Design and evaluation of an online tool for open learning with blogs
Blogs are used in higher education to support face-to-face courses, to organise online courses, and to open up courses for a wider group of participants. However the open and distributed nature of blogs creates problems that are not common in other learning contexts. Four key challenges related to the use of blogs in learning were identified from earlier research: fragmented discussions, a lack of coordination structures, weak support for awareness, and a danger of over-scripting. The EduFeedr system has been designed to address these issues. In this paper, the authors present their evaluation of its design and effectiveness in a total of 10 courses. The results indicate that learners find the EduFeedr system useful in following discussions and in comparing their progress with other learners. The coordination and awareness issues are seen as more important than the fragmentation of discussions and a danger of over-scripting.
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