Thursday, March 19, 2009


AJCann Sigh, Just had a really depressing final session with year 3 virology class.

AJCann They've been writing blog posts since January, complaining bitterly "too hard".

AJCann Do they read others posts? "No". Should I use a wiki instead? "No, it's not 'fair' ". Sigh. Give up?

psychemedia @AJCann writing blog posts is hard if it's not what you just do anyway; part of killer app of blogging for me is it's my searchable notebook

AJCann @psychemedia That's why I wanted them to read each others posts. They don't :-(

wmjohn @AJCann feeling and understanding your pain. :)

AJBell @AJCann are they complaining *because* its so different from the previous 2.5 years of coursework they've been put through?

psychemedia @AJCann another prob is: must they go online to just do the blogging? If you have to turn on PC just for that task, it'll always be a chore?

AJCann @psychemedia They're pretty hardwired to Bb so I don't think that's a huge problem.

ffolliet @AJCann group think. it (+you) r wasted on them. ur not going2change them sadly. that doesn't negate rest of ur good work

sleslie @AJCann following @psychemedia's idea, is there an activity you could assign that would cause them to refer back to own work, see the value?

AJCann @sleslie Such as ? Interested...

sleslie @AJCann not sure, don't know your full context, thinking out loud. But bloggers see value when they start to weave together own collection

AJ Cann @AJBell Yes, in part, also because it requires critical thinking.

AJBell @AJCann should not all coursework involve critical thinking?

AJCann @AJBell You've been there - did it?

AJCann @ffolliet OK, so how do I get from there to a strategy?

amcunningham @AJCann are you asking them to blog just for the sake of it... ie it is assessed? or can they gain something else from it?

AJCann @amcunningham It is assessed or they wouldn't do it. The idea is that they gain subject knowledge (and hopefully analytical skills).

amcunningham @AJCann let the assessment not be the blog but a document in which they can reference other students blogs. then blog is means not end?

AJCann @amcunningham Err, I could see that developing into a Mexican stand-off. Any examples of where that's been done successfully?

ffolliet @AJCann mine is purely a ministry of encouragement...

amcunningham @AJCann well, no! but that's how i use discussion boards and it works. funny to read 'you've made my reference list!' on the boards

AJCann @amcunningham I used to use discussion boards, but it degenerated into highly strategic gameplaying rather than thinking about virology.

AJBell @AJCann you marked it.

amcunningham @AJCann but did you assess participation or learning from them? i say students have to compare experience of family they are visiting with other families. they can do this through other students accounts in bb discussion forum or through patient forums. some don't do this at all in the past so lose credit for that part. but work is submitted in monday so hoping for higher hit rate this year.

AJCann @AJBell You did the discussion board or the wikipedia exercise?

AJCann So if it's all about alignment (eg of expectations), should I ask them "Tell me what you learned this week?" How would I mark the "answers"?

amcunningham @AJCann that's a good one. i decided that 500w reflection would only get formative feedback this year. other 3000 words will determine mark.

AJCann @amcunningham Very varied participation rates for formative across different disciplines. We're trapped on an assessment treadmill.

nogbad @AJCann I think you (we?) need to "align" those expectations upwards, i.e. yours stay still and we bring the others to meet them.

AJCann @nogbad Difficult transition - easy to go in the other direction!

AJBell @AJCann wiki exercise - but I disliked it because I don't like the wikipedia concept