Blogging in Higher Education
Few weeks ago I have surveyed my students about the use of a blog for the Marketing Communication unit, Bachelor in Leisure Marketing – Now Events and Leisure Marketing (Bournemouth University). This small research was done in the context of the PG Cert in Higher Education Practice
Here some results and ideas.
Practical reasons to use the blog for the Marketing Communication Unit
50% of the students would use a blog for Marketing Communication (mostly agree, and definitively agree) if it were a tool for sharing lectures’ notes/recordings, 25% are neither agree nor disagree, while only 25% mostly disagree (figure 1).
The majority (53.57%) is more interested in having the tutor commenting on lectures’ notes instead having peers commenting on that (39.29%) 57.14% of the students would use a blog for MarComm if it were a tool for sharing additional or complementary resources (figure 2). But in this case the discussion could be also lead by the tutors (60.71%) but also by the students themselves (64.29%).
Figure 2.Blog as a tool for sharing additional or complementary resources.
Main motivations to use a blog for the unit
57.14% declared that they would use he blog it were part of the final evaluation (figure 3) to foster critical thinking (60.72%) and opinion sharing (57.14%) but not to share writings about marketing communication (53.57%). As regards the possibility of fostering the sense of community, students did not agree: 14 students were in favour of that while 14 were not.
Figure 3.Blog should be part of the final evaluation.
As regards the possible reasons for not using the blog 53.57% of the students indicated time constrains, followed by dislike for writing (17.86%) and concerns over privacy (10.71%). Only one student indicated technology concerns as possible reason for not using the blog.
Type of contents the blog should provide and authorship
As regards the content proposed for the blog students mentioned articles about news and trends (n=5), videos (n=2) and more information about the assignment (n=2). When asked about the author of the blog, students seemed to have no doubts: 67.86% indicated that the blog’s author should be the unit tutor with students commenting on posts (figure 4).
Figure 4.Who should be the author of the blog.
Lesson Learnt 🙂
What I am now aware of is that the use of blog should be tactically and strategically framed into the course following a strict pedagogical strategy, that is fostering the knowledge construction processes through the social construction of meanings. It should therefore help critical thinking and opinion sharing. Tutor should not be passive, but extremely active in order to engage with students on different topics.