Web logs in the Post-Secondary Writing Classroom: A Study of Purposes

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Title: Web logs in the Post-Secondary Writing Classroom: A Study of Purposes
Author: Holmes, Ashley Joyce
Advisors: Michael P. Carter, Committee Member
Ruie J. Pritchard, Committee Member
Chris M. Anson, Committee Chair
Abstract: In the past few decades, education research has been thriving in the areas of computers and new technologies. Often, teachers turn to what is popular in the technological world for new ideas to use in their classrooms. One such technology that has become extremely popular in Web culture is Web logs, now most often referred to as 'weblogs,' or simply 'blogs.' The present work seeks to further research on weblogs in education by identifying the various ways in which current post-secondary writing course teachers are using them in their courses. This definitional study attempts to answer the question: for what educational, or non-educational, purposes are weblogs in post-secondary writing courses being used? The study looks at the way educators claim to be using weblogs in their courses based on how they explain their blog assignments to students (either on a course syllabus or course blog posting). Adding depth to the analysis, the study also explores survey responses from thirty-two college writing teachers across the country. The eleven main uses for weblogs in writing courses that this study identifies are as follows: 1) as a public space with a broad audience, 2) to post student work, 3) as a journal, 4) to reflect on course-related assignments, 5) for student discussion and interaction, 6) to explore and share ideas, as well as brainstorm, 7) to engage with and respond to assigned readings, 8) for collaborative projects, 9) to link to Web materials, 10) to ask and answer questions related to the course, and 11) to discuss topics not necessarily related to the course. After compiling data as to these current uses of weblogs in college writing courses, this researcher explores the implications of these uses, offering suggestions and drawing conclusions as to how the new technology of weblogs has impacted and will impact college level writing courses.
Date: 2005-04-28
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/991

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