Australasian Journl of Educational Technology, 2008, 24(4)
2.Students will have improved their information search and literature review skillswhile developing contents for blogs.3.Students will have improved their academic writing skills (e.g. referencing,paraphrasing) while reporting literature review results through blogs.Before blog activities, students worked on web designs in
and gained basictechnical skills in designing web pages. However, the instructor noticed that studentswere focusing mostly on technical applications of web design, rather than uponwriting and developing content for their web pages. Moreover, they could not publishtheir web pages after designing in
since most students could not find aserver with free web hosting. Therefore, the instructor thought that it would be easy toget the students to concentrate on writing and developing blog content rather thanfocusing on technical side of web design, as blogs are relatively easy to use tools withfree web hosting services. Furthermore, the instructor thought that access to blogs bymany people may have a motivating effect towards writing better essays, as suggested by Godwin-Jones (2003).
The participants in the study were an instructor and undergraduate students (n=55)who took the elective
Computer Usage II
in two groups (n=27 and n=28). The students(25 female, 30 male) were third and fourth year students in the department of elementary education. Moreover, 42 students (20 female, 22 male) from the samecohort voluntarily completed an interview form to provide additional data about their blog experiences.
A qualitative research approach, called fieldwork, formed the methodologicalframework of this investigation (Bogdan and Biklen, 1992). The fieldwork approachincorporated a number of data gathering techniques including interviews, documentanalysis, and participant observation to analyse experiences of undergraduate Facultyof Education students with blogs.
The researcher was the instructor for the course in which undergraduate students intwo groups were taught educational applications of various software (
MS Access, MSFrontPage
) as well as Web 2.0 technologies including blogs. After the students learnedhow to create blogs and examined various previous blog applications on the web, theywere required to build up their own blogs with educational content. The researcherrecorded notes about students’ blog activities. Moreover, he noted his notableexperiences and observations while the students were working on their blogs in thecomputer lab.
The documents analysed in this study comprised blog documents created by studentsand their email attachments concerning their blogs. Students emailed the instructorabout the contents and URL addresses of their blog pages. The email attachments andstudents’ blog contents were documented for analysis.