This project expands on a successful 2015 pilot project examining the use of blogs in the classroom. The original project built a state-of-the-art professional blogging platform which significantly improved student's e-tech learning experience. This new project aims to build on the current blogging infrastructure and knowledge base by improving visual communication, creating new images/videos and making its technology more accessible and user friendly.
To achieve its aim of sharing the educational benefits of blogging with students and staff, the project will work on improving visual communication on the blogging platform by updating the default UWA Blogging theme and content. This will be achieved by making the platform more interactive, visual and by providing more accessible user instructions. An essential part of the project is its promotion through a series of instructional workshops and individual consultations with staff across UWA Schools.
Multimedia-rich blogging is an important educational tool as it exposes students to the latest e-technologies, assisting them with their academic and professional development whilst improving their digital and written communication skills which are in high demand in this new media/digital driven global work environment.
The project has been highly successful receiving a 2016 UWA Award for Exceptional Contribution to Education Futures. The project facilitated effective use of WordPress-based website-building technology and popularized its pedagogical use in class. Creating visually engaging educational content, such as digital web-assignments (individual and team-based projects), e-portfolios, staff/academic project websites and personal/organisational websites. As per Google analytics, in semester 2, 2016 there were 915 users who made over 1900 visits and viewed 5500 pages.
The project has delivered all its desired benefits, such as increased digital and English literacy, the ability to empower students, improve their critical thinking and satisfaction with teaching and learning as frequently reported in student feedback surveys Student Perceptions of Teaching (SPOT) & Students’ Unit Reflective Feedback (SURF). UWA staff have also expressed a growing interest in the use of UWA Blogs for teaching and learning.
- A Peer-reviewed paper named ‘Designing successful blogging assignments’ and a workshop titled ‘Blog your way to digital mobility in teaching and learning’ was presented at the Curtin University’s 2016 Teaching and Learning Forum, Perth.
- Collaborative paper (Gwizdalski, A. and M. Gillan, ‘Democratising teaching and learning through weblogs’) has been accepted for presentation at Curtin University’s 2017 Teaching and Learning Forum.