Using Blogfolios to Enhance Interaction in E-Learning Courses

Using Blogfolios to Enhance Interaction in E-Learning Courses

Steve Chi-Yin Yuen (The University of Southern Mississippi, USA) and Harrison Hao Yang (State University of New York at Oswego, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-788-1.ch027
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Enhancing the substantial interaction in e-learning courses can be a challenge to instructors. The chapter gave an overview of online interaction, portfolios development, and blogs use in education. It then discussed the potential uses of Weblog-based portfolio for e-learning courses in supporting interactions among students and instructors, and presented a case study on how a blogfolio approach was implemented into three hybrid courses and one fully online course at two universities in the United States. The effectiveness of the blogfolio approach on interactions in both fully online and hybrid courses has been assessed and confirmed in this study.
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Technology integration often brings both opportunities and challenges to education. Among those opportunities and challenges, online teaching and learning is one of most notable ones. Online information and communication are changing the way instructors and learners interact within the teaching/learning process. Online teaching and learning represents a new educational paradigm. The “anytime, anywhere” accessibility of e-learning courses provide students and teachers the opportunities to work at their own pace and at locations they are able to control (Berge, 1995; Edelson, 1998; Spiceland & Hawkins, 2002). In addition, online-based e-learning “allows students to reflect upon the materials and their responses before responding, unlike traditional classrooms” (Richardson & Swan, 2003. p. 69).

While e-learning courses are expanding and the numbers of participants are increasing (Waits, Lewis, & Green, 2003), critics of e-learning have been questioning whether instructors separated by distance from their students can provide the same quality of education as in face-to-face courses (Durden, 2001). Currently, there are two main types of e-learning applications within higher education courses: (a) fully online applications in which teaching and learning activities take place entirely at an online computer-mediated communication (CMC) setting; (b) hybrid applications in which both traditional classroom instruction and online CMC are blended. In either online or hybrid applications, online learning content is typically provided by courseware authors/instructors, structured into courses by a course management system (CMS), and consumed by students. Such an e-learning course is often driven by the needs of the institution/program rather than the individual learner. This may increase reluctances of interaction, anxieties of communication, and feelings of disconnectedness among students and their instructors. Picciano (2001) found that through traditional face-to-face course, students could often learn from each other in many outside-class situations, they could share insights and information in social exchanges in the library or cafeteria. Students, on the other hand, could not meet in this way in an online course since they hardly knew each other in person. Furthermore, Vrasidas and McIssac (1999) and Brown (2001) revealed that less experienced distance learners might struggle in online courses. They participated less frequently and less spontaneously, either for social or instructional purposes. Interactions between instructors and students in the online situation can also be problematic. As Curtis and Lawson (2001) noted,

The one-to-many interaction of the lecture and seminar that comprises most of the student-teacher interaction for the many students who do not seek individual consultations with their teachers, is often replaced by one-on-one interaction via CIT [communication and information technologies]. However, for the lecturer this interaction occurs at the expense of efficiency because mediated one-on-one interactions, such as email interchanges, are easily initiated by the student and can be very time-consuming (p. 23).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Electronic Portfolio: It is referred as a portfolio that uses electronic technologies, allowing the portfolio developer to collect and organize portfolio evidence/artifacts in many media types such as audio, video, graphics, text.

E-Learning Course: It is referred to the course which learning content is typically provided by courseware authors/instructors, fully or partially structured by a course management system, and delivered in a distance learning environment.

Weblog: Weblog is referred as “Web log” or “blog”. A Weblog usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. In addition, the information of a Weblog can be gleaned from other Web sites or other sources, or contributed by users.

Blogfolio: To distinguish it from typical Web-based portfolios, a Weblog-based portfolio is usually called a “blogfolio”, which incorporates advantages of both Weblogs and portfolios.

Interaction: According to Wagner (1994), “Simply stated, interactions are reciprocal events that require at least two objects and two actions. Interactions occur when these objects and events mutually influence one another” (p. 8).

