At the beginning of the semester, we were given objectives which were used to guide our learning and give it purpose. Throughout the duration of the course, we have used this blog as a source for reflection on our learning, which in turn, has helped us meet the objectives. Using this blog has been an effective way to help me further develop my understanding of everything we have learned about in class, but in a less intimidating way than other, more formal types of assessments. I believe the use of this blog has helped me reach all seven student learning outcomes, but a few stand out more than others.
First and foremost, the outcomes pertaining to gaining knowledge of the relationship between the writing and reading processes and the role of metacognition in writing proficiency and reading comprehension have been met through many of my entries. By blogging about the theories and practices we learn about in class and the readings we complete as a part of the course, my comprehension of the material was greatly increased simply because I had several exposures to it. In addition, I became very aware of my thought and writing processes through brainstorming and reflecting in this blog. So many times in past courses, all I learned in lectures did not stay with me long-term because I didn't understand it well enough in practice. However, with this blog, I have been able to metacognitively focus on the course material, reflect on both my and other students' learning, and better understand the research we read through text.
The learning outcome related to gaining knowledge of the variety of genres that readers and writers use to communicate was met through this blog with several of my entries. Even though we learned about the many reading and writing genres through the Tompkins (2012) text and the genre presentations in class, the reflections done through this blog regarding the genres have helped to substantially deepen my understandings. Also, the learning outcome focused on gaining knowledge of the types of developmentally appropriate reading and writing assignments has been attained throughout all of my entries. No matter the topic of each blog, I found myself reflecting on my own classroom experiences, and how that specific theory, instructional technique, or learning strategy could be applied in practice. Especially when discussing the Hicks (2009) text, I reflected on and collaborated about digital technologies and new, up-and-coming learning tools which we were not always able to discuss in class. The posts in which we were able to comment and reflect on other classmates' writings also helped to further my understandings of the material and the concepts.
I have been very appreciative that this blog has been a part of the course requirements. Writing and reflecting each week has worked to continually further my understandings of the content we learn in class, and learn from others' reflections as well. I have enjoyed finding my voice through the use of this informal type of writing and look forward to applying it to my own classroom in the future for my students to benefit in the same ways.