Teaching Practices, Model Assignments

Using blogs
as research diaries

Literacy: navigating hybrid and digital cultures
Literacy: creating and curating faith-based media artifacts

Heidi Campbell uses blogging assignments in her courses on communication and religion to scaffold student research projects. This downloadable resource briefly describes her approach to using blogs and then shares directions and assessment criteria for a sample project integrating a research blog and a final paper.

Excerpt:

Studying User-Generated Religion in Digital Culture

This research project is focused on studying how religion is presented on a particular social media platform. This assignment will include two parts: (1) blogging about the student’s chosen case study, and (2) a formal research report.

  1. Research Blog

Each student will set up an individual blog that will serve as an online research diary for collecting their thoughts and reflections. Students are expected to post at least once per week over a seven week period. Posts should be at least 300-400 words in length, connect to assigned question and/or course readings, and highlight a concrete examples with hyperlinks. Each post is due by noon on Friday of the corresponding week in order to receive full credit.

New to using blogs in higher education? This video makes the case and shares best practices.

(You can skip the last 90 seconds, which are about using the built-in blog feature on course management tool Blackboard. Even if your institution uses Blackboard, we recommend using publicly available blogging tools so your student comes away from the experience with more directly transferable skills.)

Background image: “chang” by Chang Duong via Unsplash (CC0).