Learning Central, Learning Technology

The Use of Blogs for Teaching and Learning

by Jin Tan

Recently we received some requests from schools about allowing students to create blogs as part of their courses using Cardiff University Blogs, but restricting access to just lecturers and students.

The Cardiff University Blogs platform is currently designed for public blogging. Although you could do so by password protecting posts, it may not be the most suitable tool for your teaching and learning requirements.

We wrote this paper – “The Use of Blogs for Teaching and Learning in Cardiff University” to introduce the blog services in Cardiff University and to help you understand where the blog tool is of most benefit in relation to your teaching approaches and desired learning outcomes.

Your comments about this paper and/or your experience of using the blogging tools for teaching and learning are warmly welcomed.

Comments

  • Simon Wood

    Very thorough & detailed feature comparison! One of the aspects of blogging that I think it is important to learn about at an early stage (right at the point where you’re thinking about visibility and audience) is how it fits with your academic identity. So understanding and managing your ‘digital footprint’ and things like SEO. Of course there’s value in the process of framing and articulating your thoughts – but why use a blog to do that? I’d argue it’s because you can get connect with peers – and get more feedback – something you’ve touched on. I’d go further: it’s worth making an informed decision about whether to get your own domain, and find a platform you can use with that – because you’ll always be able to take it with you.

    Oh, and on the question of using Cardiff Blogs with access restricted to lecturers and students – just to add another option, there’s an LTI plugin for WordPress. WordPress is a powerful and mature platform, so it wouldn’t only provide a good blogging experience within the VLE, but also a familiarity with what has become a ubiquitous CMS that many employers would appreciate.

  • Jin Tan

    Thank you for your comments, Simon. I agree that at first staff/schools need to identify their teaching and learning approaches regarding to their own contexts/scenarios. Some may have used too many approaches and tools, some may require to use a tool without reflecting on existing practice. There are alternative practice by using different technologies, blogging is just one of them. Hopefully this resource helps staff/schools to make a good decision if they are thinking of using blogs. We encourage staff/schools to discuss with us no matter it’s about choosing technologies or using university supported/non-supported services.

    In terms of the LTI plugin for WordPress, it’s not provided yet by the University Blogs service. Do you know any good example/case study on this? We can discuss with the service teams to identify user requirements further. If it brings better experience for users, we’d suggest it to the service.

    • Simon Wood

      I’m sure Stirling must be using it (this was developed out of the JISC ceLTIc II project, for which Stirling were the lead) though I don’t know about this. Other ceLTIc II partners maybe – though we were one, and we’re not! Unfortunately I moved jobs just after we joined ceLTIc II (part of which was a shared WebPA service hosted at ULCC) and I don’t know whether we had any further involvement.

      But WordPress with LTI is still very much WordPress. Same interface, same experience, same capabilities – but with the VLE as the ‘tool consumer’ (i.e. the route for access for users).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *