Several advanced-level students in my New Media class have taken advantage of my challenge to them: that they go ahead and maintain blogs on topics related to the course. The guidelines were minimal, with the understanding that the freedom to experiment was part of the rationale for blogging. These students were asked not to identify themselves publicly on the blogs, although the links are available to all students in the class through the course’s D2L site. There is no minimum number of posts.
After a few weeks, each student has found something unique to do with the assignment. Here are the links:
I found that giving motivated students the opportunity to work outside of the more structured environment of the LMS sparked a degree of enthusiasm, while making the blog part of coursework (although optional) and relating it to specific content gave students a rationale to write — exactly my own experience of blogging. So while it may not suit every student, the blog form may help instructors create an atmosphere of individual discovery and creativity.