Walking Stick Blogger

A Learning Space for Literacy and English Language Learners

artefacts (virtual footprints) of self-assessment and ID evaluation

Efimova et al (2009) described the issue of defining the weblog community using Jones’ (1997) theory of virtual community. Weblogs are considered “unedited personal voices” (Winer, 2003). Weblog communities are formed around connections between bloggers, and not as an established sharing space.

“From one side emergence of weblog communities is paradoxical: in that the existence of highly personal spaces guarded by individuals results in emergence of social structures. From the other side it does not seem strange as human beings are quite used to living in cities where private houses and public areas merge into a whole, providing spaces for both individuals and communities” (Efimova et al, 2009, page 2).

Refers to blogging community using metaphor of the city. Virtual settlements consist of virtual blogging communal spaces. Jones (1997) claimed that presence of community activity can be measured by artefacts. These artefacts define the community’s boundaries, norms of practice, and membership.

Types of Artefacts:

Efimova et al (2009) defines blogging as life between buildings within a metaphorical city.

Life between buildings offers an opportunity to be with others in a relaxed and undemanding way. One can take occasional walks, perhaps make a detour along a main street on the way home or pause at an inviting bench near a front door to be among people for a short while. One can take a long bus ride every day, as many retired people have been found to do in large cities. Or one can do daily shopping, even though it practical to do it once a week. Even looking out of the window now and then, if one is fortunate enough to have something to look at, can be rewarding. Being among others, seeing and hearing others, receiving impulses from others, imply positive experiences, alternatives to being alone. One is not necessarily with a specific person, but one is, nevertheless, with others. (Gehl, 2001).

Lurking is a form of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991), a way of becoming a community member through learning about others and the community. This lurking process is to be encouraged for private bloggers to begin a more intensive participation. Such activity needs to be acknowledged, and addressed in assessment for edubloggers. Indicators of low-intensity forms of contact (e.g. patterns in weblog reading) may help to encourage stronger membership and more active interactions (Efimova, 2009).

Artefacts of EduBlog Interaction

Blogrolls – linking to other blogs
Tag clouds
Friends List
RSS feed aggregator linking activity
Comments (text, audio, and video)
TrackBacks (Embedded links from other blogs)
Reciprocal links
Friendship links
Links to other outside blogs (one-sided)
References within posts to other communities of practice
Number of permalinks
Embedded links to multimedia resources
RSS and Email subscriptions

These act as indicators of presence, footprints, as it were, in which we can identify activity. These fottprints can assist evaluators with improving the design of instruction, compare the volume of activity for specific “encounters”, and provide a framework for learners when untaking self-assessment.

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artefactsassessmentedubloggingEdublogging theory and practiceEfimovaGlenn Groulxvirtual footprint

netizenship • July 7, 2009

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