For private journals, there are two options. The first option is to create single user groups, and create one group discussion topic. The topic will have separate threads for each group (student) which only the student and instructor will be able to see. 

The other option for private journals involves OneNote Class Notebook which is also the suggested replacement for wikis.

Single User Group Discussion Topic

Watch the D2L video tutorial above and/or follow the instructions below.

To set this up in BOLT,

  1. In your course, click Communication.
  2. Click Groups.
    click Communication in the navbar, then click Groups
  3. Click the New Category button.
  4. Give the category a name, like Private Journals.
  5. Enter a description too if you want.
  6. Select Single user, member-specific groups for the Enrollment Type.
    give the category a name, add a description, and select the enrollment type single user member specific groups
  7. If you want to, select which sections to Restrict Enrollments to.
  8. Select Set up discussion areas.
  9. Select the forum you want to put the journal topics in, or create a new one.
  10. Select create new topic.
  11. Click Save.
    restrict if you want to, select set up discussion areas, select or create a forum, select create a new topic, then click Save
  12. Select "create one topic with threads separated by group". (NOTE: This makes grading easier if you want to have one overall private journal grade!)
  13. Give the topic a title, such as "Private Journal"
  14. Enter a description if you want.
  15. Click Create and Next.
    select create one topic with threads separated by group, give the topic a title and description, then click Create and Next
  16. Click Done.
    in the Workspace Summary page, click Done
  17. Review the category you set up and click Save.
    Click Save after reviewing your category details
  18. The main groups page will show with the new category. Each student is their own group.
    the group category you just created will have the same number of groups as there are students with each student being their own single user group

Add a Grade Item to the Private Journal

  1. Click Communication, then Discussions.
    in the navbar click Communication, then click Discussions
  2. Find your forum and topic you just created.
  3. Click the drop down by the topic name.
  4. Click Edit Topic.
    click the drop down by your group topic, then click Edit Topic
  5. Click the Assessment tab.
  6. Choose a grade item you already created or create a new one.
  7. For Score out of, enter the same point value you assigned the grade item.
  8. Add or create a rubric if you wish.
    select or create a grade item, make the score out of the same as the points of your grade item, add or create a rubric
  9. Select "allow assessment of individual posts" if you want to assess each post over time to arrive at a cumulative journal grade, then select a calculation method. If you want to give one grade at the end of the journaling assignment, ignore this feature.
  10. Click Save and Close.
    if you want to give each journal entry a grade which eventually turns into a cumulative grade, select allow assessment of individual posts, then select how to calculate the grades for the cumulative, then click Save and Close

Reviewing Private Journal Discussions

How this works is, when you go into the topic, you will see ALL student posts. However, if you filter the topic by group, you can view each student at once so you are only viewing their private journal posts in the topic.

If you go into your Discussions list, you will see multiple threads and posts in the topic. 

number of threads and posts in the private journal topic

If you click into the topic, you will see threads authored by your various students. This is because the view defaults to show all groups at once. 

threads by both Tony Stark and Thor Odinson show up in your initial view of the topic because it is filtered to show ALL GROUPS by default

When students visit the topic, they see only their threads. They will see text like "Tony Stark posted on [date] to Tony Stark", indicating the student posted to their own group which is their name.

student view of the topic showing ONLY their threads

If you want to filter the topic so you can view one student at a time, click "All Groups" then click on the student you want to view. 

click All Groups by filter to select any student to see only their threads

This will filter the topic so you only see that student's threads.

Filtering by a specific student's name will show only that student's threads in the topic

If you want to view the newest threads at the top of the page, click the Sort by selector and select Newest Thread. This will let you read the newest post by the student, ignoring the old posts you already read.

you can use the sort by selector option Newest Thread to sort the posts and show newest first if you prefer