Can Weblogs and Microblogs Change Traditional Scientific Writing?
2. Weblogs – Microblog - Blogosphere
3. The Study
- Reflection: Students have to rethink the presentation of the experts and form their very own opinion. Critical thinking and awareness about technology impacts and effects is the target of the lecture.
- Discussion: Due to the fact that discussions lead to more than one perspective on a specific topic, these enhance the visible spectrum for each learner.
- Quality: The major critics concerning the content of subjective user-driven essays concern a lack of scientific quality. Hence it must be ensured that arguments and opinions are strongly based on usual scientific rules, methods and approaches.
4. Didactical Concept
- Scientific Writer: Students attending this group have to write two short essays about topics of their own choice. In a very traditional way text documents were provided at a specific deadline to the learning platform.
- Scientific Reviewer: Similar to reviewers of publications, these students take the essays of the Writer Group and review them. Each student has to review at least 4 documents. So each essay has at least 2 reviews.
- Blogger: The blogging group handles a community weblog to the lectures’ topics. Providing at least two weblog-posts a week is the main task of these learners.
- Microblogger: The last group is about Microblogging. Students attending this group have to post at least two microblogs each week and further comment at least two blog posts of the blogger group.
- The journey is the reward: One of the big disadvantages of the learn methods, accomplished in preceding years was that learners wrote their essays only immediately before the deadlines. Discussions did not occur due to the fact that students did not follow the content of the lecture just in time. With the help of weblogs and the requirement to provide at least 2 posts each semester week it is ensured that learners bear the content in mind during the whole semester. Microbloggers bring also new stuff to the blogging community by commenting and posting short microblogs.
- Digital content: One of the major problems of text documents is that it is restricted to the static content, like text or photos. It is hard to provide interactive content like videos, animations, learning objects and so on. With the help of weblogs it becomes easy to provide, reflect and discuss that kind of contents.
- Community / Networking: A blogging student has to write his contributions to a so called community weblog about his/her chosen topic. Of course every learner can observe what his/her colleagues are writing and discussing. From a research point of view this might lead to an implicit information exchange – students never read long essays from other students, but maybe look at short contributions, videos, bookmarks if they are placed immediately to their working environment. Furthermore this kind of weblog should also help the learners feel that they are part of the writing community instead of “writing to pass the lecture”.
5. Technical Concept
6. Evaluation Results – The point of view of the students
Research Question 1: Before the start of the lecture I
- did not know about Microblogging (1).
- have already heard about Microblogging (2).
- have already used Microblogging for at least once (3).
- have already been an active Microblogger (4).
Research Question 2: Have you ever read your reviews you got from your colleagues?
Research Question 3: What do you think about the use of Microblogging in Higher Education?
- It is maybe useful for a kind of virtual announcements – lecture schedules as well as sharing different resources can be posted via the microblog stream
- Exchange of information – microblogs can work as enhancement of traditional newsgroups
- Microblogs can be used for fast discussion about several topics or even lectures
- Microblogs help to share links and short ideas
- Microblogs are useful to give a hint to a Weblog contribution
- It is a new and different way for discussions and it needs some times to realize how microblogs are working. Newsgroups are much more comfortable
- Problems of Microblogs are that the contributions are public.
- Microblogging is a quick possibility to share thoughts and discuss with different people
- Microblogging is interesting and should be combined with existing communication infrastructure (newsgroups, discussion forums ..)
- Microblogging leads to a new kind of information flow – nice add on
- Interesting for groups who are working on the same topic over a long time period
- Microblogging is a more interactive media between people of same interests
- Reflection: Due to the per-review concept the traditional writing groups and the bloggers provided much more personal statements than in years before. Independent of the technology used it can be pointed out that this methodology is definitely an appropriate possibility to allow more critical and personal statements.
- Moreover, it must be pointed out that especially the Blogger group unknowingly wrote more and more personal notes. After a first phase of providing links, pictures or videos it seems that even the WorldWideWeb is an endless resource because students turned more and more to personal statements and experiences due to the fact that the Internet provides no new stuff. Bloggers as well as microbloggers become over time more and more reflective.
- Discussion: Reviews as an element to start discussions did not work within this course. Concerning the didactical concept the lecturers hoped that students of the Scientific Writer group begin to comment the reviews they get. In the Weblog – Microblog setting some discussions about particularly provoking contributions appeared. This effect can be substantiated through the fact that commenting is easier, faster and requires much smaller statements. In former years similar experiments have been done where students were forced to do comments to other students contributions – but going through such discussions in the end of the course pointed out that the comments were as short as possible and boring. Mandatory discussion contributions lead to no increasing lecture outcome.
- Quality: In all groups the quality increases considerably in comparison to preceding years. Not only because of an automatically plagiarism check, but also because of the knowledge that the articles and contributions will be reviewed and commented.
References and Notes
- Prensky, M. Digital natives, Digital immigrants. On the Horizon 2001, 9, 1–6. [Google Scholar]
- Maurer, H.; Schinagl, W. Wikis and other e-Communities are changing the Web. In Proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (ED-MEDIA 2006); AACE: Chesapeake, VA, USA, 2006; pp. 2858–2866. [Google Scholar]
- Korica, P.; Maurer, H.; Schinagl, W. The growing importance of e-Communites on the Web. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Web Based Communities 2006, IADIS, San Sebastian, Spain, February 2006; pp. 165–174.
