Are blogs useful as a teaching and/or learning method?

Some would argue that asking Psychology students at Bangor University to write weekly blogs about an unsystematic Psychological topic can be an effective learning method as students are entailed to consider various specific topics that they perhaps would not be required to think about normally. However, others would criticise that writing casual weekly blogs is not considered to be a very scientific form of teaching. Magg (2005) claimed that the use of blogs is not well documented as an effective educational method in educating nurses, however Krause (2005) declared his beliefs that publishing weekly blogs are beneficial to student education. He claimed that blogs have a significant potential in education as a site to gather discussions and different opinions on a topic and also as a support system for academic conferences. 

Personally being a student in a situation where I am required to write a weekly blog about a Psychological topic, I agree that blog writing can be an effective learning tool in the sense that it requires the student to explore topics that they perhaps would not come across usually. However I believe that there are more successful ways in educating students about behaviour and Psychological matters. For example, Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory demonstrates the importance of learning through observation. This is exhibited in his ”Bobo the doll” experiments in which participants learn and imitate behaviours they have observed in other people. Therefore an example of perhaps an effective method of teaching would be to show a film of an experimental study being conducted and then asking the students to imitate the researchers and participants’ behaviours in small groups.

To conclude, I agree from a teacher’s point of view that asking students to publish weekly blogs about a subject is an effective way of teaching because of the research requirements. However, as a student I find this method of learning to be rather tedious and ineffective yet I do find that reading fellow students’ discussions on points of views that oppose to my personal opinions to be informative and useful as I am then obliged to consider my own beliefs in different aspects.  




7 thoughts on “Are blogs useful as a teaching and/or learning method?

  1. Hi, I very much enjoyed reading your blog as I find your view on blogging interesting. I agree with you that as a student there are other ways in educating students other than to get them to write a blog every week. The problems with blogs is that they are not a reliable source of information as they are mostly opinions of the blogger. Yes we as psychology students can back up our arguments with past research or journals but what about other blogs that are written about something that had been in the news that day for example, these blogs are going to be mainly people’s opinions on the topic. When people then go out to read these types of blogs they are not going to be reliable as it is just one person’s opinion. Blogs have made us as students work that little bit harder outside of lectures by encouraging us to go out and do our own research on the topics discussed in class however as you say there are more effective ways in educating students.
    Thank you.

  2. Psuc18, this was an enjoyable and easy read. I enjoyed your arguments of the positive and negative aspects of blogging in university’s. You have backed up some points of view well with some names and a date but unfortunately you forgot to include your referencing so we could check up these backing! Although a very well written blog, it could have been longer, your points are very short. Your view on learning through observation is a good point, although how is learning through observation compared to learning through blogging, which one is most successful? this might be an interesting research for you some time. Great blog!

  3. Hello I found it really interesting to read your blog and you put your points accros well and I agree with some of them, I do agree that it makes us as students think about many different topics that we may not talk about with out the blogs. But I think that other methods such as assignments or weekly tests are mote useful and would be more effective as a learning tool as I think more effort would be out into the work.
    Thank you

  4. Hello 🙂
    I enjoyed reading you’re blogs and your opinions are very similar too mine. I agree with you that sometimes blog can be a good way to develop students knowledge, however, i do not believe that blogs are a reliable way to teach students simple because every week by having different and new topics students are likely too forget what they learnt in the first few weeks of the year and for few blogs the students might not have given their full 100% attention to the blogs.
    However, its good that you found evidence to support your claims regarding whether blogs are a good teaching technique.
    Thank you.

  5. Pingback: comments for my TA | psucef

  6. I enjoyed reading your opinions about blogs as a teaching method and you have found research that supports both sides of the argument. I agree with some points that you have made. I agree that we can explore more about psychology when writing the blogs and therefore we learn more in this way. However, we can also develop our writing skills and critical thinking skills when writing our blogs. I like your suggestion that learning through observation should be used as an effective learning method and you have also backed this up with research.

  7. Hi there, your blog is very different to the others i have read as you have given a completely different view on how learning can occur. I agree with your statement that blogs can be a useful academic tool, but only up to a certain degree, and the use of Bandura’s research is really thinking outside the box. It really opened made me think that observational learning would be a better learning tool as you have stated, blogs are a little tedious. Would you think a shorter blog about watching research and noting research which is relevent to the course would be better, rather than thing which are not in the exams? I would have enjoyed more to read in this blog as yours has really intrested me and their are so many different topics which can be discussed e.g. the use of pronouns which are banished from essays and research reports, and the lack of feedback by the TA’s on our work. However I must stress this is a really good blog and I njoyed reading it! Thank you! 😀

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