Using Blogs for Better Student Writing Outcomes

Sara Haefeli

Abstract


This article explores the application of on-line blogs in a traditional classroom environment to achieve better student writing and analysis outcomes. The blogging platform is ideally suited for approaching a subject of study from multiple perspectives, and when used well, writers can easily incorporate combinations of concepts, theories, methods, as well as modes of communication in their work. Students demonstrated the ability to apply concepts in new contexts, to analyze, to synthesize ideas from disparate sources and source types, and to evaluate the quality of the ideas presented to them as well as the quality of the music studied. Students illustrated their work with visual art, embedded audio and visual examples, and were publicly connecting a traditionally esoteric arts practice to a broader community. The fact that blogs are immediately available upon completion enables the professor to use a “just in time” teaching strategy, pulling out particularly great content for class discussion. Examples of students’ writing and responses from a post-course survey demonstrate specific educational outcomes. Studies from writing and curriculum development pedagogues corroborate the author’s classroom experiences with student blogging.

Keywords


american music; avant garde; blog; blogging; literacy; writing; analysis; integrated arts education

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ISSN 2155-109X