DHC co-director Kenneth Sherwood is continuing the teaching explorations of blogging with English 101 students this year -- using a new tool called Wordpress/Buddypress. Students are conducting audio interviews and using a blog to document their writing processes.
As Dr. Eric Glicker's research shows, one dimension contributing to the value of writing through blogs is the opportunity to create a community of learners in dialogue. So having others read the blog and comment is crucial to gaining the motivational and shaping effects of audience.
The Wordpress/Buddypress blogging system that Dr. Sherwood has installed and configured on the IUPDHC servers fuses the qualities associated with traditional single-author blogs and those associated with social networks. Students each create and maintain individual, personal blogs with a customized design and sole control over their blog's content. But the home site invites visitors to follow their classmates' writing through the display of avatars, who's online, recent comments and recent posts.