Blogs are online platforms that differ from ‘normal websites’ only in that posts are typically updated frequently and regularly, and typically allow other users to comment on posts. They can be used for reflective opinion pieces and journalism-style articles. The LSE blogs service uses the WordPress platform. Educause has a 2 page guide on “7 things you should know about WordPress”.
Visit Blogs for Assessment if you would like to find out how to use blogs in formative/summative assessment.
Blogs support uploading of multimedia content but they are still predominantly textual; they are a public writing publishing platform. For most disciplines taught at the LSE, discussing thoughts and concepts with others is an essential part of learning. Blogs can encourage structured, reflective, collaborative discussions.
Writing for diverse audiences, including for fellow students, is daunting but rewarding. Setting up semi-private blogs on Moodle can allow students to practice it in a safe and moderated environment.
Blogs are a great way to introduce a daily writing routine, which is essential to becoming an academic but equally useful to many jobs outside academia that isn’t specifically about living under a rock.
Blogs are made for fostering communicative relationships between teachers and students and among students.
Ways to use blogs in class:
❶ Provide further assignments for students to work on. Find out how to use Blogs for Assessment.
❷ Get students to do their writing assignments in the form of reflective blog posts. Encourage them to post comments on each others postings.
❸ Use blogs for classroom projects where students can include videos, clips, audio, text and images.
❹ Teachers can create a specific section just for website links and references to other interesting content online.
❺ Challenge your students to write, record and post tutorials about certain concepts of things you teach them.
❻ Use a section in your blog for course news.
❼ Post weekly challenges that require your students to think creatively and critically.
❽ Ask students to post their answers on the blog then discuss the solutions in class. This will tremendously improve their problem-solving skills.
Blogging in teaching and learning
LSE innovator Connson Locke coming soon
Blogs for assessment
Dr Michael Muthukrishna for PS110
Dr Muthukrishna used Moodle OU blog activity in summative assessment. Students had to write two media/blog posts summarising key findings in psychology. Read more…
Dr Harry Walker for AN300
Dr Walker used LSE blogs (WordPress) in summative assessment. Students had to design and manage their own blog. Read more…
Please also check our page on social media
Duncan Green suggests that blogging is a good way to keep a public record of your ideas and publish your research: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2015/10/26/why-academics-and-students-should-take-blogging-social-media-seriously/
Patrick Dunleavey on academic blogging and its benefits for academics: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/12/28/shorter-better-faster-free/
LSE Professor Judy Wajcman (Sociology) on the acceleration of life in digital capitalism http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/P/bo19085612.html
A 2015 edudemic article on why teachers should blog: http://www.edudemic.com/how-and-why-teachers-should-blog/
Eli Pariser, The filter bubble (2010) – perhaps useful in as far as that the blogs you follow are likely to be part of your self-made echo chamber again.
In 2013, the Horizon report put the emergence of ‘new scholarly forms of authoring and publishing’ as a significant challenge to Higher Education practices: http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2013-higher-education-edition/
TLC’s Guidance on blogging
LSE Undergraduate Politics Review blog: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lseupr/