Rise of Academic Blogging
As per the recent article published in New York Times, blog posts and comments will most likely take the place of conventional term papers and response essays.
Since the past couple of years, a number of literature, business and engineering courses have been asking their students for blogs which are supposed make up for most of the writing part. This is exactly why professors teaching in universities want the customary term paper and essay structure to be modified and redone.
There are high chances of students of Vanderbilt to have some information regarding this trend in blogging. This is because, over time its faculty has been using blogs and/or discussion boards for displaying academic assignments written by students instead of making them read it out loud in front of a huge audience.
According to a senior lecturer of mathematics in Vanderbilt, Derek Bruff, when students get to know that their fellow mates will be going through their work, they have this tendency of writing better and structuring their sentences more appropriately. On the other hand, they do not really give that much heed when only their professors are the ones checking their assignments.
Bruff, who is presently a teacher of statistics, has incorporated the use of blog posts which keeps getting updated by assignments, quizzes and queries that students have and this has actually proven to be very helpful in facilitating students with textbook reading. As a matter of course, this new medium has made students more interactive and capable of coming up with unique questions of their own.
Bruff thinks that regular blog posts compel students to analyze and get into the writing habit, about course topics, more than those graded essays. To Bruff, blogging deals more with the participation of students and less with assessment of their assignments. Furthermore, multimedia allows students to be relatively more creative and different than the traditional formal medium and this factor should also be regarded highly.
Professors can confine the blog posts of their students to their sole self only or if they want others to check it out then they make it visible instead of privatizing them.
This blogging trend actually teaches the students the ethics of flaunting their skills and attributes in the realm of internet. When these students get into the practical, these blogs can be very helpful and employers can even appoint them on the basis of these posts only.
Although many professors, across the country, favor blog writing and believe it offers chances of instant feedback, there are many others who think that students cannot enhance their sense of analysis and argumentation without formal papers.
Nevertheless, formal papers are losing their worth by the day. A study conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement discovered that in the past year, only 18 percent of first year college students and half of seniors were required to do papers of 20 pages or more.