Jo Ann Oravec considers blogs from a different perspective again – as a “middle space” between face to face study and structured online delivery. That is, Oravec claims that when educators design “blended” or “web-enhanced” units, the web-enhancement is often instructor-focused. That is, it is online components are either (a) information transfer (eg. lecture notes on the web) or (b) instructor-controlled online learning. Blogs are more inherently learner controlled (depending on how you use them) and allow for the possibility of blended learning that is more student-centred.
The message from this, as it was in the O’Donnell and Diffy & Bruns papers, is that blogs in education allow for individual reflection and learner-centred knowledge formation, but they do so publicly and in a networked environment.
What does it mean? As we think about using blogs in university teaching, let’s think about:
- How can I make learning somewhat student-controlled?
- How can a blog support student reflection, incremental learning and creativity?
- How can blogs support networking by student to connect their own thoughts to others?
- Can blogs be used across units to connect ideas and practices?
Jo Ann Oravec (2003) Blending by Blogging: weblogs in blended learning initiatives. Journal of Educational Media, Vol. 28, Nos. 2–3, October 2003