In a few presentations I’ve given, I have mentioned that I sometimes require instructional design and technology students to write blog posts. For example, in my graduate course on elearning and project management, my Masters and doctoral students write blog posts on specific topics. I’ve had audience members sometimes come up to me afterward and ask me about the requirements I use with these blog posts, and I usually provide some general guidelines for them. However, I decided I would go ahead and list here what my requirements are, so everyone can see how I try to encourage blog posts to receive comments.
Much of my understanding of how to do this, admittedly, has come from Darren Rowse at Problogger.net. Darren and his trusty group of guest bloggers provide professional experiences of blogging and blogging for income. While I’m not trying to get my students to become professional bloggers, what Problogger teaches is directly related to creating a professional learning community (PLC), a community that comments, and a community that cares about teaching one another.
Where I’m trying to go
Here are a couple of points I try to make with this assignment:
- Our profession is a community. You have something to teach and something to learn.
- Bloggers are a community. Referencing others’ posts encourages the community.
- Posts should have an opinion and direction. People respond to these.
- By referencing and responding to other bloggers’ posts, you have to justify and relate your ideas. This is where the higher order thinking comes in.
- Including media enhances the post.
- There are good ways and bad ways to be a guest blogger. The structure and format here includes ways to be a good guest blogger.
Here is a list of some of my students’ posts:
- K-12 Education: Moving from the Schoolhouse to the Superhighway
- The Perfect SCORM: Is there an impact to elearning or not?
- SCORM, standards in e-learning, and the groceries truck
- 5 things Facebook can teach us about elearning
Here is my list of requirements for my students’ posts:
- Write a blog post relevant to instructional design and development and elearning.
- Your post should be between 250 – 350 words. (Doc students, this doesn’t include the references.)
- A list of topics can be chosen from _____ .
- Write your post in a word processing document. Skip a line between paragraphs. No paragraph indents.
- Submit it as an email attachment directly to me at _____ .
- Each paragraph in your entry should include at least one link to another blogger’s site. These should be integrated as appropriate in your post. These links should not be listed. Consider agreeing, disagreeing, expanding or piggybacking off another blogger’s post. These links should be evidence of your thinking for this post.
- Your post should have a snappy/sexy/opinionated/pointed title.
- If appropriate, include a Web address to another media, such as a YouTube or TeacherTube video. Be sure to include a sentence that references/introduces your media.
- Your post should have a link to a copyright free and relevant image, such as from Flickr Creative Commons. Be sure to include the attribution information as well. Include the image like this:
- Image available from <insert URL here>
- Image courtesy of <insert username> at <insert URL here>
- Include a brief (100 words or less) biography about you. Include descriptions of your teacher preparation, your work with children, what you’re currently doing and what you would like to do in the future. Be sure to include your name. Write this in third person.
- Include a list of at least 3 keywords to describe your post.
- Monitor your post to see if others have commented. Reply when they have.
- The post should be conversational and informal but free of grammar and spelling errors.
Are there other requirements that you would include or suggest for students when blogging? Add them in the comments and let me know.