Weblog Interaction
Blogging: The Leading Online Teaching Tool
A. Cochran Independent Study 2004 Research Project

[Research Main] [Discussion Format] [Flexibility of Content] [Blog Interaction][Concluding Remarks][Works Cited]

Weblogs also offer interaction with a variety of audiences: peers, faculty, and the general outside-the-blogosphere public; whereas, other forms of online communication inherently do not. 

E-mail, for example, is exclusively between the sender and receiver; though one may send messages to several boxes, not everyone has the option of becoming knowledgeable of that information. 

Class forums also exclude the public from interaction, usually held solely between students and the instructor.  The nature of these environments is “not quite private…[yet] are not quite public, either (Lowe); students in this “password-protected classroom” atmosphere, “are safely sequestered from the discourse community of the Internet” (Lowe). 

On blogs, however, “students can…easily share a journal, not just with a teacher, another class member, or the entire class, but potentially with any interested reader on the Internet” (Lowe), with time “more motivated and comfortable expressing themselves” (Ulicne in Kolberg). 

Though blogs can introduce rather embarrassing situations, such as when introducing an “outside” blogger, for instance, Cochran mistakenly introduced Paige Miller as a “she.” The outcome of the interaction is beneficial for the student, pressing the student to push the boundaries of their experience.  The interaction between Cochran and Miller, for example, spawned a relationship between the two bloggers; in the comments section, he related that he “appreciate[d] the compliments” (Miller in Cochran), despite the mistaken gender identity. 

  
Girl Meets World: Mistaken Gender

In increased interaction, students not only shape a community with their peers and instructors, but also the general public, readying them for the “teacherless writing space” (Lowe) that awaits after their formal education has finished.    

Screenshot by Amanda Cochran.
Updated by Amanda Cochran on 12-12-04.