Blogs are a specific type of social networking tool which is presented as a website with regular entries including commentary, descriptions and links to digital resources such as videos and images. Using the blog activity in a topic ideally consists
of 5 stages.
The blog tool in FLO (OU blog) is intuitive for users (there is a 'New blog post' prompt and the user can use the HTML editor to
add/edit their post entry). Blogs are usually organised as a chronological series of postings created by the author/s of the blog (the student/s).
You may want to prompt students what to blog about (this might be assessment information), either in the introduction or somewhere else in the FLO site depending on the blog's purpose. A blog can be used for formative assessment (eg reflections) or summative
assessment (eg a final account of their learning).
Good practice guides and tip sheets
Good practice guides and tip sheets have been developed to support quality in both curriculum design and teaching practice. Good practice guides provide
a pedagogical overview and tip sheets provide you with practical strategies and ideas for implementation. Links to blog-related resources are provided below.
What is the purpose of the blog – what do you want students to do using this tool?
Do you want the blog to be private (separate individual blog) or public (visible individual blog, or blog together)?
Is the blog a task that students will do iteratively during the semester, or will it fall within a set timeframe?
These are some of the questions to ask before you set up the tool. As a teacher, you can view participation in the blog and grade it.
Once you have determined your blog's purpose, you can set it up.
Click Turn editing on button
Click Add an activity or resource to open the Activity Chooser
Click the OU blog icon
You will be taken to the Adding a new OU blog screen where you can set the parameters of your blog.
Give the blog a Name and Introduction.
If desired, use the Individual blogs drop-down menu to select individual blogs. If individual blogs are not required, leave this menu at the default no (blog together or in groups)
The Blog can be marked by grade or rating. Select Teacher grades students if you want to give the student an overall grade for the Blog activity.
Rating allows you to rate individual blog post which can then be aggregated to produce a final grade for the student. One of the aggregate options must be selected if rating is used as a grading method.
Click the Save and display button
Timeline block: The Blog tool does not show to students in the Timeline block.
To administer the blog you can view how users are participating, as well as set up a grade for the blog.
View the participation of a user
Click into the module from the topic homepage
Click Participation by user
To limit participation by date, click enable and select dates. Click Update.
Results will display below.
Click Details beside user name to view that user's posts and comments.
Use tabs to toggle view between posts and comments
Grade a blog activity
Teacher grade students
Open the blog and click on the Click Participation by user button
Select a grade from the drop-down menu in one of the following two locations
In the display, all users view, select a grade for each student from the drop-down menu. ClickSave changes
Click on the details link beside the user name. Select the User gradetab, select grade then clickSave changes
Select a rating from the drop-down list for each post.
Based on the aggregation type, grade will be automatically calculated in the gradebook.
Having used the blog activity in your topic, you can now ask these questions:
Was it an effective activity (did it achieve what you wanted it to?)
Did students benefit from using the blog?
Did students give you feedback about blog use (eg using the feedback activity)? Did they have problems with it?
The answers to these and other questions may help you refine the activity in the next iteration of your topic, or you may decide to use another tool.