The value of (online) blog discussions
(online)Blog discussions can enhance student understanding, add context to academic content, broaden student perspectives, highlight opposing viewpoints, reinforce knowledge, build confidence, and support community in learning. The opportunities for meaningful and engaging (online)Blog discussion may vary widely, depending on the subject matter and format of the course. Motivations for holding planned (online)Blog discussion, however, remain consistent.
Enhance knowledge, understanding, and relevance
Student understanding and ability to connect detailed technical content with other knowledge and experience can be facilitated by open discussion related to applications, connecting principles, prior experiences, current events, emerging technologies, future challenges, etc.
Point out current “state of knowledge” as context for the material
Student’s awareness and understanding of where the course material fits into the evolving state of knowledge in the field can be developed through (online)Blog discussion. Historical context, current events, and outstanding questions are useful topics to address in guiding these discussions.
Build skills in critical thinking and analysis
By interacting with classmates and responding to the varying viewpoints and arguments that may arise during an open discussion, student will learn the value of continually challenging their own preconceptions, notions, understanding, and conclusions.
Build community and confidence
By reading the thoughts of their peers, student can identify with each other in terms of past experience, perspectives, and opinions. By mutually supporting their developing abilities, they can grow more confident in their own skills within their peer group. Students will build their own support communities in this way.