Blogs and journals

A blog is an online journal or diary that can be used as a plaform for student reflection and feedback.

Blogs are very simple websites, which can generally be created and updated using little or no knowledge of webpage formatting or HTML.

Blogs originated as platforms for online journals, and are an excellent tool for student reflection and review.

For example, students in different locations may independently research and write about a problem. Each solution is posted as a blog post. Students can then review alternative solutions and post comments on each others’ blogs. Further posts can then be made in response to the comments received.

Blogs can also be used as a journal to reflect on daily activities (e.g. during a work placement), and offer a useful platform for two-way feedback with teaching staff.

Good practice

Key points to consider when setting up blogs or journals:

  • When choosing to use a blog or journal in your unit be sure why you are using it / what you are trying to achieve or assess
  • Include an explanation of how to make a blog or journal entry
  • Include in your introduction to the students information on how often you will be reviewing the blog or journal
  • Communicate (or include as part of your assessment induction) an expectation of how long postings should be and how frequently posting should occur
  • If using for assessment – include a matrix and explanation of how blogs will be marked
  • Be active in the blog or journal, writing replies and responding to people’s posts. Ask questions to encourage deeper thinking

Technologies

Blackboard

Blackboard provides a blog facility which features an easy-to-use interface that can be configured in various ways – including group blogs for collaborative work, or individual blogs for private comment/reflection.

Blogger

Blogger is available as part of RMIT’s Google Apps for Education suite and provides simple templates and layouts to get started with creating blogs.

To use Blogger with your RMIT Google account, users must first opt-in to access the Google additional services.