Kerawalla, Lucinda; Minocha, Shailey; Conole, Grainne; Kirkup, Gill; Schencks, Mat and Sclater, Niall
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The paper focuses on exploring students’ understanding of how blogs and blogging can support distance learning in higher education. We report on the findings from a survey of 795 distance learners at the UK Open University, and interviews with course designers whose courses utilise blogs. Despite enthusiasm from educators, the survey revealed that students are not enthusiastic about the potential for blogging activities to be built into their courses. Analysis of students’ open-ended comments revealed that some students have positive expectations about blogging facilitating the sharing of material and ideas, for example, whilst the majority expressed concerns about subjectivity. We also discuss some empirically derived guidelines that we have generated that will enable educators to provide the appropriate scaffolds so that students can appropriate blogging tools for their own individual learning needs.
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