Academic Engagement

Help us explore the affordances of academic blogging.

Help Us Explore

Blogging exercises have been used successfully across disciplines, from the humanities to social sciences to medicine.  There are two main ways for instructors to assign blogging as write-to-learn in higher education:

  • Class blog: Students take turns to author short, personal reflective essays on a topic or theme related to the class. Instructors can also use blogs as a way to collect creative assignments that uses online tools, such as podcast and collaborative timeline project.
  • Student personal blogs: Students write personal reflective essays in a journal-like manner; instructors then curate blog posts to put on a class blog. When used consistently over a student’s career,  a blog can take the form of an e-portfolio.

Specific examples:

  • Students in a language class can blog to practice their vocabulary and language skills; they can also establish a digital pen-pal relationship with students from other class sections or at other universities.
  • Students in a media studies course on American television can analyze current television programs in light of their class readings.
  • Economics students can discuss current news in the context of the economic theories they learned in class.
  • The instructor of a Latin American and Caribbean Studies course uses a course blog to display the outcome of his students’ collaborative timeline project.  Students and the instructor contributed meaningful events, periods, and dates from course readings and outside sources to create an overarching timeline of the history of sciences and technologies in Latin America.
  • Students in an ethnomusicology course put their podcasts (course capstone project), which analyze the sonic history of objects of historical importance on their course blog. The blog format allows them to present images and other information that enriches their podcasts.

More Information

Read about using blog as a write-to-learn exercise and watch a recording of a faculty roundtable on blogging and wiki assignments to enhance learning. If you have question about the service or would like to discuss whether class blog is suitable for your course, email academictech@uchicago.edu to set up a consultation.

Goal 1

Work with interested faculty and instructors to evaluate, utilize, and document various approaches to academic blogging.

Goal 2

Cultivate a community of academic and scholarly blogging approaches to support teaching, learning, and research.

Goal 3

Create outcomes that inform new approaches of pedagogy by exploring the embedded affordances of blogging.

Year 1-2 Metrics

During the 2015-2017 Academic years we aspire to reach these targets:

Faculty Participation

Course Utilization

Student Participation

Academic Showcase

 

Faculty and instructors can request class blogs for their courses by filling out the Class Blog Request form. All class blogs are fully supported by Academic and Scholarly Technology Services staff–we will help you set up the site, enroll your students, provide technical support, in class training, and more.