- Ziefle, M. The influence of user expertise and phone complexity on performance, ease of use and learn ability of different mobile phones. Behav. Inform. Technol. 2002, 21, 303–311. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Holzinger, A.; Nischelwitzer, A.; Meisenberger, M. Mobile Phones as a Challenge for m-Learning: Examples for Mobile Interactive Learning Objects (MILOs). In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom 2005), Kauai Island, HI, USA, March 2005; Tavangarian, D., Ed.; IEEE: Los Alamitos, CA, USA, 2005; pp. 307–311. [Google Scholar]
- Holzinger, A.; Nischelwitzer, A.; Meisenberger, M. Lifelong-Learning Support by M-learning: Example Scenarios. eLearn 2005, 2005. Article 5. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ally, M. Mobile Learning. IRRODL 2007, 8. (Guest Editorial). [Google Scholar]
- Oblinger, D.D.; Oblinger, J.L. (Eds.) Educating the Net Generation; Educause: Boulder, CO, USA, 2005. Available online at: http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen.
- Schulmeister, R. Gibt es eine Net-Generation? Whitepaper. 2008. (in German). Available online at: http://www.izhd.uni-hamburg.de/pdfs/Schulmeister_Netzgeneration.pdf.
- Bullen, M.; Morgan, T.; Belfer, K.; Qayyum, A. The Net Generation in Higher Education: Rhetoric and Reality. Int. J. of Excellence in E-Learning 2009, 2, 1–13. [Google Scholar]
- O’Reilly, T. What is Web 2.0? – Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation Software. Whitepaper. 2005. Available online at: http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html.
- Downes, S. E-learning 2.0. eLearn 2005, 2005. Article 10. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Schmid, J.; Schönberger, C.; Stegbauer, C. Erkundungen von Weblog-Nutzungen – Anmerkungen zum Stand der Forschung. [email protected] 2005, 6, 1–20. (in German). [Google Scholar]
- Walker, J. Weblog. Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory. 2003. Available online at: http://jilltxt.net/archives/blog_theorising/final_version_of_weblog_definition.html.
- Rosenbloom, A. The blogosphere. Commun. ACM 2004, 47, 31–33. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Farmer, J.; Bartlett-Bragg, A. Blogs @ anywhere: High fidelity online communication. In Proceedings of the ASCILITE 2005 Conference: Balance, Fidelity, Mobility: maintaining the momentum? Brisbane, Australia, 2005; pp. 197–203.
- Kolbitsch, J. Kōrero: An Integrated, Community-Based Platform for Collaboration. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICMK'07), Vienna, Austria, 27-28 August; 2007; pp. 1–13. [Google Scholar]
- Karger, D.R.; Quan, D. What would it mean to blog on the semantic Web? J. Web Semantics 2005, 3, 147–157. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Porter, L.V.; Sweetser Trammell, K.D.; Chung, D.; Kim, E. Blog Power: Examining the effects of practitioner blog use on power in public relations. Public Relat. Rev. 2007, 33, 92–95. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Heise.de. Studie: Blogger sind "investigative Multiplikatoren". Whitepaper. 2007. (in German). Available online: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/85081/from/rss09.
- Luca, J.; McLoughlin, C. Can blogs promote fair and equitable teamwork? In Proceedings of ASCILITE 2005 Conference: Balance, Fidelity, Mobility: maintaining the momentum? Brisbane, Australia, 2005; pp. 379–385.
- Peschke, R.; Lübecke, M. Zukunft Weblog?! – Lesen, Schreiben und die Materialität der Kommunikation. Anmerkungen zu einem neuen Typus der Online Kommunikation aus kommunikationstheoretischer Sicht. [email protected] 2005, 7, 1–27. (in German). [Google Scholar]
- McFedries, P. All A-Twitter. IEEE Spectrum. 2007, p. 84. Available online at: http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/all-atwitter.
- Java, A.; Finin, T.; Song, X.; Tseng, B. Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities. In Paper presented at the joint 9th WEBKDD and 1st SNA-KDD Workshop, New York, NY, USA, 2007.
- Ebner, M; Schiefner, M. Microblogging – more than fun? In Proceedings of the IADIS Mobile Learning Conference 2008, Algarve, Portugal, April 2008; ánchez, I.A., Isaías, P., Eds.; 2008; pp. 155–159. [Google Scholar]
- Dewey, J. Democracy and Education. An introduction to the philosophy of education, 1916; reprinted by Free Press: Rockland, NY, USA, 1997. [Google Scholar]
- Ebner, M.; Holzinger, A.; Maurer, H. Web 2.0 Technology: Future Interfaces for Technology Enhanced Learning? In Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction - Application and Services, 4th International Conference in Human Computer Interaction; Beijing, China, 2007, Stephanidis, C., Ed.; Springer: Berlin, Germany, 2007; pp. 559–568. [Google Scholar]
- Maurer, H. HyperWave: The Next Generation Web Solution; Addison-Wesley Longman: London, UK, 1996. [Google Scholar]
© 2009 by the authors. Licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Ebner, M.; Maurer, H. Can Weblogs and Microblogs Change Traditional Scientific Writing? Future Internet 2009, 1, 47-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/fi1010047
Ebner M, Maurer H. Can Weblogs and Microblogs Change Traditional Scientific Writing? Future Internet. 2009; 1(1):47-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/fi1010047Chicago/Turabian Style
Ebner, Martin, and Hermann Maurer. 2009. "Can Weblogs and Microblogs Change Traditional Scientific Writing?" Future Internet 1, no. 1: 47-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/fi1010047