The Use of Weblogs in Higher Education: Benefits and Barriers (Advantages:…
The Use of Weblogs in Higher Education: Benefits and Barriers
Types of blogs:
a) Interactive weblogs and closed ones (based on the kinds of comments)
b) Content (personal topics, political/social/economic information, technology, etc.)
Types of educational weblogs:
a) Instructor weblog: additional communication channel.
b) Student weblog: learning or project weblogs.
Motivations for blogging:
a) Documenting one's life
b) Commentary and opinions
c) Expressing deeply felt emotions
d) Articulating ideas through writing
e) Forming and maintaining community forums
a) Weblogs are easy to setup and administrate in contrast to other technologies.
b) Weblogs makes easier to publish all types of resources (text, images, video, etc.) to the Web when compared to traditional web publishing.
d) Weblogs can be updated easily, from anywhere without having to worry about FTP connections, web authoring software, etc.
e) Weblogs have the ability to reach a large audience without losing information quality and allowing for different levels of detail. Weblogs break the trade off between reach and richness of information.
f) 24/7 (anytime, anywhere) access to information posted in weblogs.
g) No special blogging software is needed to create a weblog: some bloggers use plain HTML to create their weblogs. Weblogs can also be created with some scripts coded in Perl or using some kind of templates that makes blogging easier.
h) Instructor does not need to periodically request the learning logs to the students.
i) Other technologies can be applied jointly. For instance, using of Wikis as enablers for group writing and knowledge sharing.
a) The first and foremost benefit of weblogs in HEIs is their use as e-learning tools. This way, the teaching-learning process can continue outside the classroom.
b) Weblogs help create connections between students with diverse opinions and interests. This encourages critical thinking and teaches the value of respect towards other students’ points of view.
c) Weblogs’ features (linking, replying, and tracking) make easier sharing knowledge and information.
a) Instructors may have difficulty in assessing student participation in the weblog. There are several indicators to take into account: group grading, individual posting, quality of posts, etc., as well as subjectivity vs. qualitative appreciations.
b) The use of technology- based tools may be another barrier. It can be of a structural nature, for instance lack of computers, or difficult access to the Internet (as happens in Spain where the Internet connection is quite expensive and slow). Another source of disadvantage would be computer illiterate users, specially in those countries with a wide digital divide.
c) Even though most weblogs are hosted in public, free ASPs, learning weblogs should be hosted in private servers, so that they do not show neither advertisements nor banners (which are the most common method of ASPs financing).
a) Is it always preferable to have classroom discussions done publicly? Should all these weblogs be open to the entire blogosphere or is there value in having discussions open to class participants only? This does not mean that only students in the classroom should be able to comment, but in general whether the readership should always be a wider audience.
b) Should there be a concern about people posting under other people's names?
Priscilla Carranza / March 14th, 2019