Can blogging really make a difference to a student’s academic experience? Is there any real value to maintaining a blog? Can we prove there is value added to the educational experience? You bet there is, because we’ve studied it! In general English classes, blogs have been used to encourage engagement with other students, increasing the quality of writing and discourse in the classroom. In a basic nutrition course, students create content for general publication and engage deeper with the material to gain a greater understanding of their chosen topics. In composition classes, students who blogged had almost double the success in getting a paper published in a reviewed journal, either as is or with only minor revisions. (We even have the data to prove it!) In our Year Abroad programs, student blogs put it all together -- documenting their travels, providing geographic and cultural touchpoints for students and instructors back in the campus classroom, and provide some of the best marketing material the department has ever seen, all in the authentic student voice. Instructors are finding real value in these blogging initiatives and often, when they try it in one course, are anxious to integrate blogs into other classes as well. So don’t knock the blog -- in fact, promote it. It does a student good.
Text of PSUWEB 2014: Blog Me Baby, One More Time
1. WEB CONFERENCE AT PENN STATE UNIVERSITY PARK, PA JUNE 2014
Robin Smail UX renegade PENN STATE UNIVERSITY Audrey Romano lead
web designer penn state university Blog Me, Baby one more time
2. OUTSPOKEN USER EXPERIENCE TECHNOLOGIST BROWNCOAT 3. DESIGNER
WEB ADDICT SCIENTIST MARSHMALLOW 4. why blogs 5. ! Is it just for
technologys sakeor does it have pedagogical value? Can blogging
really make a dierence to a students academic experience? 6.
learning design 7. why blogs? improve literacy motivate students
share ideas to reflect eportfolios digital literacy share resources
connect with peers facilitate online discussions ! develop a voice
extend classroom walls create a school website create a 24/7
learning environment share lessons and assignments connect with a
global audience connect with parents express creativity obtain
feedback source: suewaters.com 8. the audience eect Academic
studies have found that whenever students write for other actual,
live people, they throw their back into the work producing stuff
with better organization and content, and nearly 40% longer than
when they write for just their instructor. Clive Thompson
9. multi-author class blog single author individual blogs 10. case
study ENGL 202c 11. Learning Objective write an article for
publication authenticity collaboration & engagement ! ! Design
individual blogs an outside stakeholder #hashtags commenting &
responding 12. Accepted, No Revisions Minor Revisions Moderate
Revisions Rejected ! Total Accepted Articles Paper 22% 5% 35% 39% !
61% ONLINE 42% 4% 46% 8% ! 92% outcomes article acceptance 13. Word
Count ! Mechanical Errors Images Sources Paper 855 ! 1.3 3.5 6.3
Online 1006 ! 0.7 5.5 7.6 outcomes Engagement 14. case study NUTR
360 15. Learning Objective develop identity & voice real-world
applicability ! ! Design individual blogs #hashtags passion project
16. outcomes Engagement Its definitely helped me just broaden my
knowledge because I obviously have done a lot of research on it for
the class to write the blog... [but] I didn't really know that much
about celiac disease before. I'm just really excited about the
possibility of me being able to use it as a portfolio builder.
...It's a learning experience and at the same time be able to be
used in the future... I really liked it. I think it's beneficial. I
think it'd be cool if it could be incorporated into other classes
too...the fact that I did that internship that was like a blog
internship? ...It just kind of shows that you can use what we're
doing. 17. case study CAS 138T 18. Learning Objective Develop a
voice write about rhetoric in civic life digital literacy ! !
Design individual blogs passion project multimedia 19. over 600
students in 29 sections wrote 17,302 posts over 2 semesters 22
instructors each created their own course website outcomes sheer
nUMBERS 20. case study GEOBLOGS 21. Learning Objective Share
experiences abroad Global Citizenship conversation & deeper
understanding ! ! Design single blog multi-author passion project
22. what does it mean! value 23. ENGL 202C Injection of technology
into technical writing coursework adds quality and engagement in
community building. ! ! NUTR 360 Blogs gave students a contextually
relevant situation to work with, allowing for reflection and
advancement in learning and skills. 24. CAS 138T Students develop a
deeper understanding of rhetoric because they have to practice it.
They finish the course with skills in digital presentations and
multimedia. geoblogs An authentic student voice demonstrates the
real value of a program. Better than any marketing strategy. 25.
curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal technology 26. community.
individuality. OWNERSHIP. scale. 27. Is it sustainable? Does it
make sense pedagogically? yes. 28. thats my story and im sticking
with it takeaways 29. voice authenticity reection real-world skills
value added 30. technologies & expectations change adapt 31. go
on, ask me anything questions 32. @Robin2go PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
about.me/robin2go @iAudrey penn state university