Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The IKD Approach to Reflective Blogging (a WIN WIN approach)

It’s amazing to think that my previous blog mushroomed from me just thinking I need to comment upon my own blogging and the potential boredom inducing qualities of a blog to a 900 word mini epic.

After finally completing my “Blogs are Boring! Discuss” blog, I had a good nights kip and I was awoken this morning at 4am with further thoughts on blogging! I resisted the urge, but I could not let it go, I am afraid I had to rush to my PC and capture these thoughts. Perhaps my next blog, should be “Blogging is bad for your health! Discuss”.

Anyway the combination of two things has led me to the seeds of an idea for a clearly defined assessment approach to reflective (educational) blogging. I would describe the approach as the Incremental Knowledge Development approach to blogging. i.e. The IKD approach.

The first element of the IKD Approach is that a blogger should be encouraged to take a “me, me me and what I think think think” approach to a series of blogs in order to allow the blogger to “spew forth” the ideas and the thoughts that are trapped inside the blogger destined never to be revealed if they are weighed down with the burden of having to adhere to certain criteria that a blog should include, for example links, pictures, supporting and counter arguments, references etc etc.

The second element is to include a summary blog of previous blogs where further deep thought can go into analyzing what has been written and then taking a more critical approach to the blog and attempting to adhere to marking criteria previously established for the blog. This summary could be by topic, at the end of a month, after a fixed n umber of blogs – the exact timing and the nature of the summary to be decided as appropriate.

This idea arose after conversations with my mentor Richard Hall, where after discussing blogs and how I thought that maybe assessment of blogs should be as a whole and not just on individual blogs he suggested that maybe a summary blog could be used to as it where “reflect back on the reflective blog.”

In my opinion what the IKD Approach would do for reflective blogging would be to make the assessment of blogs easier. Time spent marking any piece of work is a crucial element in the education system and I believe the IKD approach would:

1. Allow the students to develop there knowledge in as free, easy and as creative as manner as possible.
2. Create a clear framework to show where, how and when assessment criteria will be applied to summary blogs.
3. Make the marking of blogs as simple, clear and less time consuming as possible for the marker.

This fledgling IKD approach has evolved from my previous blog statement that “I see the blog developing from initial thoughts and assertions through to supporting and contradictory arguments leading to conclusions about a particular topic.”

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