Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just Saw Something Cool: The Class Blogger

Hi Everyone,

I've been conducting classroom observations this semester (I have 28 of them to do!)
I just saw a great idea, being used by one of the GTAs here at WVU.

One of my research interests is accessibility -- how do we make our pedagogy as broadly accessible to the widest range of students as possible -- whether we see this broadness as across "learning styles," "modalities," "abilities," languages, learning backgrounds, or other differences.

One way that we can create access is through redundancy -- a positive kind of redundancy, in which ideas and information can be made accessible in multiple formats, and the class is engaged in translating ideas across these formats. 

So, the idea was this: every class session has a blogger.

The teacher set up a class blog, linked to the course webpage.  A different student is the blogger each day, and they record notes, summarize conversations, narrate classroom action, and so on, as best they can.  The succinct but descriptive writing they do is important in and of itself.  And their synthesis and summary is then there for students who may need reminders, might benefit from another perspective on the day's themes, or otherwise benefit from accessing this information another way.

Asking students to take turns doing this also seemed to nicely "democratize" the class. Over the course of a semester it might even chisel away at the idea that the instructor's voice, vision, and version are the only mediums for the creation and dissemination of classroom "knowledge."

Anyhow.  I thought this was a really nice technique.

(I saw this done in a computer classroom, and the blogging was done in "real time."  But the blog post could be done retroactively as well, after class as a homework assignment.)


1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is fantastic!!

    I really like how the students themselves are involved in translating class material and generating redundancy--so productive!