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B4EE Scenario: Scaffolding Learning in Student Blogs

B4EE Scenario: Scaffolding Learning in Student Blogs

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Two scenarios that cover student learning scaffolds and self organised learning in relation to student blogging projects
Two scenarios that cover student learning scaffolds and self organised learning in relation to student blogging projects

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Published by: University College Falmouth's openSpace on Apr 17, 2012
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Scenario12. Scaffolding learning instudent blogging projects
Note: The two scenarios below address student learning scaffolds (supporting/guiding) and self organised learning. We suggest reading the articles below before commencing with the scenarios:
McLoughlin, C. and Marshall, L. 2000.
Scaffolding: A model for learner support in an online teachingenvironment
. In A. Herrmann and M.M. Kulski (Eds), Flexible Futures in Tertiary Teaching. Proceedings of the 9th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 2-4 February 2000. Perth: Curtin University of Technology.http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2000/mcloughlin2.html ;
and
Paramythis, A. and and Cristea, A. 2008.
Towards Adaptation Languages for Adaptive CollaborativeLearning Support
, CEUR Workshop Proceedings. Vol 384.http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-384/FULLPAPER-p6.pdf 
Scenario A (Collaborative blog):
About the assignment:
In an undergraduate art course, the tutors created a collaborative blog space on Moodle. The studentswere asked to publish one blog per week for thirteen weeks and provide weekly comments to at least two of their peers per week. Each blog post had a required word length between 200 to 300 words.The students were asked to post around the topic of 
How did The Reformation movement in 16 
th
Century Europe impact on Western European art?
 The tutors presented clear criteria for the assignment, including learning aims and outcomes and clearlyworded assessment criteria. In addition to the overall learning aims and outcomes, the tutors were keen for the students to develop Web 2.0 literacy. Together, these various project aspects formed the tutors’teaching goals. The goals for the students included maintaining the required number of blog post andcomments as well as an understating of the Web 2.0 technologies they were asked to use. Theyunderstood that the course tutors were not solely look at
“what we did” 
 
(publishing blog posts andcomments) for the assessment criteria - but
“how we did it” 
(Web 2.0 tools used) and
“how well we did it” 
(consistent quality of the contributions made to the overall discussion).Natasha and Adam got to chatting about the assignment. They realise that neither of them reallyunderstands enough about The Reformation – much less how it might have impacted upon Western art.When they chat to some of their course peers, they quickly realise they are not alone in their lack of understanding. The students decide to post about this problem. The posts don’t receive comments from
This resource was created by University College Falmouth and released as an open educational resource for University College Falmouth through the Blogging For Educational Environments (B4EE) project. The B4EE projectis funded by University College Falmouth's Learning and Teaching Enhancement Programme. © 2012 UniversityCollege Falmouth
 
This work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence.When repurposing this resource please acknowledge the B4EE project.
 
wither the tutors or those students who have a grasp on the subject matter. The students think the tutorswill respond and the tutors think that the student’s fellow classmates will respond. After a week, the problem is addressed in-class by the tutors who offer suggestions and advise to thestudents (suggested reading, an in-class debate and online research materials). During class, the tutorsinstruct the students that, whenever possible, questions posted to the blog should be answered by thestudents themselves, in the first instance. Tutors would only intervene or contribute if the class, as a whole,was struggling with a concept or issue.
Scenario B (Individual blogs):
About the assignment:
In an undergraduate fashion design course, Year 2 students were asked to create professional practiceblogs. While the students were free to choose their blogging subject, they were reminded that the overallaim of the blog was for them to build a professional online profile, including using their blog to startnetworking professionally within the fashion industry. The students were also encouraged to incorporate areflective process as part of their blogs (
“If you experienced a problem, for example working with neoprene,blog about what the problem was and how you overcame it. Demonstrate your learning curve.”).
Theassignment would run until the end of that academic year – although they would be expected to blog untilthey graduated from the course.The tutors presented clear criteria for the assignment, including learning aims and outcomes and clearlyworded assessment criteria.Four weeks into the assignment, students began to complain that half of students who either hadn’t set upblogs by the given deadline or had created a blog and hadn’t posted any blog posts. When asked, thehandful of students who hadn’t engaged with the assignment cited a number of reasons for their lack of participation: lack of knowledge about blogging, confusion over technology, some ‘just didn’t get the point’of the assignment, some didn’t know where to begin’, and some felt intimidated because a number of their peers had ‘amazing’ blogs – far better than anything they could ever come up with.
Key questions
How have you designed the assignment to meet the needs of your students?What instructional strategies (e.g. modelling procedures, group work) will you incorporate into your blogging assignment? Why have you selected these strategies?How will you guide students’ learning for your blogging assignment? What resources, tools and/or expertise will you provide?What value does the technology bring to the assignment? What might your students learn as aresult of your efforts to integrate technology?
This resource was created by University College Falmouth and released as an open educational resource for University College Falmouth through the Blogging For Educational Environments (B4EE) project. The B4EE projectis funded by University College Falmouth's Learning and Teaching Enhancement Programme. © 2012 UniversityCollege FalmouthThis work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence. When repurposing thisresource please acknowledge the B4EE project.

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