Friday, September 30, 2005

Professor Tom Klein on Incorporating Blogs with Coursework

From Tom Klein,
Unlike the Prof.Camicao blog assignment, I give students the option of creating up to three blogs for 3 of the 6 major assignments in my Great Ideas, AS 250H, class. The six assignments ask students to write 6 "creatiques," one for each of the 6 major ideas organizing the course (monotheism, rationalism, science, democracy, the arts & humanities, and postmodernism. The "creatiques" are combination critique, summary, synthesis and creative leap, moving more toward a sustained problematizing than a neat thesis, exploration and conclusive wrap-up. They are encouraged to use multiple genres (art, poetry, letters, essays, music, editorials, etc) and to address multiple audiences (beyond me).
I do this because I believe, with Howard Gardner, that exposition and argument are NOT the only or primary ways of organizing thought, that all 8 ways of knowing (or is it now 9??) should be available to students. All of this kind of thinking suits the blog wonderfully, inasmuch as it's naturally multi-genred and moves audience far beyond teacher and school. At first, the students seemed rather stunned by the assignment, and the blog option. Now that they've seen what these can become, I think more will honor the option for future creatiques.
Great Ideas Course (AS 250H) Blog URL's
opendiary D590808

BGSU Faculty: Start Your Classes Blogging Today!

Professors and Graduate Assistants! Have you considered integrating a webblog into your curriculum? Consider the following free blog creation sites when deciding where to begin:
Recently purchased by Google, this is one of the original blog creation sites. Tried and true, it is easy to use and was utilized to make the very blog you are reading right now.
Offers a robust support network with a dedicated support site and team. Along with the abundance of free features, premium upgrades are also available.
If you are considering having your students write routine journal entries, this site is an excellent alternative to burdensome email submissions or the old-fashioned pen and paper. It features include an open-source code, available text messaging, and voice posts, to name a few.
This site allows you to post and archive anything from articles to pictures to music. Its ability to create very large photo albums would be very useful for any course involving lots of pictures or images.
Xanga is a community of online diaries and journals. You can use up to 200MB of photo storage for Classic (free) users. There is also a paid service to allow for added features and storage (up to 2GB).

Do you have questions about blogging? The BGSU CTLT is working on a blogging seminar, so stay tuned for the date. And you’re always welcome to stop by or email us.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Blog on Weblogs in Higher Education

Is this a case of metablogging??? There's LOTS here, including many other referencial links and categories pertaining to:
Commonplace Book
Democracy Publication
Food Blogs
Page Design
Weblog Audio
Weblog Genres

Another Blogging Professor's Experience

"Professor Camicao" from ? has some additional insights regarding blogging at the university level. Here is some of what P.C. has to say:

"In my third course blog, however, I am doing something more ambitious. My students (there are about 15) are expected to journal on their own blogs about course material. Once they set up their blogs in blogger (it went more smoothly than I expected), I got their adresses and made a course blogroll. I require the students to read each other's blogs and comment. I comment each week on their blog entries as well.

I'm not entirely sure how the students feel about this. I plan on surveying them later, once they are through with the experience, but judging from the vibe in the class, and their blogs, it seems to be going well. No overt grouchiness and foot dragging. Some have begun to take "ownership" of their blogs by changing templates and uploading pertinent pictures. On my end, I find that this assignment has enabled me to communicate alot more with my students outside of class through my comments on their blogs. And I like the idea that students can read my comments on other student blogs; my dialogue with an individual student is thus multi-directional. Sometimes I cross-reference my comments by providing active links in a comment to other student blogs on the same subject.

I'm not sure that all or even most students are fully aware of the benefits of this interactivity, of the ways in which this kind of dialoguing can help them with other, non-virtual assignments. But it's still early, and I am still getting them used to the capabilities of this technology and assignment category. It will be interesting to see what happens 5 weeks down the road when I start surveying them on their feelings about blogging."

All the post can be found here as well as several other links to "course bloggers". Check it out!

Monday, September 26, 2005

New "Just In Time" Workshops! (30-45 min.)

For faculty whose busy schedules prohibit long workshops, the following "Just In Time" workshops have been scheduled at The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Please contact Kris Sautter at or call 2-6898 to register for the workshops you are interested in.

Creating a Video Piece Using iMOVIE (Mac based software)
Wednesday, September 28 3:00-3:45

From 1-minute thought-provoking pieces to longer productions, iMovie can help turn any faculty member or teaching GA into a blossoming film producer, director and editor. This short workshop will introduce you to this digital video editing tool and it's basic functions needed to create an effective piece that can be used right away in your course.

Thursday, September 29 10:30-11:15

Images in the classroom can be a powerful addition to aid learning. Tools are currently available to convert film or multiple slides into digital images through scanning. This allows for easy backup, presentation, and archive/storage. Once converted to digital images, they can be burned onto a CD or DVD, posted on the internet, or inserted into PowerPoint/Keynote presentations or iPhoto/Picassa slide shows.

Digital Photography
The cost, quality, and ease of digital photography now make it a valid alternative to traditional film cameras. Images can then be quickly added to classroom websites, blogs, handouts, presentations to enhance the communication medium.

