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Karen's Dissertation

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on April 6, 2008 at 7:11:59 pm

Monitoring Student Engagement by Blogging.




This paper examines the value of using weekly assessed blogging as a method to address inadequate student engagement and motivation on a computing course in higher education.  The goal is to look at blogging from the student experience and consequent feedback.  It also presents the findings of a project where student involvement and satisfaction were measured using feedback and monitored engagement and examines whether students felt there was a intrinsic benefit to the blogging other than marks towards their coursework.  Both research and theoretical background studies are discussed to help clarify the rational of using this approach with students in higher education.


Keywords:  Blogging, Engagement, Assessment, Motivation, E-Pedagogy


1. Introduction


Highly engaged and motivated students have been thought to be less likely to drop out of education and to have increased academic success (Blank, 1997). However, keeping students engaged and motivated is a challenge that most lecturers encounter. Student motivation "refers to a student's willingness, need, desire and compulsion to participate in, and be successful in, the learning process" (Bomia et al., 1997).   Research has shown that lecturers can influence student motivation and that there are methods to help make coursework and assignments more engaging and more effective for students (Anderman & Midgley, 1998).


This case study focuses on first and second year computing students who are required to keep a weekly blog for eight weeks, from week four to week eleven of the first semester.  The blogs are marked weekly.  The total amount of marks available over the eight week period contributes 50% of the of coursework total.  A marking guide was provided in advance so students could see how this part of the assignment would be assessed.




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