Class blogs as a teaching tool to promote writing and student interaction
Miriam Sullivan, Nancy Longnecker, The University of Western Australia
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology Volume 30, Number 4, ISSN 0814-673X Publisher: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
Blogs are a useful teaching tool for improving student writing and increasing class interaction. However, most studies have looked at individual blogs rather than blogs maintained by a whole class. We introduced assignments involving participation in class blogs to four science communication classes with enrolments of between 15 and 36 students. We administered paper-based surveys to obtain student perceptions of the value of the blogging assignment. Based on feedback in semester one, we increased commenting requirements and spent more time integrating the blog with coursework in semester two. In semester two, students had significantly improved perceptions of the blog assignments. The most commonly cited benefit by students in both semesters was that the blog helped to improve their writing. Most enjoyed the opportunity to have increased intellectual exchange with other students and the majority agreed that knowing other students read the blog motivated them to write better. Students disliked being forced to comment and they felt that they benefited just from reading other students’ posts. However, we recommend that weekly commenting should be mandatory, as this increased involvement and perceived value of the assignment.
Sullivan, M. & Longnecker, N. (2014). Class blogs as a teaching tool to promote writing and student interaction. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(4), 390-401. Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education.
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