eLearning hodgepodge

eLearning hodgepodge

Some tidbits from my newsreader this morning:

Hollywood IMs. This is an article about how movie types uses the status message in ichat to inform potential employers that they’re available. Beautiful. I occasionally endure funny looks when I suggest that IM might be a route to better connectivity between staff, so I appreciate any words that describe useful IMing.

Some extremely interesting discussion here about grading blogs.

I think it should be graded in a portfolio format where students choose their “best” posts. It seems obvious that the student who writes more would have more to choose from and would, therefore, be likely to produce a better portfolio. That would seem to cover the question of frequency and content and, to a large degree, subject matter, as well.

I think this is a brilliant idea. Now, if the portfolio also included comments on other blogs, or ideas that sprung out of conversations or were inspired by other blogs in the class, then we’d really be cooking. I’m reminded that the author of this blog and I are at the same institution and I really should look him up one of these days. Weblogg-ed also appreciates these ideas, and notes the (fantastic) pedagogical distinction between “class participation” and “knowledge construction participation”. How best to grade it, and to make it easy for instructors, remains to be seen.

Some great news on faculty feeling positive about online teaching and learning.

Faculty who have undergone the “conversion experience” are also more than happy to reassure their colleagues that the journey is well worth it. As Hooper puts it, “I am still intimidated by technology, and I only use it because there is no better way to teach English than online or through blended learning.”

What changed Redfield’s attitude about online teaching was “the experience of actually doing it. I’ve found that the students who persist actually learn better, have better command of the subject material and they enjoy their experience with me.”

Blogs as communication and marketing tool. This is sort of an adminblog case study; how a blog can help internal communications within one (large) company.

Blogs, by the nature of the medium, encourage casual banter and informal language. Unlike Web sites, which are crafted and branded and carefully planned out to be “on message,” the daily journal format of a blog produces more vulnerability from its authors. In marketing terms, a blog can bring a human personality to a faceless company, which can create a connection between the corporation and the client. This can lead to deeper loyalty and richer feedback.

And it’s those things that make blogs so useful in library contexts, and in education contexts. A human face, a casual discussion, the ability to add comments, more (and better) feedback.

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