Sunday, June 24, 2007

Students Surveyed Said

My end-of-the-year survey of my seniors about their experiences with blogging for class are in. Many of the comments are perennial: "I liked seeing what others thought" and "The hardest thing was remembering to do it."

This year, because of the size of the course roster being nearly 100, I also received the comment that it was "overwhelming to read so many," not that it was mandatory to do so. But I felt that, too; so for next year I'm brainstorming new configurations. May be there could be several blogs on various approaches to literature.

Just about everyone, whether they liked or disliked it, felt they had gained something from the blog. "It helped me spellcheck and re-edit my writing," "It's public so people are more careful about what they say," "Reading different opinions," and "Gaining confidence in voicing our opinions."

One student felt that it was a way for students to copy other students ideas. I was wondering about this myself. What could be viewed as copying could also be modeling. I have learned more about blogging in three months by blogging than I have in three years administering the blog, simply by reading other blogs, coming up with entries on my own, and reading comments. Modeling from blogger to blogger can be a myopic inbreeding at times, but I have faith in the evolutionary urge to develop beyond what is familiar, comfortable territory. Sure we all look around and adopt styles and ideas from each other. Then something happens by accident or by intention, and with a jolt, we move the bus forward.

What was new this year in the survey responses was the answer to the question on whether they had heard of blogs before working with the class blog. Whereas last year it was a mixed response tending toward "no," this year was a resounding "yes."

No comments: