Objectives for this Activity:

In this example, they were not directly presented to students before activity or in syllabus, but rather were encompassed within the course objectives as a whole. For this activity, the objective could be written as:

By obtaining 5 points in the given journal exercise as judged by the rubric, student will articulate their own goals for the course to aid the instructor in pedagogical decisions and to personalize the course to their needs perhaps increasing motivation. This activity will also open up or begin an important dialogue between the instructor and student in order to discuss and internalize learning taking place.

Prerequisites for this Activity: (not necessarily presented to students)

Student should have completed all activities for the given unit.

Materials and Resources:

What needs to be prepared in advance by the teacher? - The assignment page

What does the student need to bring to the lesson? - Complete prior readings and activities.

Guiding Questions for this Activity: (may be presented directly to students)

What do the students bring to the course, and what do they desire to get out of it?

Activity as Presented to Students: (usually in conjunction with the asynchronous discussion forum)

evaluation.gif Journal Assignment


During the first week of class (the orientation week), we'll begin using our journals. You need to enter in your journals at least three expectations that you have of this class. Be sure to check the rubric to see how points will be awarded. I'd like to encourage you to use this as an opportunity to "personalize" the class to address your needs. Try to apply your goals to your specific needs, the discipline you teach, the point at which you're currently at in you online teaching or preparation or the challenges you're facing. This will help me begin an individual dialogue with you throughout the course. By using this journal process, I hope that together we can make this course really practical and beneficial for each of you!

Journal Entries:

Your journal entries will only be seen by you and me. This is a private form of communication.

Instructions for Journal Entry:

For our journals, we're using Messaging, a tool that is new to this updated edition of Moodle. In the past, I've used the dialogue tool for journals. But the dialogue tool no longer exists in moodle. So, this will be a new experience for all of us! I'm hoping it will work smoothly. To enter your course expectations in your journal,

  1. Click on Messages in the tool bar to the right of your screen.
  2. Notice the tabs. Click on Contact and make me one of your contacts.
  3. Submit your journal entry. Please title it -- Course Expectations.

Teaching Strategies:

What are some tips to help the lesson run smoothly?

  • Make sure that you provide adequate feedback on this activity so that students will maintain their motivation to actively reflect on their learning.
  • Come back to this activity continually in the course, providing the students the opportunity to reflect back on what they have learned and re-evaluate prior decisions.
  • To motivate students and start the course on a positive note, provide a modest number of points toward the course grade through this activity.


Probably none. Most disabilities have technology allowing text entry; however, any software used should be appropriately tested.

Ideas for Activity Evaluation and Teacher Reflection:

End of semester evaluations should ask about the usefulness and learning accomplished through such activities. Also, the responses in the forum will help guage how the students are enjoying various aspects of the activity.

Sample Rubric:

The post for this orientation activity, which begins your journal writing, is worth 5 total points.

Points Earned
5 Participant enters into his/her journal two or three course expectations that outline his/her need for the content, the topics he expects to cover and the knowledge he will gain in a well articulated and substantial manner.

Participant enters into his/her journal two or three course expectations but does not make clear how he/she expects to use the information. The expectations are not well articulated or not substantial.

1 Participant enters into his/her journal fewer than two or three course expectations. They are not substantial and not well articulated.


Back to Top

arrow buttonReturn to Journaling Activity
arrow buttonReturn to OTAI Main Page


University of Illinois
University of Illinois University of Illinois at Chicago University of Illinois at Springfield University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign