To Blog or Not To Blog

A lady sitting on a bench using computer

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon on Flickr CC

The theme that I selected for my webinar is creating more authentic learning dimension using social media in higher education.  I decide to select the blog as one social media platform as an example and its potentials to incorporate into the courses in higher education.

I was lucky to find Mark Sample’s blog entry, “A Better Blogging Assignment” in the regular ProfHacker column of the Chronicle of Higher Education.   He is a vocal advocate of the use of blog in university courses.  He uses the blog in every course he teaches.  Despite his strong commitment to using the blog and its pedagogical values, he confesses in this blog entry that he is tired of reading student blogs and evaluating blogs week after week .  He writes, “I do want to reignite my sense of discovery and excitement about student blogging.”  He thus asks for his readers to contribute different models of how the blog can be used in university courses.  In response, a long list of comments were generated, some offering their own example, others simply sharing the values of the blog, and also some warning the trap of using the blog as an assignment.  It gave me an amazing wealth of information to see how teaching faculty is using the blog in their courses and how they are experiencing it.  I also found through the conversation created around the Sample’s blog entry that other digital humanities scholars, as Sample is one, are actively integrating the use of the blog into their courses.  They are offering good examples to consider for the possibility of the blog use in other disciplines.


Sample, M. (2012, July 3). A better blogging assignment. ProfHacker. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved March 22, 2013 from

Sample, M. (2012) Toward a better blogging assignment.  2012 THATCamp, the Humanities & Technology Camp. Retrieved March 22, 2013 from  (The same material presented at the 2012 THATCamp venue and includes more comments.  I particularly likes the comment from a history professor briging recent graduates to give feedback on the blog.)

Sample, M. (2009). Pedagogy and the Class Blog.  Retrieved April 5, 2013 from (I found this link from one of the comments made to the above 2012 THATCamp blog.)

Selected Examples of the Blog Use in University Courses (From the comments in response to Sample’s article):

  • Miranda Nesler refers to  her summer course where she opens up her professional blog to her students to do weekly entries.
  • Daniel Greene uses the blog to curate weekly readings  with students taking their turn with this course.  “This means a long post of 500-750 words that integrates 5-6 other pieces of media and expands on some aspect of the week’s readings or activities–adding new stuff, giving us history, expanding it into a different community or political issue, whatever. “
  • anetv uses “blogs to augment papers, and to support writing in more casual, lower-stakes, exploratory ways.”  She curates her class blogs in her Teaching web page.

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