Blogging to Enhance Learning Experiences: February 12-25, 2007

What academic area?

What academic area?

by Emma Duke-Williams -
Number of replies: 3
I'm a lecturer in Computing - with a specialism in Educational Technology and related areas.

Next week, I have to give a presentation to library staff about using blogs & wikis in libaries. Finding examples of that has been quite easy - lots of libaries/ librarians seem to have them.

We've also been looking at blogs for students on Initial Teacher Training  (especially Further / Vocational Education) - again, finding examples has been pretty straightforward.

However, I'm now starting to look at working with staff & students in Health Sciences - and that's not quite so easy. I'm finding it rather harder to find examples - though the Fluwiki is a useful resource.

From his posts, I know that Michael is a lecturer in English - what about the rest of you? Do we have any Health Scientists lurking out there (or have any support staff who are helping Health Science students blog?) - what about other disciplines?

Emma
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: What academic area?

by Michael Griffith -
Thanks for this question Emma... yes it would be good to a get a clearer sense of the variety of disicplines we are all coming from.
Michael
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Health bloggers

by Derek Chirnside -
This is a very interesting question.  I had a conversation several hours ago with someone I thought was an economist - and I spent some time fruitlessly looking for some blogs in this area in preparation.

As it transpired, he is a lecturer in health economics.  I think this is going to be a fun project.  The economics of obesity is one topic.  Can you buy health?

I will probably never come back here and post, But Emma, if you want to contact me again in a month.


This has been my first serious case in my new role here in a university rather than a College of Education involving blogs and a client wanting to do something innovative.  I have been pondering how to set up the meeting to cover off the critical areas.  In the college there was MUCH more awareness of blogs and indeed appreciation of their value in teaching and learning.  There are several other projects in the wind.

I had these points in mind to talk over:

Project planning:
  1. Number of students, level and subject
  2. Blogs: do you blog?  Contact with blogs?
  3. Reason for blogs as an option.  What can blogs as a tool offer?
  4. OK: compulsory or optional?
  5. Assessment?  is credit to be given?  How much?  How judged?
  6. Blogs: public or not?
  7. Introducing blogs as a medium/thought structure.  What process/strategy?  Scaffolding for use.
  8. (Ethics, style, number of posts, expectations . . .)
  9. Platform?
  10. Policies?
Reflections after today: For this case.  Is it worth taking 2 weeks to introduce blogs, even if a week is taken up just reading blogs of any kind.  In conjunction with a forum in the course management area.  (decided yes)
In week 2 we are going to all read two top blogs in the economics area and compare and contrast them.  And practice a bit in the privacy of our own thoughts.
Week three launch class blogs.

Artificially create some some commenting rules.  Each person required to monitor & comment on two class blogs chosen at random by drawing them out of a hat.  ie a network, not a blogging group.

Decided: no shared blogs.

We will recruit some guests to visit.

We will be creating some code in our blogs so the lecturer can comment in private on a blog.  The black hat coming through sadly.  The lecturer wanted to be able to give private feedback, and grading information.  I'm afraid this will muddy the water as a learning exercise.  Blogs are a seedbed for creativity IMO but sadly we are in a world of grades and assessment.

And we will have fun.  :-)  "Can you buy good health?" "What is it's value?"  I'm going to learn a lot here.

-Derek
In reply to Derek Chirnside

Re: Health bloggers

by Michael Griffith -
Derek- this sounds so familiar! I have just been through this exercise with my Head of School- and after "getting away" with some fantastic creative blogging as part of my English Literature units I feel as if I have had some of the creative potential cut-away by the demands of new assessment regulations at the university. Maybe it is for the good, I am not completely sure yet. At all events please look at the new rubric and guidelines that I have prepared in line with University expectations.....
Good Luck!
Michael