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Weblogs, Blended Learning, and the Writing Curriculum

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Christian Weisser

on 2 January 2015

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Transcript of Weblogs, Blended Learning, and the Writing Curriculum

Weblogs, Blended Learning, and the Writing Curriculum
Christian R. Weisser
Associate Professor of English
Professional Writing Program Coordinator
Penn State University, Berks Campus
Class Blogs Project
Beginning in Fall 2009
Weekly blog topics
Students write approximately 2 entries per week
incorporated into approximately 2 classes each semester
upper-division, writing-intensive courses
Most entries were 2-3 paragraphs
350 words per entry
16 week semester:
11,200 words per student
approximately 20-25 students per class
Collectively: 250,000 words per class
1,000 pages of typed text per class
approximately 45 pages of
text per student
Ten ways in which class blogs
promote writing pedagogy:

1. Class blogs provide a space to analyze important texts
textbook readings, handouts, internet sources,
and real-world examples
students get regular practice in analytical/evaluative discourse
2. Class blogs allow students to interact with each other
3. Class blogs engage students with diverse audiences
4. Class blogs allow students to create
public/published texts

5. Class blogs help students reflect on
their own writing processes

6. Class blogs help students brainstorm, draft, and revise
7. Class blogs provide a portfolio of students' written work
8. Class blogs allow students to play an
active role in shaping the class

9. Class blogs enable students to easily
incorporate source material

10. Class blogs can be a space for students to
create and display multimedia content

most common usage of class blogs in English/Humanities courses
extend classroom conversations
provide opportunities for more introspective students to participate
consensus-building through collaboration, interaction
encourage reasoned debate and dissensus
writing for instructor
writing for classmates
writing for community members
writing for "expert" guests
students often take writing more seriously when
they recognize its public nature
blogs can be open/closed
first exposure to publication and
the results of open discourse
students reflect on goals and progress in written assignments and research projects
metadiscourse: self-reflection on literacy development
often assigned immediately after longer projects
freewriting: using blog to generate ideas
outlines and thesis statements can be posted to blogs for feedback, reflection
attaching document files for peer-review
student writing is saved, can be collated or printed
can encourage students to take the writing more seriously
can be used in employment situations--intentionally or not
useful for tracking development of writing ability
becomes a resource for later research
students gain a voice in course goals, project
guidelines, and even grading criteria
emergent pedagogy:
student create rather than simply receive knowledge
students learn to negotiate, compromise, and participate in course structure
hyperlinks to online sources
creating easily-accessible bibiliographies
attachments, embedded files, and links to other students' entries
moving beyond textual representation
embedded images, podcasts, and video into blog entries
Full transcript