Blogging? Again?

BLOGGING – take 2.

I’m a serial wanna-be blogger. A repeat would be blogger. The web must be awash with the debris of abandoned good intentions, with unused Blog pages being among the largest amount of detritus. If the web was a Word Cloud ‘Unused Blog’ would probably be right up there, big and bold. And, of course, contributing to that would be my own innumerable false starts. These could fall into some clearly defined catagories:

  1. Some were on sites I’ve long since forgotten exist (maybe they don’t anymore). I may have registered out of curiosity to see what was on offer and had a little play around, or I may have registered with a genuine intention to keep up a Blog of some sort.
  2. Some Blogs I set up and began but then fell into non-posting (normally life’s business), by the time I returned had lost the notebook with the login details and so would have to abandon and start again.
  3. No real purpose to the Blogging – or scattered focus. Try to define it into one thing and then want to write about something that doesn’t fit and feeling stuck = period of non-posting!
  4. Not sure who I’m writing it for – whether myself or an audience. In that case, what audience?!

I started the H800 (Open University Masters Module in Distance and Online Education) in February 2017. I wanted to start writing a Blog in October when I went through the registration and application process. But I didn’t.

Then, I wanted to start again when the course began. But I didn’t!

Then, it felt like I’d need to back date everything I’d wanted to write from October, and that seemed like too much, so I didn’t!

READING ABOUT BLOGGING

Today, among other themes and papers) I read “Characterising the different blogging behaviours of students on an online distance learning course” by Kerawella et al (2008).

There were a lot of things I didn’t like in the article. Assumptions it made and the presumptions it seemed to make (See my questions and thoughts on mindmap).

However, what the article did prompt me to decide to stop worrying about topic, tone, audience, being academic or being formal or informal…and just go for it. I nearly always have an internal dialogue running while I’m reading or note-taking, so this will provide a useful port for these (or at least as many as I can find time to write about).

Also to store extra links of interest to follow up or whatever else. So, I’m taking the plunge (again) with high hopes for ongoing recorded reflections…

The first thing to follow up will be the references in this quote from the article:

Characterising the different blogging behaviours of students on an online distance learning course. Kerawella et al (2008):

“Whilst there have been several studies about how blogging can support learning through, for example, the development of knowledge communities (e.g. Oravec 2003), supporting meaning-making (Fiedler 2003) and enabling the sharing of resources and opinions (Williams and Jacobs 2004), it appears that little attention has been paid to exploring the student experience of blogging. It is recognised that students need to develop blogging skills, such as finding a suitable ‘voice’ for learning (Mortensen and Walker 2002) and writing (Abdullah 2003) in a public space, but what challenges do students face when they are trying to blog? And how do their perceptions of these challenges impact upon the ways in which they use their blog?”

I need to check on the claims made by Oravec, Fielder and William’s and Jacobs because many precepts in the article article seem to be based on ideas drawn from here. In particular the idea that “students need to develop Blogging skills…”

Why? Is my question to this, but then I haven’t read around it yet.

Other questions raised are:

How can they say it was successful when only 15 out of 108 responded. Of those two didn’t participate at all and four only did because they thought they had to?

What impact has it had, positive and negative, that tutors and coursemates are reading the Blogs? This hasn’t been measured or really discussed other than in terms of community.

Tools. It states that students had wide freedom of choices, but the platform itself was prescribed. This could impact of the students’ feelings of ownership.

My mindmap below, based on the reading highlights other concerns or questions I have with some of the points made.

blogging-mindmap-kerawalla-et-al.jpg

It could yet prove to be that I’ll fall once again into the ‘blogging avoidance’ catagory but I’m hoping there’ll be more of the others going on, with less of the self-consciousness but I’m sure this is almost inevitable to some degree if writing publicly?

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