Feb 22 2011

7 uses for blogs in Higher Education

Blogs can be used for a variety of purposes.  Here are seven uses, with examples from the LSE.

1) Commentary & Expert Analysis

Blogs are an ideal tool for disseminating regular commentary and opinion.  These blogs might be written by a single author or several.  Multi-author blogs in particular can provide an opportunity for Improving professional communication and expanding impact.

2) News & Announcements

This covers a variety of uses: departmental news, service updates, events or the latest information on a specific theme

  • LSE Law Careers provides students with up-to-date information on the legal sector

3) Supporting Research Projects

A website is a common requirement for funded research projects.  Blogs make an ideal tool for recording the process and disseminating outputs.

4) Learning Journals

Students can use blogs to support & develop their learning.  These blogs are often reflective and might be private, shared with a teacher or completely public.

  • Language Log is written by Helen Mayer, a member of LSE Staff studying at the Institute of Education.  The blog is a course requirement.

5) Learning Communities

This could be a group blog for a course involving teachers and / or students using it to share information and discuss the course. Learning communities can also be more loosely connected networks involving many individuals reading and commenting on each other’s blogs around a common theme.

  • The Fudan Team A student blog for the LSE-Fudan double masters in Global Media and Communications

6) Personal Homepage

Blogs can be used by university staff and students as an alternative to a traditional homepage.

7) Resource Sharing

Many blogs are developed specifically to share resources with their community

We said seven, but we missed one:

8 ) Collaborative Authoring

Blogs can be used to develop a ‘publication’.  The commenting functionality allows readers & collaborators to comment on each other’s text.

This is not a definitive list and there are clear overlaps between the different uses; many individual blogs serve a variety of purposes. If you have anything you’d like to add, including examples I’d very much welcome your comments below.

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About Matt Lingard

Learning Technologist at the LSE Centre for Learning Technology
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