For a discussion on the use of blogs in the classroom, one of the best sources is Will Richardson’s Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms.
- 1- reaching out a potential audience: the coursework becomes part of a wider body of knowledge available in the internet
- 2-collaboration with others outside the classroom: connecting teachers and students with others
- 3-archival features: knowledge produced by teachers and students is organised and searchable
- 4-supports different learning styles: allowing people that are less inclined to speak in class to express themselves throught written reflection
- 5-helps develop expertise in particular topics: by creating databases on themes which can be built on over time
- 6-can teach new literacies: such as research, organisation and synthesis of ideas
In terms of blogging practice, the author identifies a new writing genre described as
“connective writing”, a form that forces those who do it to read carefully and critically, that demands clarity and cogency in its construction, that is done for a wide audience, and that links to the sources of ideas expressed
Blogging as an academic exercise is different from simply posting. The author diferentiates between posting, simple blogging, real blogging and complex blogging. These categories might be useful when we review our marking grid.
- 1-posting assignments (not blogging)
- 2-journaling, ie ‘this is what i did today’ (not blogging)
- 3-posting links (not blogging)
- 4-links with descriptive annotation, ie, ‘this site is about… (not blogging)
- 5-links with analysis that gets into the meaning of the content being linked (simple blogging)
- 6-reflective, meta-cognitive writing on practice without links (complex writing but simple blogging)
- 7-links with analysis and synthesis that articulate a deeper understanding of relationship to the content being linked and written with potential audience in mind (real blogging)
- 8-extended analysis and synthesis over a long period of time that builds on previous posts, links and comments (complex blogging)
For now it seems that what we identified as top mark in terms of theoretical relevance (blog post engages in depth with the theoretical issues being debated and makes connections to own practice and other sources) is the same as 7 (real blogging) and a poor mark (blog post does not engage with the theoretical issue being debated) is the equivalent to 2, 3 and 4 (not blogging).
I’ve used the marking criteria for blogging we discussed in class [1- relevance to theory; 2- grammar and spelling; 3- title, tags, links] to develop a rubric that is now available at facultycentral.com. check it out!
academic writing as practice-based creative research
Julia Davies & Guy Merchant, Looking from the Inside Out: Academic Blogging as New Literacy chapter eight in A new literacies sampler / edited by Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear. p. 167-198) download full book pdf here
Adrian Miles, A. Virtual Actual: Hypertext as Material Writing Volume 1, Issue 2, Studies in Material Thinking
Anne Helmond: Four steps to professionalising blogging within culture