Presentation on theme: "Blogging the First Year… Using blogs in Elmhurst Colleges First Year Seminar Program Peg Cook, Assistant Reference Librarian A.C. Buehler Library, Elmhurst."— Presentation transcript:
Blogging the First Year… Using blogs in Elmhurst Colleges First Year Seminar Program Peg Cook, Assistant Reference Librarian A.C. Buehler Library, Elmhurst College
Background: EC FYS pilot started in Fall Semester 2007 Initial pilot was 4 sections Second year of pilot is 8 sections In process of approving a third pilot year which will be 32 sections (entire incoming freshman class) for Fall 2009 Sections are grouped together in pods or houses, 4 sections meeting in the same time slot Allows for larger group discussions Coordination of activities Social interaction between students who might not otherwise interact
Background: FYS Course designed by faculty Course objectives: Articulate an understanding of the value of a liberal arts education and its synergy with professional preparation. React ethically to varied perspectives and experiences to stimulate intellectual curiosity and to expand cultural awareness Articulate and demonstrate ways to ethically gather, synthesize, and present information Respond critically to varied texts from different perspectives and disciplinary spheres of knowledge Contribute to the campus and/or society through civic engagement
Background: Academic subjects, taught in seminar style Academic faculty paired with Student Affairs professional Course designed to be roughly 2/3rds academic subject, 1/3 common elements Liberal arts readings and discussion Common reading book Service or off-campus learning experience Required attendance at campus events Information ethics assignment Student affairs professional meant to help with college transition issues, acclimatization/enculturation to EC In Fall 2008 common pre-semester orientation was added which complements the FYS course
Blogs: Rationale Blogs used for Information Ethics assignments Information Ethics assignments are built on Association of College & Research Libraries Information Literacy Standards Three assignments meant to cover some aspects of information ethics: Discussion of academic integrity issues Thinking about Bias assignment Ownership of Information assignment We decided to use blogs to partly address ACRL standards. We also felt that having a public or potentially public audience would be useful to students learning. Most FYS students are also enrolled in our pre-research writing class We felt there would be reinforcement for that curriculum as well more writing practice.
How the blogs work: We use blogs to communicate with students One central blog for all houses FYS 2008 Main Blog Each section also has its own main blog Internet & Society Information Ethics Assignments are posted on main section blogs Thinking about Bias in Sources
Blogs: how they work Each student has their own blog Kelsey Information Ethics assignments are completed as blog posts Taylor Karen Other course assignments as decided by individual instructors: Hidden Jewels from the Exploring Chicago course Hidden Jewels E-Scrapbook Assignment from Global Climate Change course E-Scrapbook Assignment
Internet & Society FYS course Internet & Society uses blogs as main (almost only) method for coursework. Appropriate for topic of class Provides outcomes for other FYS learning objectives Internet & Society blog examples: Main page Group paper post
Advantages of Blogs: Public nature of blog posts challenges students to think about their writing in a different way Possibility for discussion with commenting functions (though we havent quite managed to make this work right yet) Weve encouraged a blogging style in writing assignments provided examples Students have the opportunity to practice informal writing. Blog writing guidelines Technology-learning experience also. Students learn: Hyperlinking File management Collaborative technologies
Disadvantages of Blogs Technology is time intensive Time to set up, troubleshoot, etc Teaching timestudents dont always automatically have the proficiency with tech tools that we think they do Some privacy issues (though these can be mediated) Blog use has to have some relevance to the assignment or work of the course. Students may need to have that linkage spelled out for them.
FYS Blogs in the future We will continue to use blogs as the writing method for the Information Ethics Assignments As the program grows, adjustments will be needed We will likely tweak assignments as time goes on Grading of blog posts is an issue Students enjoy engaging with technology, even in the classroom Its important that they become informed users of technology