Teaching Matters

Using blogs in tutorial preparation

The History of Christianity Subject Area has been using blogs in undergraduate tutorial preparation.  

The History of Christianity Subject Area has been using blogs in undergraduate tutorial preparation.  

In History of Christianity as a World Religion 1A and 1B, students enhance their tutorial work by taking it in turns to blog on the text or texts of the week. Whether the topic is the Roman matron Perpetua talking about her preparations for martyrdom, Adomnan telling legendary anecdotes, the life of St Columba, or Marjory Kempe weeping her way round the pilgrimage sites of Europe, the lead student posts up to 800 words on the course blog at the beginning of the week analysing the text as a piece of historical evidence.  

The other students then comment, either challenging the lead student's analysis and offering a different interpretation or introducing new information about the text. When they get to the tutorial, the discussion then starts anew, several steps ahead of where it would have been otherwise. 

The students enjoy this technique because they get to know one another quicker, it is clear who has done the work, and shy students or students whose first language is not English can answer at length in their own time without embarrassment. The tutors enjoy it because they also know who has done the work, and they can bring forward good points made on the blog to aid the discussion.  

The courses are taken by students from a wide range of schools and subject areas, so it helps them bring their own perspectives to the table and learn from the approaches of other subject areas. 

Read more about other teaching with blogs in the School of Divinity and in the Office of Lifelong Learning.