Diary

From MoodleDocs

Diary is based off the Journal plugin. The Diary module allows a teacher to collect online text, audio, and video from a user. Depending on the Diary setup options, a user can create a new entry each calendar day or even each minute. Each entry can be individually reviewed, provided with feedback, and graded, with overall rating results being shown based on the selected aggregate type of rating. Currently, the user can edit any entry, and can even create a new entry for a skipped day. The data submitted by student is visible only to the teacher, course manager, or site admin, and not to the other users in the course.

Purpose

Like the Journal, the Diary module is suitable for short, online writing assignments in which users can refine their entries over time, based on feedback from the marker. Unlike the Journal however, the Diary can start a new entry for any calendar day, hour or minute. This helps prevent the 'scroll of death' for markers as they see only one entry from each user at the same time on one page. If needed, markers can look at ALL the entries for any single user, and add ratings and feedback to individual entries. Using visible or separate groups also helps cut down on the 'scroll of death' for markers. With all the new tools available in the Atto and Tiny MCE editors, a diary entry can also include audio and video recordings. Feedback is a simple numerical rating along with text as the use of the rubric or marking guide is not supported.

Activity Setup

  1. Login and navigate to your Moodle course.
  2. Turn editing on.
  3. Go to the topic you would like to add a Diary activity to, then from the Add an activity drop down select, Diary, assuming your installation has the plugin installed.
  4. General - Diary name - Enter a suitable name, one that possibly reflects the purpose of the diary activity.
  5. General - Diary description - Enter a suitable description or a prompt that tells students what's expected of them in regards to the Diary activity.
  6. Availability - Days available - When the Course format is set to, Weekly format, you can set the Days available to the number of days you want. For other course formats use, Always open. The Days available the activity is actually open, depends up which week the activity is in. e.g. In the next week, if you create a diary with one day availability, it will be available to students only on Monday of next week.
  7. Availability - Edit all entries - When enabled users can edit ANY previous entry by clicking the pencil icon at the end of the Entry: title. When disabled the icon is hidden and editing previous days entries is not possible.
  8. Availability - Edit entry dates - When enabled users can edit the date of entry. This makes it possible to "move" a previously created entry by changing the date/time of the entry. An entry for a missed day can be created changing the current date to the missing date.
  9. Ratings - Aggregate type - Select any one of the rating types you want to use, Average of ratings, Count of ratings, Maximum of ratings, Minimum of ratings, or Sum of ratings.
  10. Ratings - Scale - Select a scale from the drop down and set the Maximum grade.
  11. Ratings - Grade to pass - Depending on the scale type, set an appropriate Grade to pass.
  12. Select/set the remaining options, especially the, Group mode, if you have very many users.
  13. Click Save and display.

Tools

Depending on the participates capabilities, various tools are available for real-time-use.

Activity tools

When a teacher or admin is on the view page using the Boost theme, clicking the edit cog gives access to the following standard items:

  1. Edit settings
  2. Locally assigned roles
  3. Permissions
  4. Check permissions
  5. Filters
  6. Competency breakdown
  7. Logs
  8. Backup
  9. Restore

Student tools

On the view page, above the entries there is a toolbar with the following:

  1. Export to .csv - A students export will contain only their entries from the current diary. A teachers export will contain all the entries from the current diary. An admins export will contain all entries from all diaries on the site.
  2. Reload and show from current to oldest diary entry - Reloads the view page and sets the, Sort order, From current diary entry to the first entry, for the current user, showing the number of entries selected in the, Entries per page: drop down.
  3. Edit top of the list - Open the diary entry at the top of the list for editing.
  4. From first diary entry to the latest entry - Reloads the view page, with the users very first diary entry at the top of the list of entries.
  5. Lowest rated entries - Reloads the view page, with the lowest rated diary entry at the top of the list of entries. Note: any unrated entry is considered lower than any entry with a numerical rating.
  6. Highest rated entries - Reloads the view page, with the highest rated diary entry at the top of the list of entries.
  7. Most recently modified entries - Reloads the view page, with the most recently edited diary entry at the top of the list of entries.

Teacher tools

On the report page, above all the entries there is a toolbar with the following:

  1. Export to .csv - A teachers export will contain all the entries from the current diary. An admins export will contain all entries from all diaries on the site.
  2. Reload and show from current to oldest diary entry - Reloads the report page, and shows the most current diary entry for each user with at least one entry.
  3. Current diary entries - Reloads the report page, and shows the most current diary entry for each user with at least one entry.
  4. First diary entries - Reloads the report page, and shows the first diary entry for each user with at least one entry.
  5. Lowest rated entries - Reloads the report page, and shows the diary entry with the lowest rating, for each user with at least one entry. Note: any unrated entry is considered lower than any entry with a numerical rating.
  6. Highest rated entries - Reloads the report page, and shows the diary entry with the highest rating, for each user with at least one entry.
  7. Most recently modified entries - Reloads the report page, and shows the most recently edited diary entry, for each user with at least one entry.

Also on the report page, next to the entry and date title for each student, there is now a link that will let the teacher see ALL the entries for a single student. From this new reportsingle page, the teacher can change/add grades and feedback to as many entries as they wish. A click on the, Save all feedback, button will save all changes and take the teacher back to the normal report page. Next to the, Save all feedback button, there is a, Return to report page for - Current Diary Name.

Setup a site wide Diary

One of the most versatile ways I have learned to use the Diary plugin for general use, is to set it up for use throughout my whole Moodle site. The only downside is that you will need to install it on the site front page and when you do so you will need to change the, Default frontpage role, from Authenticated user on front page, to, Student (student). Without the student role, only an admin will be able to use it.

   Install the Diary plugin.
   On the site front page add a, Main menu, block.
   In your new Main menu block, Add an activity or resource, then select Diary.
   Give it a name such as, Site Wide Diary.
   Add a Description, such as, A site wide diary for use by everyone.
   In the Diary settings, under Availability, set Edit all entries to, Yes, and set, Edit entry dates, to, Yes.
   Go to, Site administration > Front page > Default frontpage role and change from, Authenticated user on front page, to, Student (student).
   On the front page, in the Main menu block, click the edit icon and select, Configure Main menu block.
   In the settings, Where this block appears, change the, Page contexts to, Display throughout the entire site, then Save changes.

This should give everyone a link to the Site Wide Diary on every page of your Moodle site. If you want ANYONE to be able to see what the students have written, you will need to give them the Teacher role on the front page.

See also

  • Journal module - While the Journal module allows students/users to add text to one "entry", Diary moves one step further allowing students/users to add a new "entry" every new calendar day.