What is a blog, discussion, and journal and how do I add them to my course?

Journals, blogs, and discussions are activity types that facilitators can add to their Echo course. Each is slightly different from the other, but they all provide opportunities for students to write in meaningful ways.

Blog

Discussion

Journal

Blog

A blog is a place where students can share their knowledge, thoughts and opinions in a "public" place. When using the blog feature in Echo:

  • Students can post once or post multiple times using text and or links
  • Students can comment on others' blog posts as well as their own
  • Students can edit their post(s) and their comments
  • Facilitators can see all students' blogs in one place. Facilitators can switch between each student's blog by clicking on their name
  • Facilitators can delete any student's blog, blog post(s), and or students' comments
  • Facilitators can comment on students' blog posts
  • Facilitators can give a grade for a blog

 

From the homepage, click the "Editor" icon located on the course that needs an item added to it.

 

Click the "+Add to..." link.

 

Click "Blog".

Activity Tab

1. The title field holds the name of the blog. The title will be visible in the course syllabus.

2. The thumbnail image for the activity. The thumbnail will appear in the course syllabus.

  • Recommended thumbnail file type: PNG or JPG (Echo converts all files into PNGs)
  • Ideal thumbnail size: 400px x 400px (Echo automatically resizes images, so uploading images smaller than 400px x 400px may reduce quality)

3. The content section is a rich text field that can hold text, images, links, and more. The content is visible when the assignment is opened.

4. The activity instructions section typically holds the assignment instructions or a text resource the students will have access to.

5. The attachments feature allows teachers to attach files to an activity.

Settings Tab

  1. The activity settings allows teachers to set a due date and time as well as set late submission rules. Students will not be able to submit assignments after the due date unless the "Allow late submissions" box is checked. A teacher can also designate a student grouping if groups have been defined in the course. When this option is selected, only one student in each group is required to submit the activity and all students in the group will receive the same grade.
  2. Gradebook Settings is where points possible can be established, as well as the submission type. Single document is recommended for students to have a dropbox available to submit.
  • Any activity can be made "Gradable," but depending on the activity type, the points possible may not be enabled by default. To make an item gradable and enter points, check the "this activity is gradable" box.
  • This setting also allows for options like making it an extra credit activity.

3. Use objective mastery to align selected course standards to the activity (if the course has a defined list of objectives). This allows teachers to track student performance against the standards in the gradebook. To learn more about associating activities with objectives, click here.

4. Visibility and access controls rules for who can view the activity.

5. Badges can be used to automatically assign a specific badge to students who complete the activity. Badges must be configured in course settings in order to be selected.

6. Advanced gradebook options offer additional settings.

Options:

  • Teachers can restrict student access to assignment scores by date
  • Echo tracks when students have completed and passed each assignment. The "Passing Score" field allows teachers to define the minimum score students must achieve in order to "pass" the assignment
  • The minimum points possible field is not used with the multi-outcome scoring gradebook
  • Teachers can allow or prevent scores from being dropped from final grade (calculated course score)
  • Teachers can choose to include or not include the assignment scores in the final grade
  • Teacher can elect to make this a mandatory assignment for the course (require a passing score for course credit). If a student doesn't receive a passing score on the assignment, their grade will go to 0% until a passing score is earned. This option is only suitable for high stakes tasks that are absolutely necessary to assess student performance
  • Teachers can choose to treat submitted but not scored assignments as either blank (doesn't effect grade) or zero (affects grade)

7. Define Metadata by:

  • An assessment description for course author, or an idea of how this activity fits into the goal of the course or the "big picture"
  • CRA and IAKT activity tags which can be used for reporting purposes

8. Advanced activity options include dropdown options for the activity to "mark as complete" and a checkbox for "student must complete this activity before continuing to the next one." Teachers can also choose a location for the activity in case they want to change which folder/project the activity exists in on the fly.

 

 

History Tab

The history tab provides a list of the versions of the activity and the changes that were made.

 

 

Discussion

 A course discussion is meant to be used as a focused conversation thread. All course members can add to a discussion thread. When using the discussion feature in Echo:

  • Students can add a new thread or multiple threads
  • Within a thread, students can insert an image, a link, and or add an attachment
  • Students can reply to another student's thread and to their own thread
  • Students can edit their thread and or their reply
  • Students can expand all threads, collapse all threads or choose to only see new threads
  • Facilitators can delete any thread or comment
  • Facilitators can filter posts by thread, date, author's first name, or author's last name
  • Facilitators can comment on a thread using text, an image, and or by adding an attachment
  • Facilitators can grade a discussion

 

Click the "+Add to..." link.

 

Click "Discussion."

Activity Tab

1. The title field holds the name of the discussion. The title will be visible in the course syllabus.

2. The thumbnail image for the activity. The thumbnail will appear in the course syllabus.

  • Recommended thumbnail file type: PNG or JPG (Echo converts all files into PNGs)
  • Ideal thumbnail size: 400px x 400px (Echo automatically resizes images, so uploading images smaller than 400px x 400px may reduce quality)

3. The content section is a rich text field that can hold text, images, links, and more. The content is visible when the assignment is opened.

4. The activity instructions section typically holds the assignment instructions or a text resource the student will access.

5. The attachments feature allows teachers to attach files to an activity.

Settings Tab

1. The activity settings allow teachers to set a due date and time as well as set late submission rules. Students will not be able to submit assignments after the due date unless the "Allow late submissions" box is checked.

Other permissions via checkboxes can be set, such as allow users to edit own posts, allow instructors to delete posts, non-threaded discussion, and allow students to create new threads.

A teacher can also designate a student grouping if groups have been defined in the course. When this option is selected, only one student in each group is required to submit activity and all students in the group will receive the same grade.

