Where wikis work and blogs don't

From Ruth Reyner a couple of days ago:

She cites as one of the five most common mistakes of teachers beginning to wiki-fy:

3. Misuse of the environment

As I mentioned before, blogs are not wikis and they are not online discussion forums. The essential difference between a blog and other online tools is that it is intended to be an individual publication: a one-way monologue or self-post to which others may comment but do not contribute. The original post remains as the person who posted it wanted it to be. This is important to realize in the instructional setting. If a discussion is desired, then blogging would not be the tool of choice. In the same way, if journaling is the intended goal, then an online discussion forum would not be the tool of choice. It is important to realize, as an instructor, that if you desire a journal-type setting, then your comments should be supportive and constructive and not intrusive otherwise the student(s) will cease to post. Blogs can have a discussional nature if there are many subscribers and participants. That is, you can “hear” from every student on one topic or another by creating a blog ring to which they can subscribe. The self-posting, however, remains the same. That is, unlike a wiki, where changes can be made to posts and documents, in a blog, the initial post always stands and is simply responded to and not altered in any way. When using blogs to encourage students to articulate their thoughts students can become empowered and feel that they are developing their own voice in the learning process. Instructors can also “glimpse” students’ thought processes and become much more aware of their learning journey.

So for subjective expression, kids, the blog is your path. For things more objective, wiki-fy.

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