Sunday, April 09, 2006

Week 3

There's been a lot more activity this week. Both classes, but particularly the morning class, have contributed numerous posts and comments and two students have even uploaded pitures: EICUIB1000 Class Blog: sharing your pics... and EICUIB1955 Class Blog: Hi everybody.

A few reflection on this week:
  • Some students still have technical problems and with such a short course (8 weeks) it really does seem necessary to have an introductory, setting-up session. Also, the more students blog, the more questions they have about developing their blogging (using pictures, for example). Some students mistakenly created their own blogs instead of joining the class blog; with a longer course, I think it would be productive for students to have their own blogs and then be able to alert us on the class blog that they have been updated, for example, but on this course I was anxious to make at least the main blog active and thought that learner blogs might detract from the class blog.
  • The class blog seems to encourage students to make public their feelings, not only feelings about the class (Tina and 'games'), but feelings about themselves (see the postings by the two students above). I find this one of the most interesting aspects of the blog and seems a useful way to involve the quieter students.
  • Correcting writing - as we didn't set up learner blogs, the class blog is the only forum available for publishing written. I decided to comment briefly on each of the postings in terms of content only, but did comment (albeit briefly) on the accuracy of the homework posts. (See my post on both blogs - EICUIB1000 Class Blog: Thanks and comments and corrections.) I have asked the class to comment on this 'policy'. I can see three possible ways forward with a class blog in terms of correcting writing:
    • A class blog where everyone reads and comments on work, both in terms of content and language. Commenting so publically might have a negative effect on the amount of writing (an increase in anxiety, for example), but might actually focus students on producing accurate written work (reminding students that a blog is, after all, a public space).
    • An alternative practice would be to limit my comments to content only and have class correction sessions using work published on the blog.
    • Another approach would be to post and submit hard copies of homework assignments. I would correct the hard copy (in some fashion - could be peer correction, teacher correction, teacher comments, etc) and the student would be able to re-draft their original homework posts on the blog.
  • Redrafting. So far, as far as I am aware, no one has actually used the blog to re-draft any of their posts...perhaps now there are some comments on language there will be some redrafting next week.

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