, which can be edited as many times as you want to let them. What I used to do with it was to have a separate journal activity, for each week of the course and they could edit only during the week it was for. Based on our four, Nine week grading periods, that worked out to about 36 separate journals. Yikes.
Basically, after the first year, I switched to using a database activity. Students created a new entry for each "day" or entry, and I had the activity set so they could not see any entries except their own. This allowed one database for each of the nine week grading periods, for a total of four, instead of a boat load of journals.
Thanks for all the help people
I've decided to go for the database activity and use it like you mentioned and just theme the hell out of it.
A journal of the type you've described is technically a series of short writing assignments, AKA "writing to learn."
Wherever possible, I try to design learning activities by using the basic "out of the box" functions of Moodle, i.e. without plugins. One way I can think of to do a student journal is for students to write them on a single Writer/Word doc that they submit via the Assignment activity module. They then have their own off-line copy that they can review & edit at anytime and then resubmit with new/subsequent entries appended. You could even provide a pre-formatted Writer/Word doc with all the specified journal submission outlines & dates for the whole course.
This method would make giving participation grades, using rubrics (writing to learn implies a heavy workload on teachers giving feedback so well-designed rubrics can help to reduce that), and/or quality grades easier.
One drawback would be that students & teachers may mix up older & newer versions of the journals because this strategy would generate a lot of copies from uploading & downloading.
In the spirit of sharing,