What is a blog?

Blogs are online platforms that allow users to write and publish material to the internet.  Blogging is the act of writing regularly to such a platform where posts are presented in reverse chronological order so that the newest material appears on top.  Blogging developed as a reflective tool where authors can share thoughts, link to others writing on the same themes and receive comments to further aid further discussion.

In education, blogs have developed as a means for staff and students to share reflections and resources, with some being devised for assessment purposes.

Person working on a laptop.

How might I use it?

Blogs can be incorporated into programmes to give learners opportunities to:

  • Develop critical writing skills.
  • Support their peers by reading and commenting on posts.
  • Improve writing skills aimed at varied audiences.
  • Create resources which can be used for revision or review.
  • Exchange ideas and information with others.
  • Seek responses from, or respond to, other bloggers who may be experts in the field.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of a given topic.
  • Reflect on their learning through a personal journal.

Blogs can also be used by project teams to keep a journal of project developments, or by students on placement to record their activities and development.

What are the pros & cons of using blogs?

Students can reflect on their learning and receive feedback from peers, staff and the wider world (if required).There needs to be a clear purpose for writing a blog and students need to write regularly in order to encourage others to engage in discussion.
Writing skills can be developed through regular practice.Students need to bear in mind prospective audiences in order to set the right tone.
Views from within the field can be gathered.Anyone unfamiliar with blogging may be anxious about sharing to the ‘public’ at first.
A professional digital presence can be developed which, combined with social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter, can present a picture for prospective employers.

Blogging tools

Moodle has a Blog activity where blogs can be added to a Moodle space, to provide opportunities for individual, group or class blogs.

Non-Bath supported blogging tools are also available.  You can review them at Top Tools for Learning, search for ‘blog’. If you have many students blogging, then you might want to consider using an online aggregator or curation tool so that you can easily see updated content by your students.  Consider Feedly or Flipboard. When using non-Bath tools please make sure you have considered the factors outlined on our guidance page.