30 agosto 2004

Instructional Models for Using Weblogs In eLearning (Edu Blogs Insight)

Anne Davis comenta en EduBlog Insights : EduBlog Insights (8/4/04) algo de Syllabus Magazine, en el bolet�n eLearning Dialogue Newsletter. Un art�culo, Instructional Models for Using Weblogs in eLearning: Case Studies from a Hybrid and Virtual Course, escrito por J. David Betts y Stuart J. Glogoff.
"This past academic year, faculty members from the University of Arizona have integrated blogging into their courses. The courses have been either totally online or as hybrid instruction where students met in a traditional classroom, but other coursework and communication occurred virtually. Blogs were used along with other technology tools such as a learning management system, threaded discussion forums, e-mail, and chat rooms. When the course ended, surveys were given to the students to assess their use of blogs for skills acquisition as well as their general acceptance of this technology.

This article gives models for using blogs and offers recommendations for faculty who are considering using blogs in their courses. It is great to see articles like this written up about blogs. I think we will see more and more.

One course used blogs for class assignments, reflections, and journal entries. The blog also extended discussions between class meetings and helped in collaborations. Students chronicled the development of their class projects and the blog was discussed in class.

The other course was used to share learning experiences, provide feedback for instructor and students, and to demonstrate understanding of learning principles developed during the course. Sharing information abut new technology was at the heart of the Technology News blog. This blog was intially intented for postings that would help students use the course's different instructional resources but evolved into a blog where students posted entries about topics of interest and became an example of a virtual community in practicy because the changes came about by student actions addressing a perceived need.

The survey results are interesting. An observation one student made caught my attention. She said, "I almost got the feeling I was sitting in a coffee shop somewhere and the person next to me poring over the newspaper casually said, 'Hey, did you hear about this new thing that just came out�?'" The authors pointed out that this is the sort of sense of place that we do not realize fully with threaded discussion forums, e-mails and chatrooms. I think the authors have grabbed hold of something we have been trying to express as far as the differences go between blogs and other online learning experiences.

The authors concludes with faculty observations and recommended next steps.

Each article I study, each project I undertake, each blog I read makes me realize more and more the importance of telling our stories in a way that will help us all identify best practices for our students and ourselves."

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