Let's start with blogs. How could you use a blog in an ELI course? Here are some things I can think of:
- Each student could be required to create and keep a blog in which to record thoughts about course material, current events and other course-related items with analytical commentary, reading responses, etc. Other students could be required to post comments to classmates' blogs. (Devil's advocate: how is this any different from what many of us do in Blackboard, having students post short papers or analyses and having classmates comment on them?)
- The professor could keep a course blog (or a blog for all her/his courses combined--in other words, something like "Dr. Lerner's Sociology Blog" rather than "Dr. Lerner's Soc 266 Blog"), posting relevant news items, pop culture examples, youtube clips, etc. with short analysis. Students could be encouraged, and/or required or incentivized, to comment on the blog or write guest posts.
- The professor could set up a class blog (either public, or private so that only the students in the class could see it) in which students take turns posting something, and other students have to comment. This would be like the online equivalent of, in f2f classes, requiring a different student each week to be prepared to start the discussion on a text or other course materials. (Devil's advocate: again, couldn't you do this just as well in a Blackboard discussion forum? What's new here about what blogs have to offer teaching and learning?)
What else could you do with a blog in your teaching? Have you used blogs in your classes (as a teacher or a student)? How did you use them, and how well did it work?