A blog short for ‘weblog’, is an online platform, or website, where authors regularly write articles (called posts or entries), typically in a journal/diary-style.
Usually written in short, structured paragraphs—often in a reflective, analytical style—authors can embed supporting images, videos or links that evidence or demonstrate key points in their blog post. A single blog can be authored by a single student or multiple students as part of group-based assessment
…….. facilitate and assess the development of critical thinking and reflective writing skills and ability to weave thoughts and ideas within a coherent discussion.
Blogs allow you to create reflective, analytical content which you can share with a broader community and receive commentary or feedback on (via online comments). In this way, blogging can support communication, peer feedback, peer review, collaboration and community-building.
By engaging students in reflective practice within a common digital platform, blogs also provide opportunities for enhancing digital capabilities including digital communication and participation (JISC 2021).
You can be creative with the structure of your blog (unless you have been given a certain template) but, like an essay, it does require referencing.
This section aims to help you to identify the purpose of your assessments and the standards expected of you in a digital context.
Key considerations when using blogs for assessment
Blogs can be individual or collaborative and can be used to showcase your work over a period of time. When creating your own blog as part of an assessment, always refer to the guidelines and requirements provided by your lecturer, keeping the following points in mind:
If you are unfamiliar with blogging, check what supports have been provided for you. Blogging platform providers often provide help documentation to support users through the technical steps of setting up and posting to a blog. Make sure you also know how to comment on/peer review another student’s blog post. And if in doubt, ask your lecturer where you might find help.
Where are you going to host your blog? E.g. in the institutional VLE or on a third party blogging platform?
Will your blog be private (where only you and your lecturer/examiner can view it) or available for public viewing?
Is your blog individual or collaborative? If collaborative, how you are going to ensure equal contributions?
For what purpose is your blog being assessed? Formative, summative or both?
- If the blog contributes to your final grade, how much is it worth?
- What criteria is being used to assess your blog? For example,
- Is it being assessed quantitatively (e.g. by number of length of posts), qualitatively, or both? If so, how often do you need to post?
- Has a rubric been provided? Make sure you keep this mind when writing each post.
- Create a timeline for writing and posting your entries. Try not to leave them till the last minute!
The VLE Blog tool is accessible through Blackboard
Google Sites is accessible via myzone
External tools (unsupported by Trinity):
Examples of student blogs
This Blackboard resources provides guidance for students on how to set up and create a blog within a Blackboard module.
This student resource from the University of Edinburgh provides a comprehensive overview of general best practice when writing blog posts.