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EdTech and Student Services:
Supporting Online Learners Through
Blogging
Melissa A. Venable, PhD
Education Writer – OnlineColleges.net
#aln13
The Sloan Consortium International Conference on
Online Learning – Orlando, FL – 2013
What is a Blog?
The terms blog and blogging can refer to a type
of website that allows for reader feedback
and/or a style of writing and content
presentation that is informal and usually
updated chronologically.
The use of a blogging format to provide
resources encourages conversation and an
exchange of ideas and information.
What is a Blog?
Typical Features:
• Structure: Header, Navigation, Branding,
Content, Widgets, WYSIWIG editors, Themes
and Templates, Statistics
• Content: Posts, Archives, Tags, Categories,
Images, Text, Author Bio(s)
• Connection: Commenting, Social Sharing
Buttons, Links, RSS
Why Use a Blog?
• Flexibility – from an individual journal to largescale website or course site
• Ease of use – familiar editing options, intuitive
administrative interface, quick set-up
• Affordability – many platforms with free
accounts with ample storage space and options
for customizing
• Accessibility – browser and operating system
compatibility, unique URL
• Professional interface – theme and template
options, embed multiple file formats
Edu-Friendly Platforms
• WordPresshttp://wordpress.com/
• EduBlogshttp://edublogs.org/
• Blogger http://www.blogger.com/features
• Usability! Find an option that is easy for you to use – so
you’re more likely to continue blogging.
• User Community! Look for a platform that other educators,
centers, etc. are using. Ask peers for recommendations.
• In-house? Check with your institution’s academic
technology center to find out about hosted options. Your
school may already have a blog platform and support in
place.
Examples of Blogs in Use
Explore how college and university centers (for-profit and notfor-profit) are using blogs to communicate with students. Note
the different platforms and range of features used.

• Career Services
– University of Oregon Career Center
– Rasmussen College Career Services

• Academic Advising
– University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Undergraduate Advising
– College of Charleston Academic Advising &
Planning Center
Examples of Blogs in Use
• Library and Research Activities
– Capella University Library
– Stanford University Digital Library Blog

• Learning Skills
– University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center
– Walden University Online Writing Center

• Technical Support
– University of Oklahoma Academic Tech
– University of Minnesota Duluth Information
Technology Systems and Services
Examples of Blogs in Use
• Financial Aid
– Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Admissions
– University of Rochester Financial Aid

• Health and Wellness Counseling
– Loyola University New Orleans Counseling Center
and Student Health Services
– Ohio State University Student Health Services
Getting Started
Create a Blog Purpose Statement using the following questions … and
refer to it often!

What are your goals?
• Identify your audience(s) | What do they need? | What do you
hope to gain? | How often can you publish?
What will you share?
• Topic Categories | Scheduled Events | Resources | Reports and
News
How will you share?
• Articles | Tweets | Podcasts | Videos | Slide Presentations |
Surveys and Polls
Who will contribute?
• Director | Counselors and Advisors | Partners (e.g., Employers,
Alumni) | Students
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2013/05/24/how-to-create-a-blog-purposestatement-in-3-simple-steps/
Blog Post Types & Formats
•
•
•
•
•

List Posts (“Top 10…”)
Interviews
Blog Series
Video Possibilities
Reviews (books,
products)
• FAQ
• Invitations
• Guest Posts

•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

How-to____
News, current events
Profiles
Case Studies
Checklists
Contests
Presentations
Updates

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/09/03/52-types-of-blog-posts-thatare-proven-to-work/
Blogging Communities & Resources
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

CopyBlogger
ProBlogger
New Media Expo
Career Counselor Technology Forum
TechKNOW Tools Wiki (Academic Advising)
Education Twitter Chats
LinkedIn Groups
Keep the conversation going ...
Contact me!
Melissa A. Venable, PhD
Education Writer
OnlineColleges.netmelissa.a.venable@gmail.co
m
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melissavenable/

