Assessing the ecology_of_a_course_blog
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Assessing the ecology_of_a_course_blog

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  • 1. Assessing the ecology of a course blog Improving learning outcomes through web mediated writing and open educational practices
  • 2. Human action is best understood as narrative
  • 3. What's that? Endive salad. I bite each piece as if it were a boat load of people and bury them in a sea of darkness. Social media used effectively generates digital storytelling
  • 4. Double-click to enter text Social media can be incorporated effectively into the classroom
  • 5. Exploratory study tested the ecology of a course blog and measured learning outcomes in terms of rates of publication. Penn State University, State College PA Undergrad technical writing course for engineers Students wrote articles for an outside publication Follow-up study examined the writing process in terms of differences in peer feedback and learning outcomes. Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec Undergraduate basic composition course Two quasi-experimental studies were conducted to determine if blogging technology impacted learning outcomes
  • 6. Experimental versus control group Both studies entailed two intact sections each of an undergraduate composition course. Control group was randomly assigned and worked with paper and traditional writing process Experimental group was randomly assigned and published all work on a course blog
  • 7. Two sections of technical writing courses were given a project to write an article for publication. One section followed the traditional writing process using computer- assisted writing on paper and group workshops of paper drafts. The other section published their work-in-progress on a course blog and engaged in online collaboration. The results of this study demonstrated that utilizing an online social network in the form of a course blog impacted learning outcomes. Abstract first study
  • 8. The study design was based on the traditional writing process
  • 9. Paper workshops provide a limited framework for collaboration.
  • 10. The framework for collaboration can be expanded by stretching traditional classroom boundaries.
  • 11. An outside stakeholder and authentic project impacts the rhetorical situation.
  • 12. Changing the medium further emphasizes audience.
  • 13. Double-click to enter text Key ingredient was an outside stakeholder
  • 14. Second key ingredient: authentic project
  • 15. Design Considerations What's in it for me? Typical projects are only seen by the instructor and a few peers PA Center for the Book project was public Potential to be published Working with an outside agent (reviewer) Sense of ownership Maintaining high levels of interaction Student/editor Student/instructor Student/students
  • 16. Articles that were produced on blogs had a statistically significantly higher publishing rate.
  • 17. Student feedback will follow:
  • 18. Spent more time making sure everything was good because others were going to see it
  • 19. Thought of being published while still in college was exciting
  • 20. Active learner instead of passive learner
  • 21. More support from peers and stakeholders
  • 22. Made you feel more responsible and inclined to act
  • 23. Next, I conducted a follow-up study.
  • 24. Constraints to using social media University does not provide web space to students Quebec laws are stringent with regards to protecting the privacy rights of students University social media policy requires administrative permission Survey of students revealed that extremely few are using social media in their academic coursework
  • 25. Movable Type 5.14 content management system Own my domains Create unlimited number of blogs Assign each blog to an individual student Complete administrative, creative, and design control Able to assign Creative Commons license to all course material Cost $25 course/year Replace outside stakeholder with a visible community website Examples: eatingcrow.ca, english212.com, beatnik.ca, outlaw-writing.com, businessremix.com, montrealites.ca Developed server space
  • 26. Open online course website
  • 27. A Montréal community website provides an opportunity to publish and create an authentic project
  • 28. We've developed reach
  • 29. Abstract follow-up study Two sections of basic composition courses were given a project to write articles for publication. (three articles-three drafts) One section followed the traditional writing process using computer- assisted writing on paper and group workshops of paper drafts. The other section published their work-in-progress on a course blog and engaged in online collaboration. The results of this study demonstrated that utilizing an online social network in the form of a course blog impacted learning outcomes.
  • 30. Study design First paper Second paper Third paper
  • 31. Blogs vs. Paper: Quality and quantity of peer feedback Double-click to enter text
  • 32. Double-click to enter text Types of feedback provided:
  • 33. A narrative feedback
  • 34. Student Feedback Spent more time making sure everything was good because others were going to see it Publishing coursework on a personal blog was exciting Engaging learning environment More support from peers Felt more responsible and inclined to act Spent more time on peer feedback activity
  • 35. Affordance of a course blog The open course blog provided affordance in terms of the following factors compared to a Moodle Learning Management System combined with paper: Statistically higher learning outcomes Statistically higher quality and quantity of feedback Learner engagement Ease of use Time Administrative organization