NOTES ON Linda E. Patrik’s “Using Blogs to Teach Philosophy”

notes from NOTES & IDEAS: Using Blogs to Teach Philosophy by Linda E. Patrik (submitted .

1) It helps students get used to the “I” of philosophical writing, the “I” of making an argument with an actual audience in mind. And it makes them more confident in making those arguments.

2) It works best to have each student have their own blog (rather than having all students post on a single blog) — “students write more [and] they argue more creatively.” They start to realize that their blog is in competition for attention, for readers, so they start to try to make their blogs more attractive and their writing more interesting and heated. Even when commenting, the students try to “entice” readers to follow them back to their blog.

3) They develop confidence and creativity (i.e., with blog ingredients / design).

4) It “encourages creativity in philosophical debate… because it allows for fairly spontaneous expression of ideas and it invites students to journey out of their blogs into the blogworld established by another.”

5) Grading is easier. “Grades for individual blogs make more sense to students than do grades on what they have contributed to a common blog or chat room.” [I believe that!]


2 thoughts on “NOTES ON Linda E. Patrik’s “Using Blogs to Teach Philosophy”

  1. Thanks for sharing the tip! I intend to have my students start individual blogs as part of a new media class, and also submit posts to my blog on blogging so it’ll be a kind of group blog eventually. How do you grade the posts? Do you stick to any marking criteria?

  2. Hi, blogscapes.
    Thanks! But, alas, those weren’t my tips, actually. I wish they were. They were from the article I’d read (see top of the post).

    Actually, I had the same question as you after I read it: how to grade the posts.

    Hmmm, besides simply keeping track of how often the student posts, I’d probably come up with a rubric which gave points for depth of analysis, focus, clarity, and — maybe — grammar/mechanics. Of course, then there’s the quality of their comments, too. Anyway, you’re right — good question (grading).


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