#OpenLearning19 Required Blogging?

In the resources for this past week, there were mentions of required blogging. I am very much in favor of blogging, but I am not sure if I would like to be forced to do it.

Traffic sign turn rightFirst, it’s not everyone’s taste. Since at least Mak, S. F. J., Williams, R. & Mackness, J. (2010), we know that Blogs and Forums are different. And exactly because I myself prefer the (more asynchronous) blogs over the (more synchronous) forums, I empathize with learners who have the opposite learning style, erm, preference.

Furthermore, my problem is to come up with an idea on demand. I like it when I encounter something remarkable and I can sit down and reflect on it. But I don’t want to search for something remarkable to write about. These are two very different modes of operation of the mind.

So I wonder if the requirement may put students off blogging, such that they won’t continue blogging after the course is over. In other contexts, ‘open’ connotates two ways of ‘free’: free of charge and without obligation or, as Suber said, free of most restrictions. Yes, I know that open does not equal free, but I am uncomfortable with the combination of openness and force. In connectivism, openness is combined with autonomy, diversity and interactivity, instead.

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4 Responses to #OpenLearning19 Required Blogging?

  1. jennymackness says:

    This post completely resonates with me Matthias and I think that many ‘teachers’ struggle with how to encourage students/course participants to blog or to participate in discussion forms without resorting to ‘force’ in the guise of marks for contribution made.

    I can see that from the teacher’s perspective a course may appear to be more successful the more open/visible interaction is in evidence. It’s very hard for an online tutor to work in a course where everyone, or almost everyone is silent, or where only a few voices dominate. But I also think we have to wonder who the course is for (the teacher or the student) and how we determine success. Online invisibility/silence doesn’t necessarily equate to lack of success, from the student’s perspective.

    I once participated in a 4 week online course, where after the first few days only I and one other participant engaged in the forums and completed the tasks. I don’t know how many people were learning by listening and observing. I am sure this course was very hard for the tutor, but for me it was memorable and very successful. I learned a lot from the course materials and from the other course participant.

    A past colleague once said to me, when I was worrying about this question of participation in forums etc., ‘Whoever comes to the table, are the right people’. I have always found that helpful.

  2. x28 says:

    Thank you very much Jenny for contributing your long rich experience as both online teacher and learner!

  3. VanessaVaile says:

    Matthias, your comments on required blogging and coming up with ideas on demand struck a chord. T.H. White’s line, “all that is not forbidden is compulsory,” about Arthur’s tutelage in the kingdom of the ants comes to mind.

  4. x28 says:

    Many thanks Vanessa for the comment, and for the pointers which have lead me to further interesting entries of dictionaries and encyclopedias.

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