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D:\Global Learn May2010\Global Learn 20 May\Optimizing The Blogfolio Experience Verilytan


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Presentation at Global Learn 2010
20 May 2010

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D:\Global Learn May2010\Global Learn 20 May\Optimizing The Blogfolio Experience Verilytan

  1. 1. Optimizing the Blogfolio  Experience Verily Tan Educational Technology & Production SIM University, Singapore verilytansl@unisim edu sg
  2. 2. Flow • Introduction to blogs and blogfolios • Potential advantages of use of blogfolios • Purpose of study • Context • Research Instrument & Results • Discussion • Recommendations • Limitations • Questions & Comments
  3. 3. Blog – killer app Blog “killer app” • Blog  – Webpage containing a running log of commentaries, multimedia and  hyperlinks – Easy to use, not requiring knowledge of html editing – Supports collaboration with features like comments, RSS feeds • Transformational technology for teaching and learning (Williams & Jacobs, 2004). Capacity to engage people in  – collaborative activity – knowledge sharing – reflection  reflection – debate
  4. 4. Blogfolio Encourage  self‐ expression &  expression & articulation  Encourage  Increase  reflection &  reflection & satisfaction in  critical  learning thinking  Blog +  Portfolio  Portfolio = Blogfolio
  5. 5. Blogfolio – Potential Benefits Blogfolio Potential Benefits 1. Encourage reflection & critical thinking  – Reflection • In their postings, students articulate the connection between new  information and existing knowledge (Hermandez Ramos, 2004) information and existing knowledge (Hermandez‐Ramos, 2004) – Critical thinking • Skilled and active process, involving questioning and  metacognition (Fischer & Scriven, 1997) – As an author, students • Make their postings They need to consider on how others will Make their postings. They need to consider on how others will  interpret the posting. In responding to comments, they need to  standby his/her own opinion (Williams & Jacob, 2004) – As an audience , students  • Read the postings of others critically, then post their comments  and questions and questions
  6. 6. Blogfolio – Potential Benefits Blogfolio Potential Benefits 2. Encourage self‐expression & articulation – having  a “unique  voice” – Blogs allow time for students for students to synthesize information Blogs allow time for students for students to synthesize information  and develop personal approaches and responses – Faculty indicate that the greatest benefit of the using of blogfolios in  teaching and learning: opportunity for student expression (Brescia &  Miller, 2006) 3. Increase satisfaction in learning 3 Increase satisfaction in learning – Greater sense of control: customization of look & feel of blog;  creativity & style (Armstrong, Berry & Lamshed, 2004) – Students become “subject‐matter‐experts” as authors. They develop  confidence in expressing themselves (Brescia & Miller, 2006)
  7. 7. Purpose of Paper Purpose of Paper The study seeks to understand: 1. What are the factors correlated with student satisfaction in  the use of blogfolios? th f bl f li ? 2. How are students making use of blogs, and what are their  preferred usages? preferred usages?
