Friday, February 04, 2005

We have lift off

Yesterday, my second year medicine class and I spent an hour and a half in the multimedia lab and they all set up blogs. See last post for the addresses. There were no major hitches and everyone or almost everyone, (I'm looking at you Pierre :-)) seemed pleased to be creating something new and individual. The first post was a short essay they had written at home entitled "A Typical Day in My Life". They left comments on each others blogs. Then they copied the "Proust Question" (see earlier post) and most had time to answer these and post. As homework, I have asked everyone to post at least one more message and to comment on what the others post. If they wish they can also post photos, links etc. I have a feed from each student blog into my Bloglines so that I can easily consult any updates.
Here are a few questions this whole project has raised in my mind
1) The question of correction. The students' posts aren't in perfect English and I'd like to make some suggestions for corrections. I think I might do this by e-mail rather than in comments.
2) The problem of multifunction blogs. It's nice not to have to play around with lots of different blogs but this one is obviouslydeveloping a bit of a split personality : it's a way of communicating with students and also a metaanalysis tool for the Weblogging course. I should probably have opened a new blog for class communication before I started.
3) Evaluation. This is a language class not a blogging class. Is it going to be easy to distinguish what has been achieved language-wise from web know-how?
4) The eradication of text-messaging habits. (Or is that necessary?)

I'm struck, as I reread these perceived problems by how retrograde I sound: evaluation and correction are usually the last things I have on my mind when I teach.

PCEM2 Students if you can see any problems linked with blogging in class, or if, on the contrary you have something encouraging to say, please leave a comment here.


Sarolta said...

Dear Lesley,
I like your idea of sending corrections to your students by e-mail. Somehow I think comments are for communication with the owner of the blog about the contents of his/her text. It would be friendlier toward the student as well.
Evaluation is a question that every teacher has to consider sooner or later. It'll depend on your aims and critera. Perhaps it's still too early to take decisions about evaluations. At least I am still in the exploration phase, and my thoughts in a jungle. One step at a time. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Kind regards.

Cleve said...

Hey Lesley - nice job on the quick implementation! Are you planning to keep your readers up-to-date on how the class goes? Hope so.

Bee said...

Lesley..if you ask your students to write your mail in their email settings of the blog, you will receive all the posts and comments from these you can read them and respond to them at your pace (suggestion: open a mail account only for this class).
I do not systematically correct them - just note down the major errors, go over them in class and ask everyone to check their blogs and do the necessary adjustments. You may have a look also at a series of rubrics I produced may want to adapt them for your needs.