Thursday, 2 July 2009

How many blogs does it take...?

I now have some more details about the shape of the FREDA module for next year. There will be 40 students, in 4 groups of 10 each. This makes life somewhat easy, as I can divide them up into 10 groups with 4 students each, which seems to be a good number to be able to have good discussions/collaboration, while still finding a regular date/time to meet during the week. And with ten groups there'll be 10 copies of each formative task, which should also not be too hard to deal with.

However, one component of the plan worries me: originally I had planned to set up one blog per group, but ten blogs seems rather excessive. What is the answer? One blog for all the students? Several blogs for more than one group? Somehow I will have to strike the right balance between it being too fragmented and too crowded. I shall have to think about that in more detail. It also, of course, depends on the great unknown: how the students will take up Web 2.0!


  1. I moved everything to group blogs during the current iteration of the Web 2.0 course - and I think diffusion of responsibility kicked in and there were markedly fewer contributions than on previous iterations. I think somehow you need to allow individuals to engage with the medium first, then construct the groups (well, that's what I'm trying next time!).

    I'd be glad to offer a pre-course Web 2.0 taster session, if that would help.

  2. Mmmh, I think the best solution then would be ONE blog. That solves several problems:

    * maintenance: who is in charge of the blog and able to contribute (esp when group composition is changing several times)
    * dispersion: if everything is on one blog, there are fewer places where you have to look for stuff

    My only concern with a single blog for students is that it'll be too crowded, but then if I ask each group to post one posting per week (so there'll be ten posts/week) and comment on each other's posts then that might be alright.

    I'm also now thinking about technicalities: if there is group-assigned output, would it be good to give each group a label for identification? Just a number is a bit boring, so I think I let each group choose a name for themselves which they mention in their postings.

    Once you get going with all this, there are so many decisions to make!

    Biluś: Thanks for the offer! Pre-course is tricky, but maybe in the first week or so there could be a micro version of the Web 2.0 course? Just for those who haven't yet had a chance to learn about those things.