2008 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., May 6, 2008
HUB Ballroom

Session Description



Using Blogs to Enhance Classroom Learning.

Sandeep Krishnamurthy - UW Bothell, Business Administration Program

Every year, I teach the introductory marketing class to Business undergraduates and MBA students. I have long felt the need to- a) provide students with a forum where they can express themselves to a public and authentic audience, b) allow interaction among current and past students and c) use interactive communication technologies to enhance learning. I have been running the Marketing College blog (http://marketingcollege.blogspot.com) to achieve these goals.

I find that blogging empowers students and enables them to find their voice. Students who do not speak in the classroom suddenly find a way to say what is on their mind.

I was surprised to learn that a segment of the class- perhaps, 5% of students- were intimidated by blogging technology. This "digital divide" is a real issue among college students. As a result, some students did not have the same chance to participate than others. I have started providing more workshops and introductory sessions to remove the intimidation factor and to make the blog a welcoming space.

The blog also enhances classroom discussion. Posts on the blog are brought up as examples to make or refute points within the classroom. Similarly, discussions within the classroom sometimes spill over on to the blog.

I have also learned that the job of the instructor in this space is to be a ruthless deleter. I routinely delete posts that do not follow my taste guidelines or that are poorly written. This reminds my students of the importance of an external audience. Rather than writing a term paper that only the instructor reads, blog posts are read by a wide audience and are crawled by all major search engines.

I am still in the process of assessing the impact of this on learning. Assessment will be through blog portfolios and reflections.




Index of Symposium Presenters