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.