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?