Friday, September 30 9:30-10:00
Wednesday, October 5 3:00-3:30

This short but focused workshop will help you become familiar with all the standard features of a typical consumer digital camera that you may currently own or are about to purchase. Topics will include: suggested auto settings, uploading images, and camera selection suggestions.

Monday, October 3 9:30-10:00
Wednesday, October 12 3:00-3:30

In this workshop, participants will delve into important manual settings for specific effects, white balancing, image management and more.

Friday, September 30 2:00-2:45

Using Photoshop to enhance the image, participants will manipulate images using: image file types, color correction, levels, cropping and rotating techniques.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


by Arthur W. Chickering and Stephen C. Ehrmann
This essay describes some of the most cost-effective and appropriate ways to use computers, video, and telecommunications technologies to advance the “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" which are:

1. Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty
2. Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students
3. Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques
4. Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback
5. Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task
6. Good Practice Communicates High Expectations
7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

It's a recommended read for anyone looking for ways to integrate technology in order to enhance or improve student learning. If you have other classroom integration ideas, let us know! We'd love to include your ideas! (Email CTLT)

Friday, September 16, 2005

More Blogs at BGSU! (from Andrew Mara)

(From Dr. Andrew Mara, English)
I have used blogs over the past two semesters. While I have been personally blogging as a way to blend my professional and my public personas, it wasn't until I taught a Graduate class in the writing process of online documents that I required my students to do so. See it here!

The class website for online documents links to all of the student blogs for navigation and socialization purposes. Having a public blog forced students to see the dry "academic" practice of online writing as a public, and not private act. I required them to take the free "" interface and tweak it with style changes and extra links. The students were also required to post comments on other people's blogs. It was probably the most successful part of the entire class.

One of my students decided to catalogue her summer cross-country trip in a "travelblog".

I am currently requiring my undergraduate students in the same "Online Docs" course to keep a blog, and I am adding a new twist--they are going to be editing a Tech-themed "City Blog" (see "Duke City Fix" to see an example of a city blog), and my Technical Writing class will be writing for that particular blog.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Howard Gardner Speaks on Multiple Intelligences

Friday, September 9th, 2:30pm - Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center
American psychologist and educator, Dr. Howard Gardner, will serve as the guest speaker at the College of Musical Arts' All College Convocation. Currently the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Gardner is most highly recognized for his contribution in the area of intellectual development with his Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI). He has written many books on developmental psychology, highlighting his work in the development of creativity in children and adults, and is also well regarded in relation to his work with artistic development. Gardner will visit BGSU from September 7 - 9, 2005, under the auspices of the Dorothy and DuWayne Hansen Visiting Artist Series. The event is sponsored by the College of Musical Arts and the College of Education and Human Development.
More Links:
Howard Gardner's page

Project Zero & Presentations

Penn State's HG page's HG page

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Blogging Use: From Kris Blair, English

(from Kris Blair...)

My work with blogs began in Spring 2004. I began a course blog for a graduate seminar in our doctoral program titled The Rhetoric of Written Discourse, available at

The only directives I gave (students) were that they make an entry once a week of no more than 250 words and read and perhaps post to someone else's blog entry. Perhaps because it was a grad. seminar, the blog ended up being a phenomenal success, as students went above and beyond the initial requirement. Some students used it for prelim studying purposes, some to dialogue and interrogate the work we were reading, and others for more traditional dialogue among peers. I've since used blogs in two other seminars, The Teaching of Writing (Fall 04) at and Computer-Mediated Writing Theory (Spring 05) at

Although these blogs were successful, I have since discovered that students may not feel as positive about the blogging experience for some of the same reasons that other digital tools become problematic for (extra work, lack of response, gendered or raced behavior patterns that exclude and silence).

As a result, this semester, in my graduate seminar on Research Methodology, I have a more focused purpose for blogs, which my students are now just beginning to create using blogger. In this case, the students will keep a research progress report journal that they must update periodically during the term, with their group members actually providing more focused feedback, ensuring some interaction that some really felt they needed for the blog to have exigence.

Overall, blogs have really redefined graduate education, providing another form of professional development. As a group, several groups of students, colleagues, and I have presented our work with blogs at national meetings such as the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the Computers and Writing Conference, and we have just submitted a web-based article (a version of it is at ) to the online journal Kairos.

Threaded Series Workshops - Assessment

What Do Students REALLY Know?

(Classroom Assessment Techniques)

Join us in learning practical ways to assess what your students know, both before and after you teach each lesson.
Topics include:
Portfolios & ePortfolios
Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) – high & low/no tech options
Formative, Embedded & Summative Assessments
Rubrics – analytical, holistic & primary/multiple trait
Concept Maps & Graphic Organizers as Assessment Tools
Classroom/Student Response Systems (“clickers”)

Move beyond traditional tests, quizzes, papers and presentations to discover new methods for uncovering student understanding (or lack thereof)! Throughout this interactive and collaborative series, you will explore classroom assessments (both “hi-tech” and “low or no-tech” alternatives) that can be utilized immediately in any setting to highlight levels of student understanding and to guide your instruction.

The 5 session series is offered on Tuesdays (2-3:30pm) on 9/20, 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15 and Wednesdays (9-10:30) on 9/21, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16

Contact Kris Sautter for more information or to register.