Web-Based Portfolio: It is one commonly applied type of electronic portfolios, which is specifically created for and placed on the Web.

Portfolio: It referred to a purposeful and selective collection of work that tells the story with reflection and self-assessment, and provides authentic evidence of the individual’s efforts, skills, abilities, achievement, and contributions over time.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Chien Yu, Wei-Chieh Wayne Yu, Chun Fu Lin
Dramatic changes in information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide a powerful force forthe growth of e-learning. E-learning has become... Sample PDF
Computer-Mediated Learning: What Have We Experienced and Where Do We Go Next?
Chapter 2
Clara Pereira Coutinho, João Batista Bottentuit Jr.
In this chapter the authors analyze issues and ideas regarding the next generation of e-Learning, which is already known as e-Learning 2.0 or social... Sample PDF
From Web to Web 2.0 and E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 3
Chaka Chaka
This chapter contends that both Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web (the SW) serve as critical enablers for e-learning 2.0. It also maintains that the SW... Sample PDF
E-Learning 2.0: Web 2.0, the Semantic Web and the Power of Collective Intelligence
Chapter 4
Jianxia Du, Yunyan Liu, Robert L. Brown
An online learning community can be a place for vibrant discussions and the sharing of new ideas in a medium where content constantly changes. This... Sample PDF
The Key Elements of Online Learning Communities
Chapter 5
Ke Zhang, Curtis J. Bonk
This chapter reviews the characteristics of learners of different generations. In particular, it compares their differences in terms of learning... Sample PDF
Generational Learners & E-Learning Technologies
Chapter 6
Robin M. Roberts
The relationship between the Digital or Millennium Generation and Web 2.0 is investigated focusing on how post-secondary students just entering... Sample PDF
The Digital Generation and Web 2.0: E-Learning Concern or Media Myth?
Chapter 7
Jeffrey Hsu, Karin Hamilton
Adult learners have a set of specific and unique needs, and are different from traditional college students. Possessing greater maturity, interest... Sample PDF
Adult Learners, E-Learning, and Success: Critical Issues and Challenges in an Adult Hybrid Distance Learning Program
Chapter 8
Dazhi Yang, Jennifer C. Richardson
Past studies indicate that students demonstrate different online interaction styles, which consist of the ways or habits students acquire knowledge... Sample PDF
Online Interaction Styles: Adapting to Active Interaction Styles
Chapter 9
Yuliang Liu
Learner satisfaction and learning is currently a very important topic in online instruction and learning. Blignaut and Trollip (2003) proposed six... Sample PDF
Strategies for Providing Formative Feedback to Maximize Learner Satisfaction and Online Learning
Chapter 10
Bo Kyeong Kim, Youngkyun Baek
Web 2.0 is changing the paradigm of using the Internet which is affecting the e-learning paradigm. In this chapter, e-learning 2.0 and its... Sample PDF
Exploring Ideas and Possibilities of Second Life as an Advanced E-Learning Environment
Chapter 11
Jeannine Hirtle, Samuel Smith
Communities of practice (CoP’s)—much touted and studied as a mechanism for teacher education and professional development—may offer environments for... Sample PDF
When Virtual Communities Click: Transforming Teacher Practice, Transforming Teachers
Chapter 12
Luiz Fernando de Barros Campos
This chapter investigates whether information technology tools typical of Web 2.0 can support Knowledge Management (KM) practices in organizations.... Sample PDF
Could Web 2.0 Technologies Support Knowledge Management in Organizations?
Chapter 13
Colleen Carmean
Anytime and all-the-time access to electronic resources, artifacts and community have changed learning practices in the workplace as surely as it... Sample PDF
E-Learning Design for the Information Workplace
Chapter 14
Paraskevi Mentzelou, Dimitrios Drogidis
The aims of Greek education system is to give to students the ability to develop the required skills, character and values that will enable them to... Sample PDF
The Impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the Greek Educational Community
Chapter 15