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EdTech Student Support Blogging

  • 1. EdTech and Student Services: Supporting Online Learners Through Blogging Melissa A. Venable, PhD Education Writer – OnlineColleges.net #aln13 The Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning – Orlando, FL – 2013
  • 2. What is a Blog? The terms blog and blogging can refer to a type of website that allows for reader feedback and/or a style of writing and content presentation that is informal and usually updated chronologically. The use of a blogging format to provide resources encourages conversation and an exchange of ideas and information.
  • 3. What is a Blog? Typical Features: • Structure: Header, Navigation, Branding, Content, Widgets, WYSIWIG editors, Themes and Templates, Statistics • Content: Posts, Archives, Tags, Categories, Images, Text, Author Bio(s) • Connection: Commenting, Social Sharing Buttons, Links, RSS
  • 4. Why Use a Blog? • Flexibility – from an individual journal to largescale website or course site • Ease of use – familiar editing options, intuitive administrative interface, quick set-up • Affordability – many platforms with free accounts with ample storage space and options for customizing • Accessibility – browser and operating system compatibility, unique URL • Professional interface – theme and template options, embed multiple file formats
  • 5. Edu-Friendly Platforms • WordPresshttp://wordpress.com/ • EduBlogshttp://edublogs.org/ • Blogger http://www.blogger.com/features • Usability! Find an option that is easy for you to use – so you’re more likely to continue blogging. • User Community! Look for a platform that other educators, centers, etc. are using. Ask peers for recommendations. • In-house? Check with your institution’s academic technology center to find out about hosted options. Your school may already have a blog platform and support in place.
  • 6. Examples of Blogs in Use Explore how college and university centers (for-profit and notfor-profit) are using blogs to communicate with students. Note the different platforms and range of features used. • Career Services – University of Oregon Career Center – Rasmussen College Career Services • Academic Advising – University of Massachusetts – Amherst Undergraduate Advising – College of Charleston Academic Advising & Planning Center
  • 7. Examples of Blogs in Use • Library and Research Activities – Capella University Library – Stanford University Digital Library Blog • Learning Skills – University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center – Walden University Online Writing Center • Technical Support – University of Oklahoma Academic Tech – University of Minnesota Duluth Information Technology Systems and Services
  • 8. Examples of Blogs in Use • Financial Aid – Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Admissions – University of Rochester Financial Aid • Health and Wellness Counseling – Loyola University New Orleans Counseling Center and Student Health Services – Ohio State University Student Health Services
  • 9. Getting Started Create a Blog Purpose Statement using the following questions … and refer to it often! What are your goals? • Identify your audience(s) | What do they need? | What do you hope to gain? | How often can you publish? What will you share? • Topic Categories | Scheduled Events | Resources | Reports and News How will you share? • Articles | Tweets | Podcasts | Videos | Slide Presentations | Surveys and Polls Who will contribute? • Director | Counselors and Advisors | Partners (e.g., Employers, Alumni) | Students http://www.problogger.net/archives/2013/05/24/how-to-create-a-blog-purposestatement-in-3-simple-steps/
  • 10. Blog Post Types & Formats • • • • • List Posts (“Top 10…”) Interviews Blog Series Video Possibilities Reviews (books, products) • FAQ • Invitations • Guest Posts • • • • • • • • How-to____ News, current events Profiles Case Studies Checklists Contests Presentations Updates http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/09/03/52-types-of-blog-posts-thatare-proven-to-work/
  • 11. Blogging Communities & Resources • • • • • • • CopyBlogger ProBlogger New Media Expo Career Counselor Technology Forum TechKNOW Tools Wiki (Academic Advising) Education Twitter Chats LinkedIn Groups
  • 12. Keep the conversation going ... Contact me! Melissa A. Venable, PhD Education Writer OnlineColleges.netmelissa.a.venable@gmail.co m http://www.linkedin.com/in/melissavenable/