  8. 8. Use of Blogfolios in an e‐Course Use of Blogfolios in an e Course • Creative Advertising and Copyediting (blended e‐learning  module) • 2nd year elective offered by School of Arts & Social Sciences  l ti ff d b S h l f A t & S i l S i (Communications Programme) • Ability to critique a variety of advertisements important Ability to critique a variety of advertisements – important  competency for the module Blogfolio assignment (15% of overall assessment) Make a blog posting every week, focusing on a print/broadcast  advertisement in different industries. (Create a portfolio of 4  advertisement in different industries (Create a portfolio of 4 advertisements critiques over 4 weeks in the blog) Comment on : Choice of advertisement, perceived objective,  perceived audience, effectiveness, suggested improvements perceived audience, effectiveness, suggested improvements
  9. 9. Implementation • Pilot implemention in Semester 2, 2009 • For greater administrative control: WordPress set up on  University’s server U i it ’ • Security issues: Blogs were created for students – standardized user interface standardized user interface • *5 students shared a blog • Individual postings (not group work) postings (not group work) • Each student was a co‐author  • *C *Comments feature disabled t f t di bl d * Specifications of instructors * Specifications of instructors
  10. 10. Implementation • Copyright issues Embedding of advertisements on the web, youtube and print  in the blog postings in the blog postings – Copyright infringement?   – Deliberations  but no clear guidelines g • “Controlled Student Access” • Each blog: password protected • Blogs: not available in the public domain • Each student only had access to the blog he/she shares with four  others
  11. 11. WordPress Blog Interface WordPress Blog Interface Author ,  Category &  Date Co‐authors Tracking of  Categories:  Revisions 4 required  4 i d ads
  12. 12. Blog Entries of Students  g
  13. 13. Electric  Appliances (Print Ad)
  14. 14. Electric  Appliances (Video Ad  found in  Youtube)
  15. 15. Cosmetics (Print Ad) (Print Ad)
  16. 16. Cosmetics (Ads  (Ads – Print &  Video Ads)
  17. 17. Research Instrument Research Instrument • Survey of 25 questions – 14 questions based on a 5‐point Likert Scale  (1  SD ; 2  D; 3  N; 4  A; 5  (1 – SD ; 2 – D; 3 – N; 4 – A; 5 – SA) – 5 questions on the usage of blogfolios – 5 demographic questions – 1 open‐ended question • α = .903 • 35 students (60.8%) completed the survey (Enrolment = 58  students) – 80% male, 20% female – 81.3% diploma holders, rest being A’level or degree holders – 62 9% were in 21‐25 age range; 28 6% in 26‐30 age range 62.9% were in 21‐25 age range; 28.6% in 26‐30 age range
  18. 18. Factors correlated with student satisfaction • Mean for student satisfaction = 3.94 • Spearman Correlation p Ranked Factor Significantly Correlated with Student Satisfaction Spearman’s Rho (2‐tailed) 1  Role of Instructor 0.661** (highest) 2 Increased confidence in expressing thoughts and ideas 0.522** 3 Clear communication of assessment criterion 0.512** 4 No technical difficulty encountered in making blog entries with embedded  0.484** images/video 5 Ability to cope with the requirements of assignment 0.482** 6 Engagement in analysis and reflection 0.481** 7 Appreciation of the simplified process in collecting and submitting portfolio  0.449** content via blogfolio via blogfolio 8 Clear objective(s) for the blogfolio assignment 0.426** 9 Benefit from reading the postings of others 0.407* 10  10 Enjoyment in being a co‐author of the group blog, contributing ideas and  Enjoyment in being a co author of the group blog contributing ideas and 0.371 0 371* (lowest) knowledge. ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 (2‐tailed). * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2‐tailed).
  19. 19. Discussion 1. Role of Instructor 3. Clear communication of assessment criterion 3 Cl i ti f t it i 8. Clear objective(s) for the blogfolio assignment Consistent with the findings by Hain & Gallen (2008): Amount of learning in a blog assignment can be influenced  positively by  positively by motivation of the learner the ability of the instructor to motivate and support the ability of the instructor to motivate and support the way the assignment/course has been crafted
  20. 20. Discussion 2. Increased confidence in expressing thoughts and ideas Blogs can be both motivating and threatening for students  (Hermandez‐Ramos, 2004) ( d ) It appears that by reflecting or “thinking by writing”, students  were able to develop their own “voice” ere able to de elop their o n “ oice” Students can be driven to express deeply felt opinions and  ideas through their postings (Nardi Schiano Gumbrecht and ideas through their postings (Nardi, Schiano, Gumbrecht and  Swartz, 2004)  Blog (Oravec, 2003; Williams & Jacobs, 2004) Blog (Oravec 2003; Williams & Jacobs 2004) breakthrough form of democratic self‐expression place for authors to test their ideas students’ distinctive styles of writing emerge
