sincerely apologize that I feel that this is going to be a
very very long post. I tend to do that. This is a matter that
really should be discussed more thoroughly over a pint / pot of
coffee / foosball table (table ice hockey here in Finland,
of everything that follows:
blog should be implemented as a spin-off module from Forum, labeled
as Blog, with an icon of it's own. To accompany we would need a
couple of special side blocks and a course format, maybe. This feels
like a natural solution, but somehow always eludes the simplicity
when the time comes to do the actual thing. (Do you know Barbapapa )
here we (well, I) go:
D., your ultimate question: simple, unified communication of
everything might escape us for the next version or the version
after that (or after that). Something to keep the brain warm with
though. I'm stepping down a bit for starters and thinking more about
the traditional blogs and their meaningful inclusion in Moodle.
think the first problem you mentioned (or the way I read it, When
will users post to a forum and when to their blog?) is a bit of
the ball, because the answer is too easily just well... it
depends. We don't know and we can't know.
you go on clarifying, it's a similar problem than with the already
existing outlet forums: Which forum do you post to? When do you use a
Wiki? When do you create a FAQ article in a Glossary? If you do, do
you announce the new FAQ article somewhere? And so on. A helpful
thing is to have meaningful places for things and well thought-out
subject forums. Still it is clear that a FAQ article or a piece of
Wiki can start out as a discussion on a forum or a comment on a
Glossary item. Then it is maybe copyedited and copied or moved to
another, more natural (in a somewhat subjective opinion, of course)
place. This is a natural, organic way to organize things and let the
information grow. In my view, it's the only possible way since we
don't know the contents of these things beforehand.
So it's not so much about Will they use it right? or even about
How will they use it?, but more about Are there meaningful
uses for it? and yes, thinking about the usability also Will
they be completely confused?. My question would be Why do we
need/want blogs? This is asked in a benevolent way, mind you! The
answer to this question might bring some insight on the nature of
blogs versus regular forums.
suggestion for the in-between solution:
a special type of Forum (as a module), that is just labeled blog,
with as little difference (code wise at least) to the original Forum
than possible. It should share the code base with Forum, but have an
(code) interface of it's own. It should have an icon of it's own, as
blogs are relatively well known as an entity of their own. This way
the similarities with the original Forum might not be as confusing.
suggest this as I was a bit surprised by the amount of changes in the
Moodle core files by the blog addition. I'd think it can be done with
far less changes to the core, with a new module, some new side blocks
and a course format.
the blog forum should show the beginnings of the posts immediately,
like in the Social format course or in almost all of the blog
elaboration on this via commenting on other people's comments:
Hansen says forum is more of a level playing ground and
blog gives a person an air of authority and she is correct.
This could be achieved with a regular forum just by specifying the
users that are allowed to post to the forum and then, to give the air
of authority, advertising this fact somewhere in the forum space.
(Cartman, get out of my head when I say authority )
Hansen also mentions that often bloggers don't read the comments they
get or comment on them. It's slightly in the nature of blogs that
comes with the authority feel, they are personal outlets. I
believe most bloggers do read the comments, and more and more
bloggers have been commenting on the comments, by the way.
N Hansen's point about the quality of the contents of blogs should be
disregarded in this matter. 90 percent of everything is crud.
(See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_Law).
The quality of the contents produced with an application doesn't
necessarily, usually or ever say anything about the quality of the
Page, among with others I'm sure, has been eagerly waiting for
the inclusion of blogs to Moodle. They would be the best to answer my
question: What features of blogs do you long for?
Page, you mention few things with her bulleted list but none of those
are specific to blogs, really. I'm interesting to know a bit more
details about the features you mention, or how you would use them.
Page Blog: Do you mean the collected blog entries in the site front
page? The site news course format is pretty much similar to
this. With the new blog forum we could add a shopping
basket that the admin could collect the blogs that will have their
entries shown on the front page. Or the blog preferences could be set
to be site wide. This presents the problem of students
publishing their blog entries on the site front page automatically,
so it should be left for the admins to decide.
blog format: Again, pretty much like the Social format that
exists, showing new posts on the course front page.
to have different themes for different blogs: Moodle 1.5 allows for
the courses to have themes of their own, so we could give the
bloggers Social format courses of their own with their own
feeds to the blogs: Forums also already have RSS feeds.
Hyndman says that people are using blogs for a lot more than just
blogging. This in itself is not a reason to include the blogs in
Moodle. We would have to know a bit more on for what and why.
If it's just an easy way to get stuff on the web, as it usually is,
then Moodle itself is already such a way. Using the Social format
course again would allow for the site (or very close to it) Steve
linked to (http://education.bowiestate.edu/).
also says that Moodle and blogs should not be integrated. I agree.
But it still leaves an option to have a blog-like module and/or
blog-like features in Moodle. For this we should know what are the
exact qualities of blogs that make them special. (Going in circles,
am I? )
Steve says that Moodle has too much for an e-portfolio system. I
think e-portfolio is a bit off from blogs, and could be viewed as a
separate path of problem-solving. Maybe a personal course for
all students that has a lot of things stripped from it. Enabled with
a click of an admin button. This might be happening on the way to
Enterprise Moodle, where (semi)automatic course creation,
automatic categorization, course templates and such come into play.
Hinkelman goes a bit further and summarizes, nicely, some of the
existing major discussion tools. (I often feel like a major
discussion tool myself) If portfolios are seen as a collection of
ones work, then the Blog forum would/might work for this.
is the problem with publishing. I would like to see that be
all-or-nothing. It's confusing to guess who sees this now and who
doesn't. Maybe allow for drafts, but private places for students to
publish things to teacher only or to another group of students
could/should be handled with Online assignment, group Forums and
Forums, journal, profile: what Don said. The other smaller toolets he
mentions could be built when the need arises or the time comes.
call the brave new system portfolio... Maybe, but maybe not.
It's a ambiguous term already.
said his stuff in one row of text, amazing I would add the
publicity to this also, blogs are usually in their nature very open.
I'm done for this post. I'm not sure if I actually said anything,
that's why I'm thinking of a career in politics (really). But Martin
said to hold the ideas and comments to the all messages in a
central table for another time
really should be writing my Master's thesis, my now got into thinking
about this Why is it that it's always easier to do something else
than what you're supposed to be doing, no matter how similar the
distraction is to the real thing?