Proposal Title

Using blogging in a biology graduate course to evaluate learning

Session Type

Short and Tweet

Room

P&A Rm 150

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

blogging, literature analysis, social media, digital scholarship, content creation

Primary Threads

Evaluation of Learning

Abstract

In this session I will outline the benefits and challenges of using blogging as a method of evaluation in a graduate level course and will provide attendees with some ideas for how to execute this type of assessment. In Fall 2014, I used a blogging assignment as an evaluation tool for 25% of the final mark in a biology graduate course. The assignment was scaffolded over several weeks of in-class discussion and independent scholarship by the students. We began with a class discussion on scientific blogging, post writing, and publicizing strategies and students shared with the class examples of scientific blogs that they enjoyed reading. The students were tasked with verbally summarizing a peer-reviewed research article, explaining their approach to writing a blog post on the topic, and were also required to peer review the blog posts of their classmates. The assignment required students to analyze and evaluate a primary research article and to write a blog post in order to engage with social media as scientists. A portion of the mark was based on the popularity of their blog post as measured by blog metrics in order to determine how effectively they used social media tools to publicize their work. Feedback collected from the students indicated that they found the assignment engaging and refreshing and felt that the skills gained by doing the assignment were valuable.

Elements of Engagement

I propose to start with a quick brainstorming session with the audience to survey attitudes and preconceived notions about blogging. I’ll use this as a starting place to challenge some of these notions and to illustrate the effectiveness and usefulness as blogging as an evaluation tool for learning using an example from one of my courses. I’ll end the presentation with a group exercise in order to generate a list of ideas for how blogging can be incorporated into any course.

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Jul 9th, 3:15 PM

Using blogging in a biology graduate course to evaluate learning

P&A Rm 150

In this session I will outline the benefits and challenges of using blogging as a method of evaluation in a graduate level course and will provide attendees with some ideas for how to execute this type of assessment. In Fall 2014, I used a blogging assignment as an evaluation tool for 25% of the final mark in a biology graduate course. The assignment was scaffolded over several weeks of in-class discussion and independent scholarship by the students. We began with a class discussion on scientific blogging, post writing, and publicizing strategies and students shared with the class examples of scientific blogs that they enjoyed reading. The students were tasked with verbally summarizing a peer-reviewed research article, explaining their approach to writing a blog post on the topic, and were also required to peer review the blog posts of their classmates. The assignment required students to analyze and evaluate a primary research article and to write a blog post in order to engage with social media as scientists. A portion of the mark was based on the popularity of their blog post as measured by blog metrics in order to determine how effectively they used social media tools to publicize their work. Feedback collected from the students indicated that they found the assignment engaging and refreshing and felt that the skills gained by doing the assignment were valuable.