A shared course blog

I have noticed that many teachers use blogs for student portfolio work. Each student creates his or her own blog, posts the required tasks and the link list is somehow shared. I have always used a course blog instead and let me tell you why.

Wordpress allows the blog administrator to invite users. These users can be given either an administrator, editor or author status which gives them certain privileges. The teacher can build the environment for her students with embedded videos, links and photos to make instructions livelier. After signing up as Wordpress users, students are then invited via e-mail to join the course blog.

Advantages of using one blog together with students
  • a shared interactive web environment (less links and traffic from one website to another)
  • spontaneous discussions via commenting
  • some censorship control by the teacher (bullying, inappropriate blog posts, spam)
  • teacher assessment is easier (updates from one blog)
  • students cooperate with each other to construct the blog together
  • students see everyone's work and the teacher's comments in one place
  • peer evaluation is easier
  • the administrator can edit any blog post to help writers with technical or grammatical challenges
  • a sense of togetherness = a collective experience

Disadvantages of a course blog

  • students have limited control over the general visual appearance (theme, widgets)
  • student autonomy is somewhat compromised
  • lots of text to read (students can get frustrated)
  • if the layout is not simple enough, posts may be hard to find

I have been using shared course blogs for three years now and I have almost 50 blogs by now, all easily accessible under one username. I highly recommend this to all the teachers out there! For a list of blogs that I have created together with my students, please visit Espoo Heart English!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Anna,

    Every word is redundant to say about your reflections for each week. I have to repeat that you are *a true expert*. As a part of this wonderful course, I started my blog a few days ago. I have to admit that my students were a little bit confused about it, but as the time goes by I hope they will become familiar with it. On the other hand, I have to say that my students show a great enthusiasm about using blog. Thank you for sharing advantages and disadvantages of using one blog.

    I wish you a lot of success and happiness in your future work!