Wow, thanks to Evan for listing me on the splash page…I’ve learned quite a lot about how people are managing or thinking of managing their blogs for class. One fine example is a film studies seminar in Australia where the instructor and three students all maintain blogs. I think that’s a great advantage in a seminar, and certainly it must bring students closer into conversation. I hadn’t thought about how blogging would helpful for a small class like that…I had only been thinking about undergrads who often don’t get heard or don’t often get asked what they’re thinking. But I think this is a really nice example of how the intensity of a good seminar can make in onto the web.
Then there is the group blog, the class after class discussion board. Bernie Dodge at San Diego State emailed me about his class on educational games, which seems to have worked nicely. One of his students said this about blogging, which struck me as interesting:
“I figure since this is my last blog, I should comment on my opinioins about this whole blogging thing. When it first started, I wasn’t sure about the whole thing because I figured others weren’t really reading my blogs. After a week or so I was getting some interesting feedback from other students, and I saw myself quickly starting to enjoy this whole blogging experience a little more. I think though, these blogs are only effective if they are being closely monitored as Bernie has done so well over the past couple of months. Without communication between students and the transfer of feedback, students will quickly find themselves blogging because they have to. All in all, I must say that this was a nice addition to the class, good job Bernie!”
And I think he really hit the nail on the head; feedback is critical, not only instructor feedback but student feedback as well. Certainly deciding to insist that students keep blogs for a large class means work for the instructor. I suggest that would be work worth doing. How to manage a large class seems like an administrative hurdle more than a significant barrier. But again, I’m just thinking outloud.
Thanks to everyone for telling me about their class blogs. It’s been just fascinating to see how these ideas are working around the world.