learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40 (1), 179-183.
This article reported the results of an inquiry that explored the use of blogs in a post-graduate class. The exploration was conducted for one semester where the author identified the ways in which the use of blogs supplemented classroom teaching and whether these led to a better learning experience. Results showed that blogging could be an effective tool in education. They also showed that the blog-based activities that were most useful in learning were the previewing tasks of other students and the feedback they provided; the receipt of comments; and the reading of others’ blogs. Although this study made no direct relation between blogging and the improvement of reading skills, this study did show that blogs were an effective educational tool, which – upon further investigation in the current research – may prove to be true for the improvement of reading skills among adult English learners as well.
Ellison, N. B. & Wu, Y. (2008). Blogging in the classroom: A preliminary exploration of student
attitudes and impact on comprehension. Journal of Educational Multimedia and
Hypermedia, 17 (1), 90-122.
This article described the results of an exploratory study that determined the perceptions of students with regards to blogging in the classroom. It identified the most helpful characteristics of educational blogging that enabled students to understand course content, as well as the various aspects that comprised the instructional blogging experience. In this study, participants were asked to complete writing assignments after which they answered a survey regarding their perceptions and experiences. Results showed that reading other students’ blogs was the most helpful aspect of blogging, which enabled the students to understand course concepts. This study is relevant to the current research as it showed that blogging can be an effective tool for the enhancement of reading skills among adult English learners.
Greer, M. L. & Reed, B. (2008). Blogs hit classroom: Students start reading. PRIMUS, 18 (2),
This article documented a conversation between a Mathematics teacher and student at
Bates college. Their discussion centered around how blogging was used as a learning tool in their Math class. In particular, students were asked to post a question or comment regarding the reading for each day’s lesson. This encouraged the students’ to read about their lessons in advance. Although the subjects of this article were Math students and not English learners, this article would still be relevant for the current research as it showed that blogging was a good motivator for students to read about their lessons.
Hsu, H., & Wang, S. (2011). The impact of using blogs on college students’ reading
comprehension and learning motivation. Literacy Research and Instruction, 50, 68-88.
This article described the results of a study that investigated whether the reading level of students improved with the use of blogs as a learning tool. 149 college students and two teachers participated in developmental reading courses where blogs were used as part of the curriculum. Results showed that blogging did not positively affect the students’ reading performance, although it did positively affect the students’ interaction with each other and it resulted in a higher retention rate in the corresponding classes. It also resulted in improved classroom rapport and sense of community among the students. This study serves as a relevant reference for the current research as it provides evidence of the ineffectiveness of blogging as a tool for the improvement of reading skills. On the other hand, the authors of the article did cite some oversight on their part, which could have contributed to the negative results of the study, and which would merit further investigation.
Hurlburt, S. (2008, June). Defining tools for a new learning space: Writing and reading class
blogs. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 4 (2), 182-189.
In this article, the author explored some of the issues with using blog as a learning tool. It investigated the required elements and the underlying structure of a successful blog assignment. It also explored the natural learning environment versus the unnatural virtual environment as well as the roles of the reader-writer and the reader. This article suggested that the use of blogs as a learning tool may not be equally effective in all subject areas. It also proposed criterion for the definition of a blog assignment’s goals as well as for the evaluation of its success. Although this article did not affirm the effectiveness of blogging in enhancing reading skills among adult English learners, this article did provide some information on how to effectively implement blogs as a learning tool. As such, these guidelines may also prove to be applicable for using blogs in effecting reading skills improvement among adult English learners.
Soares de Almeida, D. & Naval, E. (2008). Understanding class blogs as a tool for language
development. Language Teaching Research, 12 (4), 517-533.
This article described the results of a study that determined whether EFL students considered blogs as a learning tool and what blogging was like in other language teaching contexts. In conducting the study, the author held a three-month exploratory practice in a blog class with 9 pre-intermediate EFL students in a Brazilian language school. The author also conducted an online survey whose recipients consisted of 16 members of a community of practice. Results showed that the students considered blogs as a learning tool and that blogs were used in various ways in different parts of the world. Although this study was conducted in the context of language learning instead of in the improvement of reading skills, some of the blogging activities employed in this study may – upon further investigation – prove to be useful or applicable to the current research.
Williams, J. B. (2004). Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education
sector. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 20 (2), 232-247.
In this article, the author explored the potential of blogs as learning tools for higher
education students. The author reviewed the existing literature on the subject, explored
some of the ways blogs were being used in university courses, and recorded the blogging experiences of students at a Brisbane graduate school when using their course blog. Results of the study showed that majority of the students favored the use of blogs as a teaching and learning instrument. Although this study did not investigate the use of blogs specifically for the improvement of reading skills among adult English learners, the results of this study did show students’ interest in the use of blogs as a learning tool, which may also play a role in the effectiveness of blogs as a tool for the improvement of reading skills.
Yang, S. (2009). Using blogs to enhance critical reflection and community of practice.
Educational Technology & Society, 12 (2), 11-21.
This article described the results of a study that explored the use of blogs as a reflective platform for EFL student teachers. Qualitative data was gathered from the students’ and teachers’ blog posts and comments, as well as from their experiences with blogging and from their classroom discussions around the use of blogs with the course curriculum. Results showed that the use of blogs facilitated discussions among the students and that it promoted critical thinking. As critical thinking implies a deep understanding of the subject matter, this may have a relation to the improvement of reading and comprehension skills, making this study relevant for the current research.