Blogging pragmatics and pedagogy: An adventure in faculty development

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Abstract

As university faculty are increasingly called upon to ‘do more with less,’ particularly to teach more students with fewer resources, technology can provide viable solutions to pedagogical dilemmas. Faculty developers are frequently tasked with introducing faculty to or coaching them in the use of technological solutions. With respect to blogs, the typical show-and-tell approach to technology awareness that our faculty development center uses seemed inadequate, given the complexity of blog design, implementation, and maintenance. Instead, we found the best way to instruct university faculty in the use of blogs is to give them an opportunity to participate in a blogging community as part of a Course in College Teaching (CCT). We experimented with two different approaches in two different sections of our CCT. This paper reports on the current blogging culture in higher education, describes our specific context for utilizing blogs, shares implementation decisions and learning affordances, and forwards a set of ‘lessons learned.’