And so it begins… teaching with blogs @ SIM

SIM's way of getting you to upgrade yourself
SIM’s neat way of saying “Upgrade yourself”. See the other one here…

Too many things to blog about, too little time. I’ll be teaching from 9am tomorrow at SIM. It’s going to be interesting to manage COM125 with 77 students and COM242 with 59 students. The COM125 class is broken up into two modules due to sheer size, but these figure are bound to change after add/drop date.

I’ve setup blogs for both classes, COM125: Intro to Internet and COM242: Mass Media Effects. I’ve also shared my syllabus on both blogs, so let me know what you think of the whole package. Each week, I’ll be having COM125 students blog individually via blogger.com, while having COM242 students post three reading questions as comments on the class blog. I chose blogger.com since it allows students to get creative with them aesthetics (blog templates) and to use sidebar widgets to augment their online presence in more interesting ways.

I want to aggregate all the blog feeds that my 77 students will be producing. Reading all their blogs on a regular basis is going to be a real chore until I can figure out some smart way of doing it… so far I’ve got a COM125 test aggregator going at yourminis.com. I could also use my public bloglines, though it’s not as intuitive.

As mentioned before, I’m trying to adapt Amy Jo Kim’s game mechanics framework into my classes. While traditionally meant for writing applications, I’ve been interesting in using an idea of “collaborative competition” for class-based learning. So far I’ve come up with the following via the use of blogs:

COLLECTING: Various Award Web Badges (e.g. Most Commented, Most Authority, Special Mention, Best Presentation)

POINTS: Receiving Grades (1-3 points per post), Extra points for being cited in mass media

FEEDBACK: Real-timeness in scoring (e.g. widget-like leaderboard: inbound links via technorati ranking, blog traffic via sitemeter visits, geo-tracking via clustrmaps)

EXCHANGES: Happens when students link, trackback, comment on one another. Sharing of reputation and ownership of ideas.

CUSTOMIZATION: Blog aesthetics refers to personalization/identity/ownership

As always, ideas and suggestions are welcomed!

9 thoughts on “And so it begins… teaching with blogs @ SIM

  1. This idea is indeed useful to get students to blog. You could probably even have more points when a blogger outside your class links to a student’s blog post. if you have time then I will invite you to my campus to share this idea with my teachers.

  2. Pingback: CIT Blog

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