THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COLLECTIVE GROUP BLOGS AS A TOOL FOR REFLECTION WITHIN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING PROJECTS: A CASE STUDY OF SIMULATED WORK BASED LEARNING WITHIN HIGHER EDUCATION
1 Plymouth College of Art (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 University of Plymouth (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The use of simulated work based learning, particularly in Art and Design education, provides an important opportunity for students to gain vital employability skills and experience such as the ability to work to deadlines, team work, the need to take creative direction and professional practice skills, all of which are vital when undertaking a commission from a client.
When undertaking such activities it is possible for only surface learning to occur due to the manner in which the reflective activities required for deeper learning to occur can be missed or only applied on an individual basis.
One way in which this potentially could be assured could be through the use of Web 2.0 technologies and more specifically through the use of a collective blog which can be utilised by both staff and students to record the experiences that have been undertaken and results of the learning that has occurred.
Benefits of the use of such technology are expected to include the asynchronous nature of the technology, the anytime, any place nature of blogs, the ability to receive comments and feedback and the nature of the posts as publically visible to many audiences including the possibility to engage with external commentators such as industry specialists.
However whilst benefits are expected it is also possible that failure may occur due to factors such as lack of group engagement, lack of acceptance of the technology, the privacy and trust issues that potentially surround the use of blogs and the potential issues of social loafing that may occur within an online group environment.
This research, based on previous presentations of this module and the experience from the academic year 2011/2012, therefore provides an evaluation of the use of a collective blog as a reflective tool within a simulated work based project within the subject area of Art and Design, a subject area in which technology is often rejected, and a roadmap for successful implementation as a result of the findings is provided.
Keywords: Blogs, web 2.0, experiential learning, HE, work based learning, case study.