First Edition-Summer-2008

Capturing Student Projects and Reflections Using Blogs and Wikis
by: Frances Rowe | Associate Director QU Online

Blogs and wikis are a great way to create multiple channels of communication with and for students; both blogs and wikis are available through your Blackboard courses. Wikis are designed for collaboration and the creation of knowledge by multiple parties. Blogs are broadly recognized as mediums for individual expression such as journals, but the possibilities are unlimited. If you can imagine it, it is likely that you can do it! Below are potential usage scenarios that are applicable to a variety of courses.

Course Scenarios

Using Blogs and Wikis

Collaborative Writing Project

Wikis can be used for a variety of collaborative projects, ranging from essay creation, to compiled group project reports, to collectively generated multimedia web sites. Final projects can be made accessible to the entire class for review and commenting.


Most learners benefit from reflection on course concepts and their own progress and understanding. Students can utilize blogs, for instance to post reading reflections or summaries. Posts can be made generally available to all other students to create a collection of responses that allows students to check their understanding among their peers and provides the instructor with a clear picture of any misunderstandings. Alternatively, posts can be made privately between the student and the instructor.

Problem based learning

As an alternative to reflective writing assignments, instructors can utilize blogs by posing scenarios and assigning students to post a possible solution with supporting evidence. Instructors can also assign students to gather resources and explain their relevance. This may help students connect the course to the wider world.

10 Ideas for the Collaboration Tools in Blackboard

Set to be edited by
an individual
Individuals can reflect on personal progress within the course (e.g. journal). The instructor can comment or ask questions about the reflection. Individuals can create a final product for an assignment or a project in the form of a web page. The instructor and/or students can comment on the assignment. Not applicable Not applicable
a group
A group can share its progress when collaborating on a course activity. The instructor and/or students can comment in relation to the progress. A group can co-create a final product for an assignment or project in the form of a web page. The instructor and/or students can comment in relation to the group product. A group can have a structured or threaded discussion about a task or project they are collaborating on. The instructor and/or students can comment in relation to the group discussion Individuals can email his/her group or other groups within a course on specific issues.
the whole class
The whole class can focus on a particular aspect of the course and informally discuss their ideas and thoughts. Individuals can add and organize links and resources they have found useful to share with the rest of the whole class. The whole class can discuss and resolve questions or issues associated with specific content and/or processes within the course. Individuals can email any other participant, including the instructor, within the course.

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