Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Blogging with students 4

One of the most useful aspects of blogging with EFL students is the interaction created through commenting. From previous experience in global collaborative projects, I know how hard it is for many students to get the hang of quality comments. Without careful guidance, they mostly use the colloquial, short social network-style (Facebook etc.) comments, such as 'wow', 'great job' or other similar exclamations, followed by a long line of smilies. To get a little bit more formal and deeper with comments, we discussed this in detail in class, and I also published specific guidelines in the class wiki, modified from the ones I used to use in international projects.

It seemed to work quite well for the first blog posts. I was glad to see clear exchange and development of ideas in the comments of this blog, for example. Some students still mistook commenting to mean the same as the peer feedback we did on the first drafts. My mistake for not keeping these two activities separate more clearly. So they would point out spelling errors, among other things, in their comments, which sounds a little bit funny when the idea was to try and build discussions on the content. I made sure that I left a comment for each student, modelling commenting for them at the same time.

  • Hopefully, students will learn the importance of a personal perspective in their blog posts, in order to initiate interesting conversations in the comments.
  • As the blog post assignments still come from me, the whole process seems a little bit false and fake. Nevertheless, I feel we need to start from somewhere, and students do need a guiding hand at the beginning, to find their own blogging voice, and the courage to be creative. Let's wait and see!

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Hey Sinikka,

Sorry to leave an off-topic comment, but I couldn't find any other way to contact you through the blog, and I wanted to ask about a possible guest post. Please drop me an e-mail!