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Exploring the Effects of Online Blogging on Student Participation, Quality, and the Achievement of Course Outcomes in a Freshman Engineering Course

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

FPD IX: Research on First-year Programs Part III

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.620.1 - 25.620.16



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Paper Authors


Federica Robinson-Bryant Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Orcid 16x16

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Federica Robinson-Bryant is an instructor in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Freshman Engineering Department. She is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Central Florida, studying within the Industrial Engineering & Management Systems Department.

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Exploring the Effects of Online Blogging on Student Participation, Quality and the Achievement of Course Outcomes in a Freshman Engineering CourseAbstract:Online communication is gaining a rising presence in higher education. The use of the Internethas stimulated educators to employ tools like Second Life, Facebook and even blogging in theirteaching practices. This impulse to adopt new technologies also imposes a need to investigatethe affects of using such tools on education itself.In order to explore the effects of online blogging, specifically, three questions were queried: 1. What condition (or combination of conditions) warrants peak student participation? 2. What condition (or combination of conditions) results in the highest quality of student input? 3. How does online blogging affect the student’s perception of achieving the course’s outcomes?Over one semester, students in an introductory engineering course participated in blogging as apercentage of their overall grade. Several situations were tested to determine the effects of suchconditions on participation rates and the quality of student input. Multiple class sections taughtby one instructor experimented with two variables specifically, InputRequirement andDirectedFunction. InputRequirements varied between whether student participation was requiredor voluntary, while the DirectedFunction determined whether the instructor posted a topic thatconstrained the students’ inputs to a certain course-related topic versus the students being free tocreate any posts related to the course content. Student pre- and post-surveys were also collected.The data were evaluated based on three prevailing concerns- 1. Participation Rates: Student participation was tracked throughout the 8 week period per student, per course and overall. 2. Quality of Post: The quality of post was determined based on a 4-point scale and evaluated by the instructor only. This rubric weighed the students’ ability to address the topic, follow instructions, respond to their peers (or add to their own blog), and an overall ability to add value to the blog. 3. Course Outcomes: A preliminary and end-of-course survey was collected to obtain some insight to how well the students perceived the effects of blogging on overall course outcomes. The preliminary survey focused on the student’s past experience with blogs, student demographics, and generic perceptions about blogging and its use. The end-of- course survey focused solely on the student’s perception of the effect of blogging on course outcomes and any factors affecting individual participation rates.Nevertheless, the purpose of this paper is to introduce this exploratory, but practical applicationof blogging in higher education. Findings are revealed based on the prevailing researchquestions in an attempt to conceptualize future blogging requirements and argue whether the useof blogging is an effective tool given student participation, perception and input quality. It alsooffers opportunities for future research in this area.

Robinson-Bryant, F. (2012, June), Exploring the Effects of Online Blogging on Student Participation, Quality, and the Achievement of Course Outcomes in a Freshman Engineering Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21377

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