All entries for Monday 12 June 2006

June 12, 2006

Academic blogs at Penn

Writing about web page http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/09/blog

Fascinating article from InsideHigherEd.com about a plan at the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Science to give every student a blog – not just give, in fact, but require them to use. The system seems to include some similar features to our own suggestions about ways of using blogs, with students asked to use their blog as a way to introduce themselves even before they arrive at university, and faculty posting questions to students' blogs to prompt them to write on certain topics at certain times (like our own "blog prompts" idea).

What makes this system strikingly different from any others that I'm aware of is that:–

  1. The blogs are exclusively private, viewable only by the student, an academic advisor and some administrators. Students can't change that.
  2. What the students write on their blog is part of their academic record. They can't go back and change entries after they've published them.

As the comments to the article suggest, a private, uneditable record isn't really a blog at all – it's more like an e–portfolio or a transcript document. But it's an interesting idea nonetheless.


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