Thursday, January 04, 2007

Why have a 'teaching blog'?

Classes start on Monday, and I've put a link to this blog on the BIOL 121 WebCT homepage (only open to students), so curious students from my classes are likely to start visiting this blog. I doubt that any of their other profs have teaching blogs, so I'd better explain what I'm trying to accomplish here.

This is where I'll be reflecting a bit about my goals for the course. I'll discuss what I'm trying to accomplish in each class and the logic behind the different things I'll ask students to do. I'll probably also consider how to deal with problems (both practical and pedagogical), and now to improve approaches that are not working as well as I'd like.

I'm making it easy for students to read this blog because I'm a big believer in open information. People who study teaching often write about 'meta-learning' (learning about the process of learning) and argue quite convincingly that students who are encouraged to think about how they learn will learn better.

The comments are open (anonymous comments are allowed), and I'll always read them though I probably won't directly respond. Students who want responses should post their questions on the WebCT Discussions Board; I'll create a 'topic' there for posts about this blog, and allow anonymous posting.

And no, the blog material won't be on the exam.

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