Blog vs. Discussion Board

What’s are trade-offs?

I’ve not heard anything from students about using blogs in their courses.  I’ve heard a whole lot about students’ about their dislike of discussion boards in blackboard and assignments that seem more like busywork to them vs. reflective assignments.

I have not used either tool in my courses and I don’t blog, tweet, or use discussion boards (yes, I’m a boomer).  I feel a lot of social pressure to begin using at least one of these tools in my courses.

I’d appreciate some users’ perspectives.

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10 Responses to Blog vs. Discussion Board

  1. Cub Kahn says:

    Marla, here’s a very interesting blog post from last week that addresses this question, citing research on the topic:

    • Marla Hacker says:

      Interesting article, thanks for linking me to it. It states that discussion boards still have their place and instructors just need to be choiceful. Where is a discussion board a better option than a blog? Again, I’ve not used either and would love to hear from people that have used both and have some recommendations about when one vs. the other is more effective in a course.

  2. Jonan Donaldson says:

    Although blogs are an excellent addition to an online or hybrid course, I have found the discussion boards are an essential part of any online learning experience. The reason is that discussion boards are all about peer-to-peer interaction, while blogs are for putting up longer posts for anyone to read. The way I run most of my classes is that any assignment (online presentation, document, video, etc) must be turned in through a discussion post, after which the students view each-others work and give “in-depth” feedback. I have used blogs before, but the Blackboard “blog” tool is a bit clunky. Instead, I have students create their own blogs on Blogspot, Weebly, or WordPress. Then each week they do their blog posts on their own public blogs, and then put a link to those posts in the discussion forum in Blackboard.

  3. wrighsar says:

    I like your use of discussion board for sharing work for feedback. It also helps when students are presenting to the class to have their Power Point and video linked to discussion board. This way we are sure to have it and I can preview it before class. I think the big issue with some students about discussion board is the reply twice assignment. I have found that the same students get replies over and over because they do the assignment right away. Then some students forget to reply by the due date because there is really nothing interesting to reply to at the time they sit down to do the work.

    I found the blog in BB to be ok if you are asking students to journal on chapter readings. A few students told me they really enjoyed reading their peers insights and they could get ideas for themselves as they are struggling.

  4. Marla Hacker says:

    Interesting. Maybe the reply twice is a problematic. I’ve had a similar problem when we are asked to do this in this community. I look through the posts and find something of interest and reply. Kind of fun. Maybe the assignment is to reply at least once vs two replies.

    It seems that discussion boards are more back-and-forth, while blogging is expressing individual thoughts, which may or may not result in a reply, but may still cause reflection.

  5. Joonkoo Yun says:

    How is it different from discussion board?

  6. Randolph Cullum says:

    I make my discussion assignments available on Sunday. I require that the students submit their initial post by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. I require that all response posts be submitted after Thursday at 12:01 a.m. but before that Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

    This schedule makes sure that everyone’s post is available before the responses begin. It also requires that the students engage in the course early in the week instead of just waiting until Sunday to do everything.

    The discussion schedule fits in well with my favorite saying “I assign due dates, not do dates.”

  7. Randolph Cullum says:

    Oh, I recommend against using both a discussion board and a blog. Many students will get confused when they have to use two tools that are so similar. The discussion tool is more feature rich and more students are used to it since it is more commonly used by faculty.

  8. Anders says:

    I think there is a very clear difference – a discussion board can be on a blog, not the other way around

  9. Hudson Whitenight says:

    Some great comments here, but I am not hearing a compelling reason for using Blogs. I have used Discussion Board posts for a number of years and I am just exploring Blogs. But there does not seem to be a compelling reason to go down this path except personal preference.

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