Using blogs in higher education

Blogging is a great way of promoting research, and can be a valuable means of testing new ideas in the public domain.

Running a blog as part of an academic project can provide a digital connection with new audiences, and there are several reasons why it’s a good idea:

News and AnnouncementsA blog can be used to disseminate information, including departmental news, service updates, events or the latest information about a specific topic or issue.
Learning JournalsIt can provide a space for students to interact with tutors. Alternatively it may function as a private learning record. A group blog may also be used to share relevant discussions and course information.
Supporting Research ProjectsBlogs are ideal for disseminating research outputs, and a website is a common requirement for funded research projects. They can also facilitate the sharing of material, resulting in more efficient collaboration and co-authoring.
Public EngagementThey can be used to drive public engagement by giving behind-the-scenes insights into the research process. Allowing readers a glimpse into the world of academia encourages discussion and interaction.
Extended research opportunitiesAs well as creating new opportunities for academic debate, blogs can permit authors to forge research relationships with the general public, which may be of particular use to the social sciences (see Shanahan, 2011).

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Blogging brings a number of practical advantages to the academic setting. For more information see the suggested further reading or get in touch with the HSS Web Team.

Suggested further reading:

Mewburn, Inger & Pat Thomson (2013) Why do academics blog? An analysis of audiences, purposes and challenges, Studies in Higher Education, 38.8, 1105-1119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.835624

Rettburg, J.W., 2014. Blogging. Cambridge: Polity.

Shanahan, M. 2011. Science blogs as boundary layers: Creating and understanding new writer and reader interactions through science blogging. Journalism 12, no. 7: 903–19. #http://jou.sagepub.com/content/12/7/903.full.pdf+html

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