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Research 2.0: Blogs as Windows of Opportunity for Teaching Research Writing
image credit: Manuel Lima
If we could see into the student researcher's thoughts, what would we see?
I. Brief Overview of our Project
Students kept research blogs and librarian and instructor monitored and commented.
II. Emotional Component of Research
Student quotes & "zones of intervention" on SlideShare
III. Student/Instructor Misperceptions
Student's misperceptions about the research process
Research is linear
Research is a solitary activity
Our misperceptions (on SlideShare)
Students would be comfortable with the technology
27.8% of college students are blogging, according to the
ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007
Low numbers are also evidenced in
The Net Generation are not big users of Web 2.0 technologies: Preliminary findings
They come to college with an understanding of the research process
They appreciate having options
They have a uniform skill level
They are aware of the scope and coverage of the tools they are using
They know where information is coming from
Understand the difference between library subscription resources and the general web
Understand the relationship between print journals and online articles
Understand that not all articles are immediately accessible free of charge
What do students need to know to make them successful researchers?
the messy, recursive process of "research" is driven by reflection and enriched by collaboration
how do we best help them to learn this?
designing assignments where they have to engage in real research, and supporting and guiding using NEW TOOLS that fit our goals to their style
Just-in-time learning --what they need to know, just when they need to know it
Customization--not hypothetical problems but answering their own real questions
III. Re-envisioning the Millennial Classroom
Educating the Net Generation
: " Because the Net Generation has been shaped by an environment that is information and communication rich, team-based, achievement-oriented, visually based, and instantly responsive, they often recoil from isolated, lecture-based, information-dated, responsive-deficient silos of learning comprised of outdated technologies from the mid-20th century." (p.13)
New Tools, building a new classroom:
Blogs Reconsidered: what if they are not "newspapers" but, instead "windows"?
Find out quickly and easily when a new post is up in any of the blogs that you follow through
RSS and readers
For more information on the technical side, visit our
Using the blogs EFFECTIVELY: to get the students to fully engage in the research process, you need to guide them in what to write in the blog
research post format:
1. create a link (if possible–if not, write out a citation)
2. Explain why you are looking at this source/what the source is (annotation)
3. What question(s) does this source help you to answer?
4. What new question(s) do you now have?
5. Strategize–what next?
a useful article on research logs and how to design the assignment is: "
Keeping track: Librarians, composition instructors and student writers use the research journal
" by Trixie G. Smith
IV. Suggestions for implementing research blogs & similar projects
Ask instructional technologists which instructors are blogging
Make sure you have some time to devote in order to stay actively involved in reading & commenting
Set up your own RSS reader (
sell the advantages of the blog platform, like being able to make links to actual materials and also the auto dating of entries to "help" students keep active in their research
Feel free to contact us for specific suggestions from instructor and/or librarian perspective
Brainstorm: what would be the first obstacle you would face at your institution if you decided to implement this strategy? How could you overcome it?
For More Information, contact:
Terry Dolson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Olivia Reinauer (email@example.com)
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