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Changes often force us to adapt in ways we’ve never experienced, which can be a major driver of personal (and even professional) growth and development.

Journals, Blogs & Wikis - Oh my

The Canvas LMS has many wonderful tools, but may not have all the tools that PolyLearn - Moodle had. Even PolyLearn had the OU Blog and Wiki that was a 3rd Party tool from Open University. 

There isn't a LTI for Canvas that allows you to create student blogs or wiki's without purchasing a license to another application. BUT, you can use the current tools to provide Journal, Blog and Wiki type resources. 

Journals in Canvas

Use the Discussion tool to create private journals for each student.
Create the Discussions:

  1. In the Course Menu, click on the Discussion link
  2. Click on the +Discussions button on the top right.
  3. Type "Journal" into the Topic Title
  4. Add: instructions, grades, availability...
  5. Scroll down and choose the This is a Group Discussion box.
  6. Type in the Group Set Name.
  7. In the Group Structure, choose to Split student into (_) groups.
    Choose the number of students you have in the course so each student has a discussion/blog. 
  8. Click on the Save button.

Add Students to Discussions:

  1. In the Course Menu, click on the People link.
  2. Click on the new Discussion name (Journal) tab. 
  3. Click on the arrow on the left of the discussion (journal 1) to see the student who has access to this discussion thread.
    discussion rename
  4. Click on the Options icon and choose Edit.
  5. Change the name of the Journal to a student's name.
  6. Click on the Save button.

Blogs in Canvas

Alow students to create their own Discussion for a blog space. By default, students are allowed to create a Discussion post. 

Discussion Settings can be checked within the Discussions area, click on the Settings button. 
Discussion settings

Student's Create a Discussion:

  1. In the Course Menu, click on the Discussion link
  2. Click on the +Discussions button on the top right.
  3. Type "YOUR NAME Blog" into the Topic Title
  4. In the Options, check Allow threaded replies. Do not choose any other options.
  5. Click on the Save button.

To post a new blog entry in your blog feed, enter your post in the top Reply area.
To comment on another student’s blog entry, click Reply underneath a specific entry.

Wikis in Canvas

Students can use a Page as a wiki in Canvas. 

NOTE: Only ONE person can edit a page at a time. Although two people can work on the page, only one persons edits will be saved. If someone has edited the page and SAVED before you, you will receive an error message when you Save the page.

Page overwrite

If this happens...

  1. Copy your content, choose Cancel.
  2. Then Edit the page again, paste your content and SAVE


Create a Wiki - Page:

  1. In the Course Menu, click on the Pages link.
  2. Click on the + Pages button. 
  3. Type the name "Class wiki" into the Topic Title. 
  4. Within Options, choose Teachers and students.
    Teachers & students
  5. Click on the Save & Publish button. 

View the Page History

  1. In the Course Menu, click on the Pages link.
  2. Click on the Options icon, then View Page History.

Thank you to Northwestern University for the information about using current Canvas tools to support instructional requirements for journals, blogs and wikis.

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