Developing a University-Wide Instructional Design Blog for Information Sharing and Professional Development

Developing a University-Wide Instructional Design Blog for Information Sharing and Professional Development

Shalin Hai-Jew (Kansas State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijicst.2011010104

Abstract

As an interactive communications tool, work-related blogs can offer professionals a way to reflect on their practices and connect with other professionals around the world who have similar backgrounds and interests. Reflection helps practitioners make connections between various information streams, their work experiences, and interactions with clients. Reflection can also help connect educational research with applied practices. This essay focuses on the development and evolution of the Instructional Design Open Studio (IDOS) blog, which started in early 2006. The IDOS blog was designed as a professional and academic blog to serve the faculty community as a way to disseminate information about e-learning. The author discusses the steps that went into developing the blog, as well as a range of specific issues, including technological, organizational, policy-based, and design. In conclusion, the author shares insight into the overall experience and provides directions for the future.
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Existing Research

Web 2.0 offers networked platforms for connecting various devices and allows for more easeful sharing and remixing of data from multiple sources (Miller, 2005). The term “Web 2.0” refers to the more recent iteration of the WWW with more functionalities that include sharing opinions, attitudes, and digital resources as well as the growth of online communities. A culture of “social openness” (Lin, 2007, p. 101) pervades the current incarnation of the Web. Using these technologies requires the discipline of staying on point even in a flood of “open communication, decentralization of authority, and freedom to share and re-use Web content” (Barsky, 2006, pp. 33-34). This phenomenon has been built on the base of service-oriented architectures for intellectual resource discovery, the mashup of technologies, and tagging (Schroth & Janner, 2007). As part of the phenomenon of user-generated contents that came with Web 2.0 technologies, blogging emerged as a means for audiences with prior-existing shared interests, both personal and professional, to share their knowledge, information, and experiences.

Interactivity has been described as “reflective expressiveness” (Hasenblas & Nack, 2007), often built up around shared interests and information. Web 2.0 has also been called “the wisdom Web, people-centric Web, participative Web, and read/write Web” (Murugesan, 2007, p. 34). These technologies promote “socialization, communication and participation” (Tijerino, Masaki, & Igaki, 2006). Communities of practice often require “collaborative efforts by consumers and producers of knowledge to exchange ideas and experiences” (Yang, Chen, & Su, 2007), and in so doing would be stronger with more dispersed controls.

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