Blogs as Course Tools

/ September 25, 2014/ Teaching/ 0 comments

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Blogging in a course might at first seem like a distraction from “real” academic work, but student blogging encourages active learning and independent research–and in ways papers and presentations cannot match.

Blogs are searchable documents that can serve as resources for students and other interested parties, and as such are a purposeful and lasting record of moments of learning .

Blogging encourages technological skills that are, quite frankly, necessary in our digital world. Helping our students learn how to publish rather than just read online sources prepares them for contributing to the knowledge and communities constantly being built and redefined.

In the past year, I’ve been experimenting with using blogs more in my courses. Below are two course blogs:

Gender in Everyday Life, Fall 2014 – University of Illinois Chicago

Introduction to Literature, Summer 2014 – Truman College

These have required a lot of planning, and I’ve had to take class time to show my students how blogging works. In addition, I’ve had to provide one-on-one training for some students. Still, I find blogs well worth the effort.

Please check out my other posts in this series on blogs as a instructional tools. See also this post from Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching and the Chronicle’s suggestions for blogging assignments and for evaluating student blogs.

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Other posts in this series: Planning a Course BlogBlogs as Research Projects, and On Pedagogical Goals and Blogging

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