It is rare that we come across empirical data that supports what we believe through our own practice, but thanks to Bach at Plethora of Technology I was made privy to a blogging study (Collaborative Blogging as a Means to Develop Elementary Expository Writing Skills ) done at the University of Florida.
The researchers looked at a group of third grade students who were given the task of researching a Native American tribe and producing a five-paragraph essay as the end result of the writing process. What they found were intended and inadvertent results that varied from
- Collaborative blogging helped improve students’ attitudes
- Students transferred knowledge learned during the
collaborative blogging project to other academic and social facets of classroom.
- Collaborative blogging enabled differentiated instruction while
ensuring everyone met with at least some success.
The most impressive thing to me, were, of course, the visuals:
The list of questions asked prior to and post the blogging project tells the tale of student learning and engagement better than any other measure. As a rule, conducting a meaningful survey of your students before and after their learning experience is a portal into the actual changes that took place within the child.
Drexler, Wendy, Kara Dawson, Richard E. Ferdig. “Collaborative Blogging as a Means to .” Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education 6(2007):