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On Wednesday, April 2nd, the Teaching and Learning Center held a session in room 204 on Blogs and Wikis@ZSR. Eight faculty members attended this event where two other faculty members, Professor Christa Colyer of Chemistry and Professor Stephanie Pellet of Romance Languages, presented how they are using Wikis and Blogs from ZSR in their classes this semester.In this one hour session, Professor Colyer showed the blog her first-year seminar has created. Each student posts on recent developments in science that are in the news, then students comment on each other’s posts. In the past Professor Colyer has students keep hand-written journals that they turned in monthly for her review. Doing this journaling in a blog has resulted in longer entries from the students and allowed the students to see each other’s posts and comment, something not possible in a hand-written journal. Kevin and I had met with this class back in January to get them started blogging, but it only required a few minutes and they were off and running!
After Professor Colyer showed her class blog, Professor Pellet showed the wiki her class has created for French 345-Langage et Societe. In this class students work in groups and create content that can be used not only by the class, but by anyone. Additionally, Professor Pellet is exploring options for using this same wiki in future classes, having students update and refine the content. Lauren had met with this class early in the semester to get them started using the wiki and that was all it took to get them successfully using it in class.
The faculty who attended the session asked numerous questions and had an excellent discussion of pedagogical issues regarding using blogs and wikis in the classroom. All in all it was a well-received program and we hope to repeat it this summer and next fall!