TonyReeves This is a guest post by Tony J. Reeves. It was originally posted on Tony’s blog on June 3, 2014. Tony is the Program Manager in Digital Pedagogy, and a Learning Technologist at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Farnham, the United Kingdom.

How can blogging improve student writing and thinking skills? The act of blogging is beneficial to students on many levels. Although it is a more informal way of writing than a traditional essay, this can be an advantage for students. When students create a blog post, they do not feel the pressure to aim for perfection in their writing. In addition, asking students to write their thoughts on a blog obliges them to reflect on the readings and the class lectures, thereby consolidating their knowledge.

Ferdig and Trammell (2004) summarize the four main pedagogical benefits of blogging for students:

1. It assists students to become subject matter experts, as they scour and filter through web content searching for relevant information for their posts.

2. It increases student interest in and ownership of learning.

3. It gives students legitimate chances to participate in a dialogue outside of the classroom, and enculturates them into a community of practice.

4. It provides opportunities to share diverse perspectives.

Ferdig and Trammell reported that students are not only highly enthusiastic about blogging, but that it has a great capacity to edify. Students they interviewed felt that “their creativity and productivity skyrocketed because they knew that their work had the potential to be viewed quickly by an authentic audience that mattered to them.” They commented that “blogging is also a great way to put your writing skills into practice in the real world and to develop stronger communication and organization skills.” Moreover, they felt that learning to blog was a differentiating professional skill, stating, “starting a blog while in college can help you in your specific

A University for the Creative Arts case study

The introduction of mandatory blogging helped reverse the decline in academic standards in the Computer Generated Arts and Animation course at UCA Rochester. The course went from a 100% dissatisfaction rating to one of 100% satisfaction within two years, with blogging assignments leading to a significant improvement in students’ writing and critical thinking abilities. This case study explains the role of blogs in helping instructors to turn student experiences around:

Blogging all over the world: can blogs enhance student engagement by creating a community of practice around a course?


Trammell, K.D. & Ferdig, R.E. (2004). Pedagogical implications of classroom blogging. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 8(4), 60-64.