Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Blogging research

Fascinated to read a conference paper on postgraduate blogs, found here (pdf). It's in paper 1150 by three fellow OU post grads who are a couple of years ahead of me and in a different faculty. But their experience is similar to what I'm finding. The blog is a
  • space for writing, reflection
  • a research journal but with search and sort functions and links
  • a "memory repository"
Sometimes I've used it to provide notes on a session that others have missed, so I can share. Because it's open, I'm a little more careful with grammar and spelling and readability, and like to include pictures, or links, or something other than pure text.

However, those three PG blogged together, even having a collaborative blog, and I am not in such a community; I'm the only PG student in the OUBS to blog. I do find other PhD blogs, but not physically close to where I am.

What I like most and most hope to have from my blog is some interaction. So I've appreciated the people who've commented or got in touch. The three PG authors conclude
  • universities should offer a blogging facility to research students
  • supervisors should draw attention to the potential benefits of this method of keeping a journal
  • authors of books on research methods should cover this area in some detail.
I don't think universities should necessary offer a blogging facility. I've used the OU one, and it's not good enough because it doesn't have a comment facility, which is really important if you want feedback.

My supervisors may not know what a blog is - I'm not aware that they read this, but they haven't discussed my using a research journal so the subject hasn't come up for over a year.

But yes, to the third recommendation - authors on research methods should cover this area in detail, because there are advantages to blogging, and with more PG students blogging in a community I could see more advantages .


Anonymous said...

Good to see that someone's reading our paper :-)
My OU blog offers comment facilities but - as you say - there are definitely good reasons for having a non-university blog.

Tanny said...

Interesting conference paper you provide there, pity I found it now and submitted my progress report just yesterday evening. At least it's now saved for future reference.
I am on the EdD programme at the OU investigating blog use among HE students and educators as well as researchers. I came across your space just today, I think I will become a regular reader :)