Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Student blogs

On Biblical Theology, Jim West draws attention to a blog called U of London Bachelor of Divinity: Davide's Notes, which describes itself as "Notes on what I'm studying / what I studied in the (loose) context of the Bachelor of Divinity degree at the University of London". Rubén Gómez picks up on this in Bible Software Review Weblog and comments:
I think blogs like this one are a very interesting development in the field of Biblical Studies. Up until fairly recently, external students enrolled at the University of London, particularly those living outside Great Britain, did not have much chance to exchange opinions, share news and links, and encourage and be encouraged by fellow students. Now all that has changed. Maybe not everybody is aware yet, but the fact is that the Internet has potentially revolutionize the way we learn, study and live.
Like Rubén, I have some familiarity with the London BD External since I'm an external examiner to the programme. I am encouraged to see this as an way of navigating through the course. But what interests me about this blog is the experiment in student blogging. It makes me wonder whether this is something that could be tried on a larger scale, not just with externally registered students but also with internal students. Perhaps individual students could be encouraged to keep their own temporary blog during the course of their studies in the way that some students are currently asked to keep a "logbook" as part of the assessment for courses. Or perhaps one could have a group blog? One of the things I have found a bit disappointing in my own attempts to engage in innovative teaching methods has been the use of the e-list for given courses. Students have on the whole been pretty reluctant to get involved with discussions on e-lists I've set up to go with particular courses (e.g. see the ASTER Project Case Study on one of my courses). Would they react differently to blogging? Has anyone experimented with student blogging as an element in or a supplement to teaching and assessment on a given course?

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