Using Blogs and Wikis to enhance learning and assessment

Using Blogs to enhance feedback,
learning and assessment
Dr Douglas Chalmers
Blended learning co-ordinator
Glasgow School for Business and Society
An example of a current
blog – Media Ethics
•4th year undergraduate –
Journalism and Media
•Compulsory for journalism
(NCTJ accredited)
•Optional for Media
•Applies ethical
approaches to decisions in
the media
Success with student involvement:
Success with student involvement:
•Class involvement 50% + for each
•Recursive involvement once
different ethical frameworks
•An extension of the classroom
•A living record of progress through
the syllabus
Using the Blogs for formative
•Set class task, and
encourage maximum
involvement in blog
•Set aside one teaching slot
to critique the comments
•Comments are anonymised
for this process
•Prepare comments/
annotations beforehand
using colour coding
The journalistic case of Nick
Martin Clarke (see word
From a summative point of view:
How to mark?
• For best use, need interesting (!) topic
– Without real involvement a dimension is missing
• To become a real part of the module, the blogs need
to be lively
– ‘Dead’ blogs only attract zombies……
• Encourage involvement through:
– Positive marking (i.e. rule out ‘negative’ marking)
– Have period of formative assessment first
– Use an approach marking the best 3, or 5 perhaps
Setting assessment criteria
• One approach – Marking through banding:
• Undergraduate:
E = 35% - 39%
D = 40 – 49%
C = 50 – 59%
B = 60 – 69%
A = 70%+
• Use (+ & -) ie B = 65; B+ = 67; B++ = 69 etc
Setting Assessment Criteria 2
• Possible approaches:
• Average out ‘best 5’ or best 3 contributions
• Ask students to limit themselves to say 300
words (please)
• Or:
– 2 questions posed for summative assessment.
Students requested to post contribution of max
500 on one, and a ‘critique’ of a colleagues
posting in 500 words. (have used this for
Approach applied to other
•International Events Management
•Multimedia journalism (PG)
Complementary to face to face learning
Gauge of Student participation
Tool for peer to peer collaboration
Creates good revision aid for students
Issues to be aware of
Needs proper integration (no simple ‘add-on)
Need to provide model of best-use to students
Needs monitoring to ensure full involvement
Not universally applicable to all modules everywhere