Rose Colored Glasses

Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Blogs

What we thought was the horizon of our potential turns out to be only the foreground.” ~Tom Roberts Educator

A Blog Tool is a tool which provides an online forum, diary, or journal. An entire class or selected individuals can access, add new entries and comments, if these settings are enabled by you.

Why would I use a blog?

One method of supporting social co-construction of knowledge is through collaborative communication. For example learners can read a novel that doesn’t have a complete ending, then write a final chapter, and post their submissions to a class blog for others to read and respond. Collaborating with other learners (authors) enhances their reading experience. This simple activity will help learners to think deeply about the book and about writing. It will also encourage them to write with a purpose, to think critically about what they write, to read what others have produced, and to compare their own work with the work of others. It is worth noting that having learners post their work on the Web inspires many of them to take their work more seriously by reflecting on what they are about to let many individuals read. (Jonassen, 1999)

With the Blog Tool in in many Learning Management Systems, the Blog can be shared only between members of the class or it can be configured to be shared only between the individual student and instructor or between specific student groups and the instructor.

Blogs in courses can be used for.

  • Reflective journals
  • Peer review and feedback
  • Critical thinking and creativity

Using group or course-wide Blogs fosters lively discussion of course topics and concepts. When engaged in written debate, students are motivated to sharpen their critical thinking and rhetorical skills.

Selected teaching practices

Faculty reflections

  • Teaching with Blogs by: Lanny Arvan, CIO and associate dean for e-learning at the College of Business of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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