Light Blogging Here / Heavy Blogging with Students

I'm spending quite a bit of time blogging with my students, which means that I am not often moved to crack open the WordPress editing window and write anything here. I use blogs with students for a number of reasons: 1) It's more efficient that copying handouts for them to read, at least for some material & there is now a lot of audio and video relevant to my classes online; 2) ideally, a class blog gives students an opportunity to participate more actively in the class, though I find I have to insist on using the blog actively by making it part of the grade (which runs counter to my blog-purist instincts); 3) it's a way for me to organize my own class preparation & materials. I'm using the hosted WordPress service Edublogs, by the way, which is excellent.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

4 thoughts on “Light Blogging Here / Heavy Blogging with Students”

  1. what happened with the final session of your saturday class w/the hs students? are you going to review/summarize the whole project? i’ve been following this w/interest. best, ed

  2. Thanks for mentioning Edublog. I’ve been trying to get students of mine here in Japan to use a blog for several years. Just out of curiosity, how do you factor the student blogging into your grading? Any concerns from parents? Do any students continue using the blog after the course has ended?

  3. Matt, with the lower division courses, I just require that students post x number of comments to posts I write; with upper-division (smaller) courses, I give students posting privileges and require them to post various kinds of assignments for others to comment on — discussion preparations, class notes, reading summaries, etc. I just assign a certain number of points per post or comment, usually as part of the larger participation component of the grade. Unfortunately, without the grade, students don’t participate.

    I haven’t had any concerns from parents — the blogs are class-specific & can be configured so that only class members can post; they can also be screened from search engines when you set them up. Typically, my blogs close down at the end of the semester, though I did have an honors section of a course once in which some members kept going for another couple of years.

    Drop me an email — duemer@gmail.com — & I’ll send you the URLs for a couple of my classes so you can see what I’m doing.

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