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.
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