  21. 21. Discussion 4. No technical difficulty encountered in  making blog entries with embedded images/video making blog entries with embedded images/video Survey Item: No technical difficulty in making blog entries  with embedded images/video Mean = 3 91 with embedded images/video. Mean = 3.91  Student profile: 71.0% of them rated themselves fairly skilled in terms of computer  71.0% of them rated themselves fairly skilled in terms of computer skills.   22.6% rated themselves as power user.  43.8% of the students already had personal blogs.  Importance of co‐ordinated training and support . Significant  effort invested in effort invested in Training Manuals/Online Resource Manuals/Online Resource Helpdesk support
  22. 22. Discussion 6. Engagement in analysis and reflection Instructors found evidence of analysis and reflection in the  students’ blog postings In critique of advertisements, students needed to  recognize unstated assumptions and values appraise evidence and evaluate statements recognize logical relationships between propositions draw warranted conclusions and generalizations warranted conclusions and generalizations.  All these are basic competencies in critical thinking according  to Glaser (1941)  to Glaser (1941)
  23. 23. Discussion 9. Benefit from reading the postings of others 10. Enjoyment in being a co‐author of the group blog,  j y g g p g contributing ideas and knowledge. “Public” nature of the postings (visibility of their posts to the  other four members of their group) could have been a  motivation for them to make quality postings In reading others’ postings, students see each other as  valuable sources of information and ideas Students’ perception: Creators of knowledge, not just  St d t ’ ti C t fk l d tj t consumers of information
  24. 24. Time Taken to Make One Posting Time Taken to Make One Posting Time taken Time taken Proportion of students Proportion of st dents 15 – 30 min 8.8% 31 – 45 min 25.5% 46 – 60 min 26.5% More than 60 min 38.2% • 64.7% of students took more than half an hour to create a  blog posting. • Reflect the analysis and reflection required by the assignment  (Majority of students did not encounter difficulty in making  blog entries with embedded images/video) bl h b dd d / d )
  25. 25. Students Preferred Usage Students’ Preferred Usage • Comments Feature – 58.8% of students would like comments on their own postings – 45.7% would like to comment on other’s postings – 42 9% i di 42.9% indicated that if comments were made available, marks should  d h if d il bl k h ld be allocated for constructive comments.  • M j i Majority of students in this study are  f d i hi d in the age range of 21‐30 (Net  Generation) • They appear to want to take blogging  to the next level of critique and  to the next level of critique and defense of their own stand , ( ) • Desire to collaborate, to (co)create in terms of knowledge and ideas
  26. 26. Recommendations • Use blogs for learning tasks that require the students to – Express opinions to influence others (Confidence in “unique voice”) – “Thinking by writing” (Reflection, metacognition) Thinking by writing (Reflection metacognition) – Seek others’ feedback and opinion (Analysis, critical thinking) • Blogfolios – electronic portfolios (simplified process) Blogfolios  electronic portfolios (simplified process)  • Enable the comments feature to encourage collaboration, to  ( ) (co)creation  of knowledge and ideas. Implications: g p – Necessity to train students to be responsible in their comments and  replies – Provide guidelines for students to give constructive comments
  27. 27. Recommendations • Implementation of individual blogs  – To further encourage students’ expression and creativity through  customization of the blog interface customization of the blog interface – Comments can be better controlled by students • RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds can be enabled.  ( p y ) – Feeds can positively affect student interaction. (Hain & Gallen,  2008) – Students become less tied to posting deadlines and pushed by the feeds that indicate interactions in their blogs. 
  28. 28. Recommendations Copyright Issues  © • Lack of case law concerning the application of fair use of  material in distance education (Costa, 2004) • Problem compounded by:  – Variation of legal opinion on the subject – New technology constantly creates new situations which existing rules  cannot always control cannot always control – Different instructors operate by different guidelines (ethical issues)  • Instructors should be actively involved in defining problem  y gp areas, formulating institutional policy • Continuing dialogue about the ethics of practice 
  29. 29. Limitation • Lack of qualitative feedback to substantiate the findings from  the quantitative data. The survey had only one free‐response  question.  question • Focus group discussion with selected students can be  conducted. conducted
  30. 30. Thank you! y Slideshare (verilytan) Slideshare (verilytan) Invitation to ICT2010 Singapore Invitation to ICT2010 Singapore Inspired Solutions, Empowering Learning 30 Jun – 2 Jul 2010 30 Jun 2 Jul 2010