Volume 8, Number 2
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Blogging: The New Model for Building Collaboration in the College Classroom
For college students around the nation, blogs have become far more than the latest technology buzzword. For many, blogging can be a major method of communication on both a social and academic level. While most students already blog in their free time, incorporating blogging technology into the college classroom can have many benefits through the use of a medium that already interests students and makes learning more interactive and engaging.
Given the knowledge and interest that students have in blogging, it can be an effective tool to engage students outside of the classroom setting. For example, blogs can be a great avenue for continuing class discussions. When there is not enough time in class to cover everything, instructors can direct their students to the course blog to post comments and questions about the subject at hand. This provides a means to continue the conversation, while giving quieter students the opportunity to participate without feeling the pressure of speaking in front of a group. Students will also find this medium helpful as they will have more time to formulate their thoughts and to reflect on other students’ comments and questions.
Another use for blogs in the classroom is peer review, a method many instructors use for essays and projects. A blog can be a convenient and interesting way for students to review others’ work. Students can post an essay, for example, and their peers will be able to read it and post comments without having to schedule a time to meet after classroom hours. Blogging also makes the peer review process easier for instructors to grade, as they can see who commented and the content of their remarks.
Perhaps most importantly, class blogs are a great way to build a sense of unity and community within the classroom. Within this online forum, announcements can be posted, information for school events or special speakers provided, and student profiles and class goals shared. This allows students an opportunity to learn about and from each other. With this unity comes an open class culture that fosters learning and promotes an environment in which students feel comfortable sharing their ideas.
To help instructors develop ways to incorporate blogging into their classrooms, Atomic Learning has created a Blogging Workshop available free at highed.atomiclearning.com/atomiccurriculum. The workshop covers topics ranging from setting up a blog and managing blog comments to keeping your blog confidential.