Monday, May 3, 2010

Formative blogging

My semester of teaching in the classroom ended a few weeks ago. However, my work continues. I still have stacks of papers to mark.

Tonight I finally finished reading and grading the final blog posts from my spiritual formation class.

If your wondering how blogging fits into a college course on spiritual formation, here's a quick overview:

At the beginning of the semester, students form groups of 3-4 students. Each week they are given time to talk about the lecture and interact with the previous week's reading from Henri Nouwen's book, Spiritual Direction. Then, each week, a different student summarizes the content of their group discussion and posts it on a group blog (they have the option of making it private so only the group and I have access). Each week I read the blog and make a few brief comments.

I've been using this format for the past two years and it has been a helpful for two reasons: it serves as a feedback mechanism to make sure the lecture content is being understood, and it provides a way for me to interact individually with each student in a class of 40-50 students.

If only marking papers could be that fun.

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