Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An Alternative Way to Turn In Homework

The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wired Campus blog has an interesting article by David Wiley on ways to get the most from your students. One example was to have students turn in their homework in a public blog. Here is an excerpt of the article:
"In 2004 I began asking my students to post their homework on their personal, publicly accessible blogs. (Students who didn’t have a blog before taking a class from me signed up for a blog as one of their first assignments.) By changing their homework assignments from disposable, private conversations between them and me (the way printed or e-mailed assignments work in students’ minds) into public, online statements that became part of a continuing conversation, we realized very real benefits.

The very first semester I began asking students to share their homework this way, a popular e-learning newsletter found and liked one of my students’ essays and pointed its readers to the student’s blog. When the visits and comments from professionals around the world started coming in, students realized that the papers they were writing weren’t just throw-away pieces for class – they were read and discussed by their future peers out in the world. The result was a teacher’s dream — the students’ writing became a little longer, a little more thoughtful, and a little more representative of their actual intellectual abilities. And this benefit came by simply asking students to submit their homework through a different channel. They were already going to write and submit it; I was already going to read it. This was a true two-for-one."
Give the full article a read at:

If you prefer having students keep private blogs that only you and/or other students in the class can view, that feature will be introduced in Blackboard version 9 which we may be going to for the Spring 2010 semester. More on that later.

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