David Lang

Blogs in Canvas

Discussion created by David Lang on Apr 7, 2017
Latest reply on Feb 8, 2018 by Kathleen Smyth


Enable instructors to create individual student blogs, visible to all, and arrange them in groups.


Describe your idea

Students to have their own individual blogs, visible only within Canvas and organized into groups of, say, five blogs, in which students post assigned (usually non-graded) writing and in which other students can post comments/responses. (For example, a student posts an informal response to a reading one week, and then her blog group members post responses in her blog the next week.) At present, the only way I know how to approximate this is to create several group discussions with, say, five students in each group. Then students create their own individual discussion within that group. This achieves the goal of creating a place in the course dedicated to individual student writing. However, the significant limitation to this setup is that no student outside the group can read the blogs. In addition, the instructor cannot move a blog from one group to another (when, for example, some members of a group drop the course and the group memberships need reconfiguring).


How will this idea benefit CCC users?

Students will benefit from having a place to publish and respond to required but ungraded writing. An interactive sense of community is created as a result, and writing is experienced by students as both 'owned' (the blog represents the student and the student cares how he or she is seen by other students) and as 'real' (not just one-way communication with the instructor but two-way communication with peers). In addition, being able to arrange the blogs in groups allows the instructor to easily assign students to respond to a limited number of posts (e.g., "Respond to each posting in your group"). Finally, and very importantly, the fact that the blogs can be viewed by students outside a group means that students share their ideas with the whole class, and the whole class (instead of just the blog group) can, therefore, benefit from their posts.