In this short article, I hope to provide some examples of failures and successes in managing blogging in large classes, and some indication of where this might go in the future. Like many people, I started blogging in small senior-level seminars. This was in 1999, and at the time there were not really blogging systems available, and like many other people, I had to write my own. What I saw as a very simple way to replace email lists and bulletin board (forum) systems turned out to be an extraordinarily effective way to encourage conversation among students, and I have used blogs in most of my classes in the years since. Today, blogging in a small class is a fairly easy way to get started for both students and teachers.
How blogging can be used in large classes is not as immediately obvious. Many assume that once the class is large enough to exclude, for example, written term papers, it also means blogs are out. By that definition, a "large class" might be as few as thirty or forty students, depending on the composition of your university. My experience of using blogs in larger classes includes classes ranging in size from about fifty students to those that include nearly four hundred students.
Welcome to Blogs for Learning, an online resource about instructional blogging. The site provides students and instructors with information and resources about the technical and pedagogical aspects of blogging in the classroom.