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  • Writer's pictureYevgen Y

Blogs in Online Classroom

Updated: Apr 9, 2018

Post from March 18, 2018

We are living in the digital world today. Our students should acquire #digitalliteracy skills so they can be productive members of society in their professional field. #Blogs can be used in course settings as effective teaching and learning tool. They can help to achieve learning outcomes and be a tool to assess students knowledge or grasp of the new course materials.

I will be addressing different blogging tools in my later posts but today I want to talk about why/when should we use blogs and #Moodle blog settings. Similarly to other tools do not use them just for the sake of using them - Blogs should serve the purpose and help you to address or assess course outcomes. I would say there are two types of Blogs that we can use in the courses: first, blogs by students; second, blog by teacher. Blogs by students can be used for assessment and most likely will carry a grade weight to them. Blogs by teacher could be used to bring personal perspective to the course materials to facilitate learning, and add a level of teacher-student and student-student interactions to the courses.

How to use student Blogs in your courses:

  • learning journals;

  • commentary, opinion and expert analysis;

  • resource sharing;

  • reflective blogs;

  • building learning community

'Seven reasons why blogging can make you better academic writer' (January 2, 2016) discusses benefits of blogging from the perspective of academic writing.

As a teacher or instructional designer, we must establish clear expectations on blogging assignments. Here is couple of tips regarding developing blogging assignments (in Moodle):

  • determine the purpose: address/assess outcomes;

  • create clear guidelines and expectations;

  • consider use of comments;

  • discuss plagiarism;

  • discuss writing standards

  • consider rules for tagging posts.

There are some things that needs to be considered while using blogs in courses. Instructors may have difficulty in assessing student participation in the blog. There are several factors to take into account: group grading, individual posting, quality of posts, etc. Also consider security concerns - be clear with students on who will have access to their blogs. Below we will discuss multiple setting of Moodle Blog.

There are three settings to the blog in Moodle: community blog, when all students are blogging as part of the community; visible individual blogs, when students can only post to their own blogs but they can see other blog posts; separate individual blogs, when students can blog privately, without sharing their Blog posts with the rest of the class.

Visibility of the blogs can be set as course participants, all logged in users to Moodle, or open to the world. We can also allow commenting to the blog posts, or disable it.

Actual blog posts will allow you tagging and attachments. That will make students posts searchable and more interesting.

Blogs and Blogging could be a very powerful tool in hands of experienced educator.

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