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These instructions are provided as examples only. They are not meant to address every potential scenario. Feel free to use them as a guide and edit for your own course needs.


Journal activities are often private between a student and instructor. They are used in a variety of ways for to provide reflection, inspiring inspire creative approaches, act as reading notes, and more. The university’s LMS does not include a specific journal function. Just as personal journals have multiple potential formats, so can journal assignments. The examples below show options you may consider trying. You may also want to explore some of the References and Related Content at the bottom of the page.


Google Doc Journal

Each student creates their own Google document using headers to identify each journal activity or date. The document is shared for viewing with the instructor only, then a link to the journal is submitted as an assignment in the LMS. This example assumes the option for “Website URL” submission is selected in the assignment settings.

Your journal entry assignment this week is to _____.


  1. Click on the Share button in the top right corner of the document.

  2. Click Copy link to copy the URL. Then, add my email address (found in the syllabus) in the “Share with people and groups” space. To the right of my name, select “Commenter” from the drop-down menu, then click Share. The window should close when you click Share.

  3. After closing the Share box, click Submit Assignment above, and check that you are in the “Website URL” tab of the assignment submission. Paste the URL you copied in Step 2 in the space provided.

  4. Click Submit Assignment at the bottom to complete your submission.

Discussion Board Journal

This method utilizes the discussion board function in Canvas. Students are organized into Groups of 1, then a journal discussion is assigned to the groups. To create a running list of entries to the “journal,” students are directed back to their “group” where there is a discussion thread assigned for each journal entry. The instructor has created a discussion activity for each entry and assigned it to the groups. For this method, a rubric can be used to assess a journal on a whole or it can include a row of criteria for each entry to assign unique points to each entry.

Your journal entry assignment this week is to _____.