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Note: This was presented at the Student Success in Writing Conference in Savannah, GA in February 2013. As such, the slides do not fully cover the material presented, so if you are interested contact email@example.com
In the digital age, opportunities for using new media to enhance and encourage student writing are tremendous.
Blogging, for one, has become a popular form of classroom assignment with many cited benefits. These include giving students a broader audience for their writing, allowing them to be more creative in their composition, and enabling them to participate in an ongoing conversation about their work. Students’ motivation to improve their writing also increases due to their desire to benefit their now larger group of readers. But while these benefits certainly are desirable, many of the methods are not so clear-cut.
Since blogging is at its core a platform for writing, not a genre, how does one design effective blogging assignments that foster students’ creativity and a culture of community?
What different blogging models might be best for different types of courses? What role should the instructor play and what learning outcomes should blogging have in conjunction with other class assignments?
Using a semester of student blogging in LIBR 1101, a first-year course in research and information literacy, as a case study, this presentation explores many of these popular benefits of blogging as well as best practices when organizing a blogging assignment. When used effectively, blogging can help students distill and clarify ideas and serve as a valuable supplement to formal writing assignments.
In addition, a more student-centered approach to the writing assignments was found to increase student creativity and engagement.