Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Blogs vs Forums

Tom Hoffman at Ed-Tech Insider has posted an interesting bit about the issues Moodle is having getting around the conceptual bumps they are having integrating blogs (edit quoting Martin Dougiamas's - thanks Tom): Really a blog is just a private forum, where only you can start the conversations, but others can reply (if you let them). In that light, go here and see the conversations (I) have started: really it's nearly a blog already, right? So the problem is: if you have forums and a blog, which will you use to post to when you have something to say to others? Do you post in a forum where you think people might read it, or do you post in your blog and try and draw readers to you? What is the deciding factor? What is the difference? This is one of the things that I have thought about with the course that I am helping out with. They have access to both a blog and WebCT forum, but what content goes where? On both setups, they have the ability to post, and provide comments. So in their case, the blog is really just a public discussion (in what is otherwise a private -nee closed- forum). What I have suggested to them is that the blog is for things that you want to be discussed publicly and by others who are not necessarily part of your class. The blog is out on the public Internet and will get traffic from just about anywhere. The discussion board on the other hand (a private area with a public -nee open- forum) where you can discuss topics and limit the replies to be from only those involved in the course. This should be enough to guide the postings to the right place (I hope). This may be an overly simple answer to the issues that Moodle is having, but one can also think of it in this manner - a blog is much like a public lecture where the content is presented to those who are interested and drop by and comments/discussion are solicited after the ideas have been delivered. There is really only one person or select group that can lead the discussion or suggest topics. The forum on the other hand is more like a regular class where the community is limited and the discussion may start in one place, but then branch in many directions and (if the students are allowed) new topics can be suggested without "permission". Technorati Tags: , ,