Issues regarding use of blogs with students

Some questions to think about when planning to use blogs with students:

  • What is the purpose of the blog – make sure it is clear – is it linked to assessment? If it isn’t assessed will they bother to use it – probably not?
  • Do you use a class group blog or individual blogs? Perhaps you only need one blog in wwhich you as tutor post the questions and assignments etc., and the students merely respond via comments.
  • Will they have a choice which blog to use and whether or not to make it or bits of it public?
  • What if they already have a blog and prefer to use the same blog, perhaps with a specific tag to make it easier for you and anyone else to read? otherwise they may end up with many blogs, e.g., for each class plus private ones – which is difficult to manage.
  • If you specify what blog tool they use, will you use an internal blog provided by the institution or an external one, with all the disadvantages of hosting off-site?
  • Do you insist they have a “professional” identity – do they need guidance in the tone and theme of the blog? Can they use a pseudonym or other less formal identity?
  • Will the tutor be reading the blog or will everyone in the class be expected to read one another’s? Will students be expected to comment on one another’s posts?