In my Computer Authoring course, I ask students to share Clear and Unclear blog posts each week, reflecting on what they learn and do not understand in the module. I use Canvas’ group feature to have them share the URL for their blog post with blog buddies. I ask them to give their blog buddies feedback on each new post. Students do this by creating announcements in their Canvas group area. They can even get fancy and add their blogs as external feeds so that new posts automatically appear as group announcements when new reflections are posted.
I also ask students to share the URL for their blog post with me through a Canvas assignment web link. This allows me to know when new posts are ready for assessment. I then use Canvas’ SpeedGrader tool to quickly move from assignment to assignment, which saves me precious time when grading. This pays off for students because the less time I spend hunting for their blog posts, the more time I can spend giving feedback and getting their graded work to them in a timely manner.
I created this short video to explain how students should submit their blog posts and what I see when it is submitted correctly.
Workshop at the 2014 NCCE Conference in Seattle
Blogging portfolios or bPortfolios will be introduced, including how they can be used to improve student achievement. Participants will learn how to: implement bPortfolios, assess student reflections, scaffold students in reflective writing, particularly with regards to Common Core Standards, and implement learning analytics based on bPortfolio and student achievement data.
Wicks, D., Lumpe, A., Chen, D., Sallee, J. (2014, March). Blogging to improve student achievement. Workshop presented at the Northwest Council for Computer Education, Seattle, WA.
This presentation provides answers to ten common questions about bPortfolios that students have when the are first introduced to this tool for reflecting and documenting their learning, and working towards competency on program standards.
- What is a blog?
- What is an electronic portfolio?
- What is a bPortfolio?
- Who is the audience?
- What are we supposed to blog about?
- How often should we blog?
- What about privacy concerns?
- How are tags and categories used to organize content?
- Can I create my own categories?
- What tags should we be using?
The web page linked above uses a table to compare features of blogs, wikis, and Google Docs. Comparison topics include definitions, number of concurrent authors, and how each tool is used in collaborative activities. The author, who is unknown, outlines commonly known strengths and weaknesses of each tool. For example, one of the advantages of using a wiki is that a previous revision can be reverted to at any time. An example of a wiki disadvantage is that a user can accidentally override a fellow collaborator’s contribution if the wiki is used as a synchronous tool. Teachers can use this web page to help decide if one of these tools might be appropriate for a lesson that integrates technology. While all three tools can be used for reflection, blogs are probably most commonly associated with reflective activities. The table includes links to several blogs focused on reflective practice including David Warlick’s blog.
Before Twitter and Twine, I used Delicious to drive my blogging in WordPress. Delicious compiled all bookmarks for a given day and sent them to WordPress. WordPress shared the links as a “Links of the Day” post. I would modify the “Links of the Day” post to create a reflection about the contents of one or more of the links. Life was good.
However, when I added Twitter for microblogging and Twine for steroid-bookmarking (oh it is so much more than a bookmarking tool) I began neglecting my WordPress blog because I was posting new links to Twine instead of Delicious. Twine allows me to tweet about my bookmarks (and so much more) so I thought life was really good until I remembered that I was forgetting to blog. (sigh)
Tweecious (hope you are still with me) may help me complete the circle as now I can use Twine to bookmark and tweet (and so much more). My tweet URLs will get picked up by Tweecious and posted to Delicious. Delicious bookmarks will then be sent to WordPress, which will prompt me to blog. At this point I believe life may be good again so I’ll stop.
Oh, one more thought, I may consider dropping Delicious all together if Twine would send WordPress my links of the day.
The cast (in order of appearance in this reflection)