To Blog or Not to Blog

Cartoon from Cox & Forkum

photo courtesy of Cox & Forkum

This blog started as a course requirement for PIDP 3250 Instructional Strategies which is part of the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program offered by Vancouver Community College, so I thought the first post should be dedicated to the use of blogs as an instructional strategy.

To blog or not to blog?

A blog allows a student to reflect on the course material by writing a blog post. A blog post can be anything from the student’s feelings about a topic to a more scholarly essay. The blog allows a student to relate to the course material in a way that makes sense to them, and by placing the course material within a framework of their previous experiences be more motivated to learn and retain the new knowledge presented in the course.  The blog is an active learning activity where the student takes charge of the course material and puts his/her spin on it. The instructor can provide guidelines for what to include in the blog, but shouldn’t micromanage the task. Let the student use the blog to explore. I found this “Guide to Blogging” by Educause, a really helpful resource that explains what blogs are and provides some advice on how to use blogging within a course.

I found this assignment very intimidating at first. Cox & Forkum’s cartoon really speaks to me because I’m such a perfectionist. I want each blog post to be a literary work of art representing deep thoughts and outstanding insight as well as being free of all spelling and grammar mistakes. As if that is going to happen. I would be constantly asking myself “to blog or not to blog” and answering with “not to blog, because it’s not perfect”. I’d have whole bunch of drafts and no posts. Lucky for me, my instructor isn’t expecting perfection either. The blog can evolve and grow as much as I want. So, I have given myself permission to make mistakes as long as I write something, anything. I have a list of topics I must cover, but how I cover them is up to me. These topics are going to be my initial categories and I’ll expand the categories as I go. My goal is one post a day.

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Filed under Active Learning, Motivational Strategies

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