Note: This post was originally created for Web 2.0-Based Learning and Performance at FSU.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post, In the footsteps of Dr. Dennen, where I talked about having my high school students blog about what we talked about in class each week. I have been thinking more about it and I decided to write about it again after reading Assessing the effects of interactive blogging on student attitudes towards peer interaction, learning motivation, and academic achievements by C. Yang*& Y.-S. Chang.

Since I teach at a small school I teach a diversity of classes. My schedule for next school year appears to be Geography, Computer Literacy, and three sections of Bible classes. I am planning on doing this for Geography and my Bible classes. The article talked about how this worked well for a technical class but they thought it would work better for other classes.

Here is my plan, as I am refining it.

  • Each student will have their own Google site that they can customize.
  • Their classmates and I will all need access to it.
  • They will be expected to post once or more every week before 9 p.m. Sunday evening.
  • Their posts need to reflect on something specific from the class in the past week.
  • They need to include a question or two at the end to encourage engaging comments.
  • They need to have commented on two or more of their classmates posts by end of day the following Monday.
  • Their comments need to engage with the content itself.
  • No bullying! Kind and constructive.
  • I will keep a weekly list of topics they could blog about but they could choose others.

I am looking forward to hearing more from students who do not engage as much in class and to have them do more reflective thinking.

Update: I ended up implementing the blog for one Bible class with 11 & 12 graders in it. I set up a private password protected basic Oxwall for the students to write a blog post and two comments about anything we covered that week in class. I believe that this has been very effective but I don’t think that it will work well with all students or classes.

What changes should I make to my plan? Have you tried something similar in a high school setting?

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jessica burns

I would love to do something like this with my classes, but I am at a fairly large private school and I already feel so busy all the time with work, planning, and grading . How do you plan on assessing and holding students accountable?


I’ve been looking at setting up blogs in google sites also. I’m struggling with how students can comment on each other’s blogs on the site. I read a recommendation to insert a form into the site. But, that would require another “click” in order for all of the students to read the comments. They would know their own comments, but I doubt they would go the next step and see other comments. I think that is important. I’m also thinking about a series of google docs that I embed in a google site. That would be easier for comments.


That is a great suggestion. As I looked at it, it looks like I can set it up, add students as the author and then also control who can read it. I would have to add each from a contact list which involves a good bit of setup. But, because of these privacy controls, I think my district will allow it.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x