Richard Hartshorne, Haya Ajjan, Richard E. Ferdig
In this chapter, the authors provide evidence for the potential of various Web 2.0 applications in higher education through a review of relevant... Sample PDF
Faculty Use and Perceptions of Web 2.0 in Higher Education
Chapter 16
Susanne Markgren, Carrie Eastman, Leah Massar Bloom
In this chapter, the authors explore the role of academic librarians in the e-learning 2.0 environment. Librarians are excellent partners in... Sample PDF
Librarian as Collaborator: Bringing E-Learning 2.0 Into the Classroom by Way of the Library
Chapter 17
Betül C. Özkan
Because of the ways students learn and make sense of world change, higher education institutions try to re-conceptualize this change process and... Sample PDF
Implementing E-Learning in University 2.0: Are Universities Ready for the Digital Age?
Chapter 18
Hsiu-Ting Hung
The focus of the chapter is two-fold: on one hand, it seeks theoretical understanding of literacy as social practice; on the other hand, it explores... Sample PDF
New Literacies in New Times: A Multimodal Approach to Literacy Learning
Chapter 19
Rajani S. Sadasivam, Katie M. Crenshaw, Michael J. Schoen, Raju V. Datla
The e-learning 2.0 transformation of continuing education of healthcare professionals (CE/CME) will be characterized by a fundamental shift from the... Sample PDF
Transforming Continuing Healthcare Education with E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 20
Brian Smith, Peter Reed
The excitement of Web 2.0 and E-learning 2.0 is upon us. As the use of social networking sites and other Web 2.0 tools continue to increase... Sample PDF
Mode Neutral: The Pedagogy that Bridges Web 2.0 and e-Learning 2.0
Chapter 21
F. R. Nordengren, Ann M. York
This chapter is a practical overview of both the theoretical, evidence-based research in pedagogy and the anecdotal, experience-based practices of... Sample PDF
Dispatches from the Graduate Classroom: Bringing Theory and Practice to E-Learning
Chapter 22
Kathryn Kennedy, Jeff Boyer, Catherine Cavanaugh, Kara Dawson
Using the theoretical framework of “craft” highlighted by Richard Sennett (2008) in The Craftsman, this chapter focuses on constructionism and the... Sample PDF
Student-Centered Teaching with Constructionist Technology Tools: Preparing 21st Century Teachers
Chapter 23
Clara Pereira Coutinho
In this chapter the author presents the results of a project developed in pre-service and in-service teacher education programs at the Minho... Sample PDF
Challenges for Teacher Education in the Learning Society: Case Studies of Promising Practice
Chapter 24
Pearl Chen
This chapter reviews the current state of theory and practice of experience design and suggests that the notion of experience should be regarded as... Sample PDF
From Memorable to Transformative E-Learning Experiences: Theory and Practice of Experience Design
Chapter 25
Carl Scott, Youmei Liu, Madhuri Kumar
This chapter will examine the relationship between a constructivist teaching approach and online learning experiences in the Virtual Worlds of... Sample PDF
Authentic Learning in Second Life: A Constructivist Model in Course Design
Chapter 26
C. Candace Chou
This study explores student views of various E-Learning tools as teaching and learning media in an online course for pre-service and in-service... Sample PDF
Student Perceptions and Pedagogical Applications of E-Learning Tools in Online Course
Chapter 27
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Harrison Hao Yang
Enhancing the substantial interaction in e-learning courses can be a challenge to instructors. The chapter gave an overview of online interaction... Sample PDF
Using Blogfolios to Enhance Interaction in E-Learning Courses
Chapter 28
Priti Srinivas Sajja
Quality of an e-Learning solution depends on its content, services offered by it and technology used. To increase reusability of common learning... Sample PDF
Multi-Tier Knowledge-Based System Accessing Learning Object Repository Using Fuzzy XML
Chapter 29
Ivan Angelov, Sathish Menon, Michael Douma
This chapter outlines central findings from surveys that considered factors that drive online experience as expressed by the three different groups... Sample PDF
Finding Information: Factors that Improve Online Experiences
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