Sunday, January 30, 2005

Mission Accomplished-ish

This is the end of week 2 and I feel that my mission for this week has been
at least partly accomplished.

  • I opened a couple of blogs with other providers and concluded that none was ideal but that 20six was perhaps most promising for my configuration.

  • I looked at a few other teacher and student blogs and concluded that....... male bloggers like black backgrounds. I also decided that while it was fun looking at them and gave me plenty of ideas nothing corresponded exactly to what I want/feel able to do.

  • I thought a bit more about the blog I would like to set up. I want to do this mostly for students of medicine whom I see for a period of 7 weeks. Part of the teaching is face to face and I would devote one 3-hour class to setting the accounts up, showing examples of what has been done elsewhere and perhaps showing my own blog. The rest of the course is done on the net.I might replace some of the online exercises that students currentlyhave to complete with assignments that include posting and commenting on other students' blogs. I am not sure whether I would like them all to have individual blogs or whether it would be best to set up a team blog. I'm also not sure about whether I want them to concentrate on medical subjects or centre their production on more personal concerns. All of this obviously demands further thought!

  • I completed my group task for this week by adding three articles to the wiki database with brief comments. I felt a little frustrated because the comments were so limited; obviously nobody is going to digest a long screed about an article they could read almost as quickly.

  • I continue to read all of the messages sent to the discussion group but with increasing impatience. Get a grip some of you guys!

  • Haven't yet been able to participate in anything live due to timetabling
    clashes and probably won't be able to do so tomorrow but remain hopeful of
    hearing real voices before the end of the course!
  • Looking forward to the next bit.

    Nathan Lowell said...

    Hey, Lezzles.

    I feel your pain ... Let's try to team up on one of the group projects for week three, shall we? Anything strike you as looking like "fun"?

    Graham said...

    Hi Lesley

    You've been really busy! I've been looking at 20six too, and particulalry like the way you can set up categories - I can see how this might be useful with learners, separating posts reflecting on their learning, homework assignments, etc, particularly if this is negotiated with the class together maybe.

    About your short course with the medical students - I have some experience using blogs with students on a short course similar to this (although they were on an Erasmus programme and not studying English), and have tried out both using only a class blog (2003) and using a combination of a class blog and individual blogs (2004).

    I found the most successful option was letting the students have their own learner blogs. I also set them up beforehand (I learned my lesson from the year before, when students lost passwords, and there were other snags that carried on throughout the course), which worked much better.

    If you want to take a look at what the students did, the class blog is here:

    You'll find the links to their individual blogs next to the photos, which also helped me (and other teachers) remember who everyone was, and also added a personal touch I think the students really liked.

    If you have any questions about this, I'd be happy to answer them.

    Nancy McKeand said...

    A quick look at Graham's class website gave me lots of good ideas. I think it will be real helpful for you, Lesley!