Blogs

What are blogs?
A blog, short for “web log,” is a chronological online journal, often organized by subject matter or perspective. Blogs may be based on a general topic of interest, on specific academic themes, or a more personal, reflective journal. Blogs allow for comments and contributions by readers of the blog. As such, blogs come to resemble a discussion more than a one-sided statement from the author.

Where are blogs located?
There are several platforms in which blogs can be used and are supported by ECDS:

Platform URL Description and Features How-To-Guides
Blackboard classes.emory.edu
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Integration with Blackboard Grade Center
  • Only private blogs, no public sharing
  • Standard template
Blogs in Blackboard
Scholarblogs scholarblogs.emory.edu
  • Customizable Wordpress platform
  • Available only to faculty and graduate students who are teaching
  • Used for sharing scholarly work and as an instructional tool
  • Can be shared publicly or be a private internal site
ScholarBlogs Guide
WordPress wordpress.com
  • Can obtain original domain name
  • Customizable WordPress platform
Learn WordPress.com

How are blogs applied to learning environments?

Blogs are valuable educational tools to collaborate and participate in extended, asynchronous discussions on intellectual topics, which enable students to reflect, share thoughts and opinions with others on readings, scholarly articles, recent news events, and topics in their fields. This pedagogical tool can be used to promote learner-to-content, learner-to-learner, and learner-to-instructor engagement.

What are the benefits of using blogs?

Blogs are fast and easy to implement into the classroom environment by way of text, images, video, and social media content. They are an effective pedagogical tool to be able to reach a broad range of digital learning communities and to archive content. 

What are the challenges of using blogs?

Because blogs are often publicly accessible, bloggers must be aware about how they present themselves in the digital world.

What is the required skill level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) for using blogs?

Beginner.

Blogs are generally simple to set up, especially within Blackboard. Blogs on platforms such as ScholarBlogs and WordPress offer additional design enhancements and customization options that may require additional assistance and work with the technology. While a novice user can easily maintain a blog, ultimately the skill level of the blogger will dictate use of the extended features and customization of the blog.

Why use blogs? 

When designed to meet specific learning outcomes, blogging can be a powerful tool for communicating and leveraging discussions beyond the classroom. The learning curve is not steep and the user often finds writing and expression in this way to be a rewarding experience. Blogging is a potential platform to share research and other academic findings.

How are others at Emory using blogs?

  • Faculty members in the English department use blogs for students to submit short papers and essays for peer-review.
  • Many instructors use blogs for student portfolios and journal logs that include rich media such as images, videos, and audio.
  • Blogs are used to chronicle study abroad and internship experiences.
  • Blogs are a popular tool to engage in asynchronous classroom discussions.