Sunday, December 25, 2011

Online Students Enjoy Blogging About Global Issues

     During the Fall quarter, my students in SOC 415 Global Social Change created individual "global issue blogs" using the blog feature within the Blackboard learning management system.  Each student selected one developing country as the focus of the blog.  During the 12-week quarter, students blogged about some of the global problems --human trafficking, poverty, environmental problems, human rights violations, lack of education -- in that country and how non-profit organizations and social enterprises are helping solve those problems.  

     Early in the quarter, Loren Kleinman of the Academic Support Center (now with our instructional design department) and Elizabeth Leonard of the Online Library presented students with a Lib Guide workshop on Blogging at this link.  The Berkeley College Library and Academic Support Center have created a number of excellent Lib Guides for our online courses at this link.  Loren and Elizabeth helped moderate a class discussion in the online course and helped guide the students in their research on global issues in the country the selected for study. 

   Students had access to their classmates' blogs and posted comments during the quarter.  Through visiting and commenting on one another's blogs, students learned about the social problems facing many developing countries, not just the country they researched.   On our final discussion forum students reflected on their research blogging experience.

Doing the blog project also taught me a lot. Out of all the papers that I've done for my other classes, I enjoyed doing the blog the most. I really learned a lot about other countries.  C.L.

I will admit, that I was uncertain about this class at first.  You made it a lot more exciting with allowing us to use a blog to learn about the countries that not everyone might have known well.  I even learned more about a country that holds part of my family and part of my heritage as well.  It has made me also open my eyes so much more and I am very glad that I took this class!  A.G.

What I enjoyed most was the blog project was the looking into the worlds of people in different countries and learning about the things that were going on socially and economically.  K.B.

When I had first seen this class, I believed this course would help me make my decision whether I wanted to continue my education in international studies, which I would like to.  This class has been enlightening and I have enjoyed learning about different countries social issues through our blog project.   A.R.

I think our blog project was a great idea, since all this information was available to all of us! From our blog I learned  a lot of new information about many poor countries.   Z.M.

Global Social Change has really opend my eyes to the real world. When I thought I had it bad, the blogging project enlightened me to see there are people in Third World countries who are suffering.  J.C.