Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting Started & Differentiating through Blogs

Hello everyone,

Finally posting on this blog!  I wanted to check in with my ELL101 students today before posting, so I'm sorry for the delay!

Bloom's Taxonomy

BTW, I found a very detailed taxonomy wheel on Wiki Commons that gave many examples of each domain:

My goal the first week was really to get students set up in blogger and to try posting a few things, including images and links, so that future blog post assignments go smoothly.  At the same time, I wanted students to introduce themselves to one another.  This doesn't seem to fit under the taxonomy neatly, but is a part of demonstrating knowledge (of how to blog) or application of what they have learned about blogging.

Last week, we expanded into "real" blog post assignments that began to focus on the course content.

In ESL099, students had a BP about "What is Creativity," an assignment derived from questions in the text about what creative traits the students have. Here the students needed to demonstrate that they had read the chapter and understood the relevant vocabulary (knowledge domain) and they needed to evaluate themselves and their own creativity.

In ELL101, students needed to demonstrate knowledge of phonetic symbols and sounds to describe their own names for their second blog post.

Reflective Description

All the students in both classes seemed to be able to set up their blogs and begin to blog within the class period set aside for the creation of blogs and the initial practice posts. The students in ESL099 had some difficulties, as many had not used online systems very much in the past, and needed more support.

I am wondering how it will go when the other professor in the paired course also gives blog assignments.  I hope that the class will feel integrated and the assignments connect everything together for the students.

Discoveries, Challenges, and Fun (oh my!)

I think one challenge will be getting students to consistently participate in the blogs.  The ELL101 class already has a number of students who have not done the assignment that was not completed during class.  Any thoughts on motivating students to participate, even though the assignments are low-stakes and do not count for such a large part of the grade is highly appreciated!

I found that the layout with the main blog on the left and the menus all along the right-hand side are easiest to read.  It seems as though most other classes are also using this format!

I think that the students like having the blog, and I want to keep this interest or sense of fun with it.

The Last Word...

As the classes are just getting going, I don't have many conclusions yet.  Maybe more in the following weeks!

I think that I will show the blogs more during class time - to keep reminding students of them and highlight good work!

I just had this meta-thought: is blogging about blogs on blogger therefore "meta-blogging"?


PS - I will confess - I completely forgot to do tags and had to go in and edit to add them!


  1. Looks like you and your students are off to an excellent start. In terms of motivation besides grade, how about audience? It definitely keeps most of us on our toes to know that a broader audience will be scrutinizing our maybe some of that is "leveraging" the connecting your s's will do with Hugo's and Ari's classes?

    Thanks for posting the link to the somewhat buddhist-like, lotus flower version of that Bloomin' taxonomy! The verbs and activities there look helpful. Nice resource!

  2. Also, I think your technique of having students post their blog urls as comments on your blogs was a good strategy that many can use.

  3. Wow, you sure did a lot the first week! Can't wait for more content!