The course’s weekly blogging assignment is based on the work of Gardner Campbell, PhD, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success, Dean of University College, and Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Inspired by Dr. Campbell’s ‘Narrate, Curate, Share’: How Blogging Can Catalyze Learning, this assignment requires students to develop a personal class blog on which they post weekly reflections in relation to their journey through the course. Students are also expected to read and post comments on each others’ posts.
Here is the assignment:
Blogging offers students a unique opportunity to deepen their thinking about and make personal and innovative connections to readings, class lectures, class discussions, guest appearances, and assigned projects. Apart from expanding the conversation outside the walls of the classroom, the process encourages self-exploration of personal and professional values, assumptions, biases, insights, and aspirations as well as self-expression of cognitive and emotional reactions in ways that render students more “visible” to themselves, their classmates, and to us, their instructors. A notable benefit to the exercise is that it allows students to notice their evolving moral selves and the impact that “who” they are at any given time can have on their perception and response to any given situation. We have found this to be a critically important lesson because it challenges a common assumption: that if one is a “moral” individual, one will also be a “moral” professional.
Blogging is one among several tools we use to help students see and experience the complex interaction between:
- Personal forces, and
- Interpersonal, professional, institutional, and societal pressures
that can create circumstances conducive to both morally sound and morally deficient professional conduct. In light of neuroscience and social science research highlighting that a) moral decision-making in everyday life is not reducible to abstract moral calculations, and b) emotion plays a far greater and necessary role in robust moral decision-making than previously thought, we view student awareness of their own role and agency in moral decision-making essential to ethics education and future moral action.
Here are examples of student blog posts:
And one from our before-blogging days:
As well as one from Yanna Lambrinidou: