Learning Styles: Blogging

Last week I mentioned that Jang (2008) said students perform better if they were more actively involved with learning, baring this and my technology post in mind, I wanted to talk about blogging as an effective learning style. I really enjoy blogging and it’s one of the main reasons why I chose this module. I like the freedom of being able to work whenever (well as long as it’s due in on time) and the fact that we actually get to delve into a subject and research it the way we want to. Rather than just being told “this is what you’re going to learn. Now do an exam on what I’ve taught you”. I think blogging should be encouraged more and I shall discuss some of the reasons why in this post.

One of the key things for an effective learning style was to encourage active learning, and blogging certainly does, as bloggers are required to find and post whatever they can about a certain topic. Blood (2002) suggests blogging requires a three-step process: sourcing, filtering and posting. Suggesting that the bloggers don’t just learn what they post, but as they have to read and evaluate sooo much information before posting the best bits, that their knowledge on the surrounding topic is ever-growing. So as we are writing a blog every week about the psychological principles in education, think about all the journal articles and website articles you have read, you didn’t post ALL of the information that you read, did you? But that doesn’t mean you haven’t understood the rest of it and your knowledge in this area is vastly growing each week!

Furthermore, last week I also mentioned in order for a learning style to be successful and motivating it has to be enjoyable Atkins (1998). Well,Ferdig and Trammel (2004) suggest that blogs are considered to be a motivating tool because they are a bit different to the usual ways we are assessed, so we find it exciting and enjoyable! They also suggest that blogs are seen as enjoyable because the students usually get a chance to blog about whatever they like, so it is going to be something that they are interested in.

Another important thing to consider when thinking about blogging as an effective learning style is the social aspect that comes with it. The use of blogs gives all students involved a chance to participate through the use of commenting on each other’s blog posts. Glogoff (2005) suggests that this is beneficial to learning as a class discussion allows students to encourage each other as well as advancing their own perspective and experiences. These online-disccusions could be particularly effective for shy students who might not have wanted to participate face-to-face infront of people in a classroom (Kajder & Bull, 2003). Also in the traditional classroom manner, not all students would have chance to express their opinions anyway due to the limited time of the class schedule. There are also only a limited amount of people who can learn in a class too (the people in the room who have signed up to the class). With blogging, every student gets a chance to express their opinion and anyone can be involved in the learning – even if they are not in the class, they can still read the material! (Hello to all of you not in the Science of Education module, or not even at Bangor University who are reading this!!! Hope you are enjoying the learning experience lol). Expanding on this, the bloggers quickly learn that the posted content can be read by more people than just their teacher and their classmates. As we know that so many people can read our work, this actually makes us work harder as we feel as though we are being evaluated by more people. So it is thought that as there is a large audience reading our work, we are likely to produce better work in our blogs than our other assignments that are only marked by the teacher (Richardson and Swan, 2003).

To conclude, I think that blogging is an extremely effective learning style, as it allows students to actively learn and research what they want to (within reason), which is beneficial in itself because we are more likely to do well if we enjoy something! Blogging is also beneficial to learning because of the social aspect; it gives every student a voice, students can develop their own knowledge by commenting on other students’ blogs, ANY one can read the blog and benefit from the learning, and due to this students are more likely to produce better quality work knowing that so many people have access to their work.

blog

References

Blood, R. (2002). The weblog handbook: Practical advice on creating and maintaining your blog. Basic Books.

Ferdig, R. E., & Trammell, K. D. (2004). Content delivery in the’Blogosphere’.The Journal, 31(7), 12-20.

Glogoff, S. (2005). Instructional blogging: Promoting interactivity, student-centered learning, and peer input. Innovate. Journal of Online Education, 1(5).

Jang, H. (2008). Supporting students’ motivation, engagement, and learning during an uninteresting activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(4), 798.

Kajder S., and G. Bull. 2003. Scaffolding for struggling students. Learning & Leading with Technology 31 (2): 32–35

Richardson, J. C., & Swan, K. (2003). Examing social presence in online courses in relation to students’ perceived learning and satisfaction.

Again, if you want to be a lazy bum and want to watch this talk instead of reading it.. here is the video. Sorry that I look such a scruff on this video, I think it was raining that day so my hair is tied back (I hate wearing my hair up!), and my cardigan is all messy.. maybe I should have a word with the guys who set up the rooms to see if we are allowed mirrors next time to check ourselves out before we start presenting? 😉 lol. Also, I forgot to repeat back the comments and questions that were asked at the end of the presentation, oops. But if you listen carefully you may be able to hear. Oh and look, finally stopped with the constant note reading. Enjoy xx

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10 thoughts on “Learning Styles: Blogging

  1. Tom (PSUC83) says:

    Hello. I enjoyed reading your blog this week. To add to your argument i would like to highlight an article by Huette (2006). Huette suggests it is alos benfitial for teachers to blog, and thus model the behaviour to their students. Huette argues that by reating a ‘class blog’ active discussion is encouraged that allows studentes to develop a ‘voice’ in their writing, as a result of this students demonstrated critical analysis and analytical reasoning. In addition, teachers should issue a class blog to encourage students to ask questions. As described by Trigwell and Prosser (1991) encouraging students to ask questions is an effective method of increasing understanding. In sum blogs have benefits when used by the student but the teachers use of blogging can also have an effect on student learning.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey 🙂 Good blog Sinae!

    I enjoy blogging in this way, and I think it’s a great way to learn – there’s topics that I would never have thought of looking at that I’m reading and finding really interesting!

