July 28, 2008

Personalised Learning Through Weblogs

By Izwan Ismail

PROFESSORS are keeping research blogs and requiring students to create course Weblogs. For students, Web 2.0 is helping them learn in a more enjoyable manner. Here, three students share their Weblogging experience with Izwan Ismail.

* Siti Sukainah Che Mat, third-year TESL student, Universiti Malaya (UM)

The use of Web 2.0 technology has helped me get a better understanding of what's been taught in class.

Weblog is a concept where students have their own learning blog which they need to update at least once a week. I use it to write about what I've learnt and my views about the subject.

Normally, I post about seven entries weekly.

The use of such technology helps me in my learning process as I can get comments from friends on the subject matter I have posted. It also creates a personalised learning environment.

For example, during a project work, we have to submit an entry about how we went through the process. In a way, it helps in reflecting on what we've learnt, and other students or lecturers can give their input.

Besides that, Weblog has eliminated the need for students to form traditional group discussions. Now, all can be done online.

* Ng Huey Zher, tutor, Academic Development Centre, UM

The idea of using Weblogs is to encourage students to learn from reflection and communication. We hope that Weblogs can develop the skills needed for students and also help ease the burden of lecturers who are surrounded by challenges ranging from covering the syllabus and cramped teaching schedules, to large class sizes and limited class time.

The Weblogs created and updated by students can also become a reference when preparing for examinations.

After three semesters of implementing it, we find that Weblogs have managed to enhance personalised learning among students.

* Joshua Paul Gilbert, third-year TESL student, UM

Through Web 2.0 tools like Weblog, I have the opportunity to understand the subjects better through sharing of information and ideas with lecturers and fellow coursemates.

As this learning tool is effective, I have set up an online forum for my coursemates to share their thoughts and experience.

As I hope to teach one day, the entries can be used as a teaching resource, with its huge archive of information.

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