Advice to students on writing long blog posts (on Blackboard)

The blogging tool on Blackboard is a great way for students to share their work, experiences and learning, and is used in lots of different ways across the campus.

However, we do hear (from time to time) of students who have spent long periods of time working on a single blog entry, which “disappears” or gets lost before it has been saved. Obviously this is a serious situation for the student, who may have no backup, and it’s not possible to retrieve the entry.

To avoid losing work in this way, we have a couple of pieces of advice for students to consider, while working on long blog posts.

  1. Make use of the Save Entry as Draft button. This does not submit your work, but does allow you to save it and return later to make further edits. See the video below which includes a demonstration of how this works:
  2. Consider creating your entry in Word first, where you can take time to reflect, redraft, check spelling etc, before pasting into the Blackboard blog editor. You might need to do a little tidying of the formatting, but at least you have a backup of your work.
  3. No matter what tool you are using, remember to save your work regularly and keep backups. This is just good practice – often learned through experience, the tough way.
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This entry was posted in Blogs, Collaborative Tools, Students and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Advice to students on writing long blog posts (on Blackboard)

  1. Ray Butler says:

    Sharon – this mainly happens because of Blackboard’s automatic time-out bug, correct?

  2. sharonlflynn says:

    Thanks for reading, Ray, and for the comment. I’m not sure it’s a ‘bug’ but more of a security ‘feature’. But yes, this is caused by Blackboard timing out after a period of perceived inactivity. Because the student has not committed anything to Blackboard, it is assumed that they have walked away. That’s why clicking “Save as Draft” is recommended – it lets Blackboard know that you’re still there.

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