2. Gradebook settings is where points possible can be established, as well as the submission type. Single document is recommended for students to have a dropbox available to submit.

  • Any activity can be made "Gradable," but depending on the activity type, the points possible may not be enabled by default. To make an item gradable and enter points, check the "this activity is gradable" box
  • This setting also allows for options like making it an extra credit activity

3. Use objective mastery to align selected course standards to the activity (if the course has a defined list of objectives). This allows teachers to track student performance against the standards in the gradebook. To learn more about associating activities with objectives, click here.

4. Visibility and access controls rules for who can view the activity.

5. Badges can be used to automatically assign a specific badge to students who complete the activity. Badges must be configured in course settings in order to be selected.

6. Define metadata by:

  • An assessment description for course author, or an idea of how this activity fits into the goal of the course or the "big picture"
  • CRA and IAKT activity tags which can be used for reporting purposes

7. Advanced gradebook options offer additional settings.

Options:

  • Teachers can restrict student access to assignment scores by date
  • Echo tracks when students have completed and passed each assignment. The "Passing Score" field allows teachers to define the minimum score students must achieve in order to "pass" the assignment
  • The minimum points possible field is not used with the multi-outcome scoring gradebook
  • Teachers can allow or prevent scores from being dropped from final grade (calculated course score)
  • Teachers can choose to include or not include the assignment scores in the final grade
  • Teacher can elect to make this a mandatory assignment for the course (require a passing score for course credit). If a student doesn't receive a passing score on the assignment, their grade will go to 0% until a passing score is earned. This option is only suitable for high stakes tasks that are absolutely necessary to assess student performance
  • Teachers can choose to treat submitted but not scored assignments as either blank (doesn't effect grade) or zero (affects grade)

8. Advanced activity options include dropdown options for the activity to "mark as complete" and a checkbox for "student must complete this activity before continuing to the next one." Teachers can also choose a location for the activity in case they want to change which folder/project the activity exists in on the fly.

History Tab

The history tab provides a list of the versions of the activity and the changes that were made.

 

 

Journal

A journal is a space for students to write at anytime or when assigned by the teacher. Only the authoring student, teacher, and students' parent/observer can access journal writings. When using the journal feature in Echo:

  • Students can add a post or multiple posts to their journal.
  • Students can edit their post(s).
  • Students can comment on their own post(s).
  • Students cannot see other students' journals.
  • Students can type directly into the journal and or add a link, but cannot add an attachment.
  • Facilitators can see links to students' journals and how many posts they have made all within the same window.
  • Facilitators can comment and or delete student posts.
  • Facilitators can grade journal.

 

From the homepage, click the "Editor" icon located on the course that needs an item added to it.

 

Click the "+Add to..." link.

 

Click "Journal."

Activity Tab

1. The title field holds the name of the journal. The title will be visible on the course syllabus.

2. The thumbnail image for the activity. The thumbnail will appear in the course syllabus.

  • Recommended thumbnail file type: PNG or JPG (Echo converts all files into PNGs)
  • Ideal thumbnail size: 400px x 400px (Echo automatically resizes images, so uploading images smaller than 400px x 400px may reduce quality)

3. The content section is a rich text field that can hold text, images, links, and more. The content is visible when the assignment is opened.

4. The activity instructions section typically holds the assignment instructions or a text resource the student will access.

5. The attachments feature allows teachers to attach files to an activity.

Settings Tab

  1. The activity settings allows teachers to set a due date and time as well as set late submission rules. Students will not be able to submit assignments after the due date unless the "Allow late submissions" box is checked.
  2. Gradebook settings is where points possible can be established, as well as the submission type. Single document is recommended for students to have a dropbox available to submit.
  • Any activity can be made "Gradable," but depending on the activity type, the points possible may not be enabled by default. To make an item gradable and enter points, check the "this activity is gradable" box
  • This setting also allows for options like making it an extra credit activity

3. Use objective mastery to align selected course standards to the activity (if the course has a defined list of objectives). This allows teachers to track student performance against the standards in the gradebook. To learn more about associating activities with objectives, click here.

4. Visibility and access controls rules for who can view the activity.

5. Badges can be used to automatically assign a specific badge to students who complete the activity. Badges must be configured in course settings in order to be selected.

6. Advanced gradebook options offer additional settings.

Options:

  • Teachers can restrict student access to assignment scores by date
  • Echo tracks when students have completed and passed each assignment. The "Passing Score" field allows teachers to define the minimum score students must achieve in order to "pass" the assignment
  • The minimum points possible field is not used with the multi-outcome scoring gradebook
  • Teachers can allow or prevent scores from being dropped from final grade (calculated course score)
  • Teachers can choose to include or not include the assignment scores in the final grade
  • Teacher can elect to make this a mandatory assignment for the course (require a passing score for course credit). If a student doesn't receive a passing score on the assignment, their grade will go to 0% until a passing score is earned. This option is only suitable for high stakes tasks that are absolutely necessary to assess student performance
  • Teachers can choose to treat submitted but not scored assignments as either blank (doesn't effect grade) or zero (affects grade)

7. Define Metadata by:

  • An assessment description for course author, or an idea of how this activity fits into the goal of the course or the "big picture"
  • CRA and IAKT activity tags which can be used for reporting purposes

8. Advanced activity options include dropdown options for the activity to "mark as complete" and a checkbox for "student must complete this activity before continuing to the next one." Teachers can also choose a location for the activity in case they want to change which folder/project the activity exists in on the fly.

History Tab

The history tab provides a list of the versions of the activity and the changes that were made.

 

 

 

 

 

Echo is constantly being improved based on the feedback from users and we strive to keep our documentation up to date. If this document doesn’t match what you are seeing in Echo, please let us know.

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