Thursday, April 14, 2011

Students' reflections on blogging

As we approached the midterm point, I had students in my ENG 101/103 cluster discuss what they saw as the pluses and minuses of using a blog. I expected a lot of the pluses they mentioned--there is less stress, it feels less like work, it is good that we can see each other's work. This last point, of course, was also mentioned as a minus. Certain students expressed the belief that the public nature of the blog adds more stress. They told me that they think the professor is teaching them, so they are fine with him/her looking at products that need work, but that everyone having access to their work causes them anxiety.

What was really interesting though was that some students thought that blogger encourages their laziness when it comes to editing and even structure. These students told me they would like more essays and maybe keep the blogs as an added element, like journals, which is something to consider. On the one hand, blogging does produce more text and interactions. On the other, I, too, have seen how a blog usually transforms into a loose collection of ideas rather than an argument with direction. I am considering creating some showcase portfolio for them to create out of blogs, where they turn them into essays, next semester.


  1. Yep--see my answer to Phyllis' post further down.

    I think that the issue is us (the teachers)--we want blog entries to be essays, but they are not.

    Your idea of the showcase portfolio is very similar to Dr. Van's "best five blog posts" some time ago.

    I'd say that, given the fact that we are pressured to show a specific type of product (an essay), then focusing on reviewing, selecting, and revising might be the best strategy.

  2. If the students view their work on the blog as less formal, perhaps you might think about ways to use it for process--get the ideas down and then draw from their "draftish" quality to build something more formal.