    Kerawalla, Minocha, Kirkup and Conole (2008) found that blogging was a successful addition to distance learning courses, and that six factors effected how students blogged. The perception of the audience, and the need for one were the first two factors, suggesting that the nature and size of the target audience effects the style and quality of the writing. The third and fourth factors identified were the perception and need for an audience, which again appears to affect the quality and style of writing. Fifth and sixth were the need for comments and how they were used. These six factors all contribute to a unique style of learning and writing which engages and utilises instant feedback and build on existing ideas.

    With online communities and blogging becoming more popular ways for students to socialise and communicate on campus, incorporating this method of communication into academic work successfully engages students and promotes a sense of self moderation, making students improve their own work to keep up or overtake their fellow students (Williams and Jacobs, 2004).

    Blogging seems a really useful, different style of learning that, given the six factors identified by Kerawalla et al., (2008) and how it engages students (Williams et al., 2004) it seems that blogging is a great way to learn and get instant feedback.

    Kerawalla, L., Minocha, S., Kirkup, G., & Conole, G. (2008). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging in higher education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(1), 31-42.

    Williams, J. B., & Jacobs, J. (2004). Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education sector. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 20(2), 232-247.
    .

  3. Ben says:

    Hey 🙂 Good blog Sinae!

    I enjoy blogging in this way, and I think it’s a great way to learn – there’s topics that I would never have thought of looking at that I’m reading and finding really interesting!

    Kerawalla, Minocha, Kirkup and Conole (2008) found that blogging was a successful addition to distance learning courses, and that six factors effected how students blogged. The perception of the audience, and the need for one were the first two factors, suggesting that the nature and size of the target audience effects the style and quality of the writing. The third and fourth factors identified were the perception and need for an audience, which again appears to affect the quality and style of writing. Fifth and sixth were the need for comments and how they were used. These six factors all contribute to a unique style of learning and writing which engages and utilises instant feedback and build on existing ideas.

    With online communities and blogging becoming more popular ways for students to socialise and communicate on campus, incorporating this method of communication into academic work successfully engages students and promotes a sense of self moderation, making students improve their own work to keep up or overtake their fellow students (Williams and Jacobs, 2004).

    Blogging seems a really useful, different style of learning that, given the six factors identified by Kerawalla et al., (2008) and how it engages students (Williams et al., 2004) it seems that blogging is a great way to learn and get instant feedback.

    Kerawalla, L., Minocha, S., Kirkup, G., & Conole, G. (2008). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging in higher education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(1), 31-42.

    Williams, J. B., & Jacobs, J. (2004). Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education sector. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 20(2), 232-247.

    (always beneficial if you log in!)

  4. psuce0 says:

    Hi a very interesting blog and I do personally believe that blogging does help students learning. According to Oravec (2002) blogging is beneficial as it can used as a tool that serves as an online journal that encourages personal reflection, and empowers students to become more critical analytic in their thinking. The reason for this is they develop a confident voice of their own as they formulate a blog topic and stand by their opinion. In addition to this Ferdig & Trammel (2004) claims blogging as a learning tool is effective due to it successfully promoting interactivity and improves student and teacher relationship as it encourages active learning and greater flexibility in student learning.

    Ferdig, R. E. & Trammell, K. D. (2004). Content delivery in the ‘Blogosphere’. Technological Horizons in Education Journal, February. [Verified 27 May 2004] http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/articleprintversion.cfm?aid=4677

    Oravec, J. (2002). Bookmarking the world: Weblog applications in education. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 45(7), 616-621.

  5. Steph says:

    One of the main reasons i also chose this module was because of the blogging. It was quite a refreshing new way to learn and be assessed differently to all other modules. An online article by the guardian explained how a study found that 80.4% of children that learned from home were at the same level as the top students their age in schools. It was also argued that home schooled children were more confident in their studies compared with students in school.
    I have found there to be benefits to writing blogs as for me personally being able to write them, research them and read/comment on other peoples blogs in my own time as been hugely beneficial.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2002/oct/05/schools.uk

    • Sinae says:

      Interesting point, thanks Steph! Considering your comment about children benefiting from home schooling, we could think about the benefits of children working and learning from home as an additional tool to attending school.

      Research shows that children who have access to computers at home perform better at school than children who do not have any access to computers at home (Woessmann & Fuchs, 2004). It is thought this is due to children being able to access emails and webpages outside of school and being able to access educational software outside of the classroom. Although, Woessmann and Fuchs (2004) found that children who are allowed to use their home computer whenever they like actually performed quite poorly on academic tests, (their academic performance was as low as those without computers at home!!!) it was considered that this is due to the computer being used as a distracting tool. So it is suggested that learning at home (with a computer) will benefit children academically, but they should be restricted to how much time spent on the computer so they don’t get distracted.

      Woessmann, L., & Fuchs, T. (2004). Computers and student learning: Bivariate and multivariate evidence on the availability and use of computers at home and at school.

  6. Catherine says:

    I completely agree with you on this topic! The fact that we can choose what we blog about (within reason) makes learning so much more interesting. I’ve read a few blogs over the last few weeks regarding creativity; blogging certainly enhances creativity in my opinion! We’re reading so many different topics each week while reading other students’ blogs, it really is interesting! Research has shown that blogging enhances learning.

    Williams and Jacobs (2004) researched into the use of blogs in education. Although they found that students believed it was encouraging them to interact with one another, students would have responded more positive to blogs if guidelines were given to them. This suggests that students need goals set for them to fully understand what is required.

    You mentioned the fact that some students may be shy during class and therefore blogging is a perfect learning style for them. It allows them to voice their opinion freely without feeling someone will judge them immediately during class. This is interesting because it relates to my blog of social anxiety. Russell (2008) stated that students which experience social anxiety were distressed during group work. This will then affect their learning due to the lack of participation. Blogging is then the best option for them. It gives everyone an equal opportunity!

    I’ll be blogging about writing anxiety next week and focusing on the use of blogs too if you’re interested! 🙂

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