How can I use Blogs for teaching and learning?
Instructors have found blogs to be an effective communication mechanism to assist with a variety of outcomes. The following are examples from experienced educators:
- Active Learning - Peer review and feedback provide increased interactivity among students.
- Authentic Learning – Students can be assigned to discuss authentic problems, real world applications and questions, retaining ownership of their ideas and responses and extending the discussion outside the brick and mortar classroom. If the student gives authorization, work can be published to a wider audience allowing students to receive input and feedback from around the world. The results can foster an intrinsic motivation to write and contribute.
- Constructive Learning –The use of blogs to communicate during constructivist projects or problem-based learning activities enhances student expertise as they work to find solutions.
- Cooperative Learning – Blogs for group projects help to build a community of learners where students share ideas, diverse perspectives, and new information from study and research. Blogs may also be used to facilitate collaboration between classes on multiple campuses.
- Journaling - Students can express opinions and reflections in a blog. This interactive approach to journaling allows students to communicate with experts (in an open blog) and receive immediate review. Blogs used as journals are also useful for students in writing- or research-related courses for sharing ideas and drafts for peer review.
- Portfolio - Blogs can also be used as a form of online portfolio, documenting student growth in a class or in a program. There is personal and intellectual ownership, students can revise postings, and they can receive feedback on posted work.
Since Blogs, Wikis and Discussion Boards all have some overlap, it’s useful to compare them based on their strengths in the following table: