24 May 2005

Blogs in Higher Education: Personal Voice as Part of Learning

The use of Internet technology to facilitate interaction, communication, and collaboration is well documented but its use in establishing and developing "personal voice" as part of learning is also now being addressed through the use of blogs. Finding personal voice as a pedagogical method is important to establish learner identity and focus, and journaling has long been recognized as an effective way to provide space for this to occur. The blog, however, provides a context in which personal voice can be "published" by the student, which means that attention is given to content, relevancy, and connection with learning outcomes to a higher degree than a traditional journal submission. The idea that more than one person will view the work is quite powerful in promoting a sense of ownership from the student. Teachers can also benefit from "hearing" the personal voice of their students to begin to really understand the learning path of each student through a course. The above is the opening paragraph in an article, Blogs in Higher Ed: Personal Voice as Part of Learning, published by Ruth Reynard in eLearning Dialogue. Here is the summary and recommendations from the article:

* Blogging must be integrated early in the course design and must be clearly connected to the course outcomes before it can become anything more than just an extra task for the students.

* Grading does seem to motivate the students, but it seems to be more effective to grade according to effort in relevancy to course content and outcomes than simply on numbers of submissions.

* There is an issue with privacy, particularly with older students. This should be addressed by emphasizing how to secure and share entries.

* Instructors need time to evaluate the importance of self-reflection as a methodological approach in learning as well as the value of integrating personal voice in the learning context. Otherwise the exercise will be perceived as futile to the students.

Read more here.


Armand Rousso said...

I certainly agree that blogs can be used in higher education as it is an extended version of one's personality. By providing the students the freedom to express their own views, they go a long way in providing that extra edge which winners are made of.

Personal voice, undoubtedly, can be construed as a powerful instrument for communicating at the same wavelength. That's why blogs are being considered as new age tools for learning at a higher level.

Armand Rousso

Ahsan Kaleem said...

Thankyou Armand for showing your interest in the blog.

I cannot agree more with you on blogs being a highly useful tool for helping people develop their learning skills further. It is a bit informal way of teaching or learning and provides a means for people to raise their personal voice and also help them with their communicating skills.

One of my next posts would be on the importance of communications in learning.

If you have any specific topics on business or economics you would like information on, i would be more than glad to provide.