Introduction about Blogs
Blogs are a type of online journal in which other users can view and respond to. The simplicity of creating and maintaining blogs means they can rapidly lead to open discussions.
Benefits for Faculty
Adding a Blog to your course is an effective way to support reflective learning among students (Quality Matters standards 5.2 and 6.2). Faculty can also use blogs to model their expectations, express their opinions, promote dialogue in their disciplines, and support teaching and learning.
Benefits for Students
Students can use blogs for personal expression and as course requirements (QM Standards 5.2 and 6.2).
When and How
Blogging can be incorporated into the classroom in many different ways. Here are some of the most common:
- Create a course blog in which you (as the instructor) blog the content and ask students to comment on your posts before class. You can then use the blog post as a discussion starter.
- Create a group blog for the students to reflect on their experiences and ideas from class, share resources with one another, and draw in outside participants (if you allow them to).
- Require each student to set-up and maintain his or her own blog. This can be a great way to facilitate student journaling, with journal entries kept private and shared with the instructor, or shared publicly among small group or course members.
- Individual blogs can be used to scaffold a project or paper (QM 3.5). For instance, Post 1 could be a list of potential topics; Post 2, 2-3 primary sources on a chosen topic; Post 3, a research proposal; Post 4, a progress report; Post 5, a draft of a section of the paper. The benefit of having students do this on a blog is that you can put them into peer editing groups and students can give one another feedback online.
- Create a course blog to serve as a ‘hub’ for aggregating individual student blogs into one centralized space. On this blog, you could also provide course information such as the syllabus, the schedule, posts about assignments, handouts, and course discussions.