Cost: $150 CDN – 6 weeks of tutoring support, and resources that will support your ongoing professional online networking activities
Who is this course for?
This 4 week self-paced online course is aimed at helping learners create a professional portfolio, practice professional writing skills, and begin the task of developing the skills to expand social and professional online networks.
This course is of interest to professional immigrants and ESL language teachers.
Individuals should have an intermediate or higher proficiency level of English and be comfortable learning to blog, working with computers and using email and the internet.
Description: The Blogging Skills for professional immigrants seminar aims to build information gathering and way-making skills for online lifelong learners within a blogging ring. It encourages individuals to build a professional web presence and cooperatively build resources such as blog posts, bookmarks, galleries, and web pages.
The participants will gradually grow more comfortable with reciprocal sharing, in which all participants engaging and reflecting on their own are actively gathering resources, commenting on their own and others’ resources, revising resources based on feedback from various sources, and in turn sharing their own resources with others.
This blogging skills course will ask participants to engage in cooperative knowledge-building, gradually building up a tightly interwoven network of personal learning resource summaries that include annotations on resources, comments, meta-narratives and reflections, and multiple revisions and updates.
About Your Instructor:
Glenn Groulx has been blogging within an academic learning environment since January 2010 where he has maintained an academic blog (or edublog) as a student, alumnus member and guest blogger online on the Landing, a professional learning network at Athabasca University.
He has completed his Master’s degree in Distance Education (MDE) in May 2010 and recently completed his TESL/TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification in May 2014. He has been working with Professional Immigrants since May 2012 and supports clients with employment bridging to transition in to careers in Canada.
Week 1 : Getting Started
Orientation: getting set up; review of EduBlogs help resources
Post 1: Introductions
Participants are asked to prepare an introductory blog post about one’s background and interests, reasons for wanting to take this workshop, and a brief description of your goals and expectations.
Post 2: Link-Log Post
A couple of days later, return to your first introduction post, and add a different color or font type for this next revision/update:
In bold text, make revisions to your post based on the facilitator’s feedback.
Insert links to three online resources you would like to share with the other participants, and explain why these three links are significant to your own learning. Include meta-data about these links, including title, URL, site name, author, and key words and key phrases.
You will be asked to make revisions to each blog post based on your facilitator’s feedback.
Note: Not all students will feel comfortable posting their ideas to a public writing space, and may instead want to share their writing only with the facilitator. Let me know what you prefer, and we can discuss privacy settings for your blog posts.
Week 2: Commenting on Others’ Resources/Revising Your Own Resources
Return once again to your post, and add a different color or font type for this next post update.
What will happen in this case is that you will refer to resource links (such as my own, for example) and give your opinions about how suitable they are for your own learning and professional development. At each step, I will be assisting you with the composing process, so you may be creating a few drafts per week, and revising your post numerous times over the course.
Post 3: Select three other posts from other blogs you find interesting, and explain what draws you to the posts, and explain which resources peak your interest. Add these brief impressions as comments to the other participants’ posts (one comment per post). Also, if you can, suggest additional links you know of for your colleague to follow-up on. If you prefer, you can engage in a dialogue with myself first; I will then refer to other resources and blogs you can review.
Post 4: Review your own posts again in view of the feedback you have composed in the previous post the week before. What else would you consider important for you? Append your own posts by adding further updates.
Week 3: Weaving and Revising
Return again to your posts to weave in others’ (or just my own) feedback in the form of comments/your own comments.
Post 5: Revisit the link you blogged about in your link-log post in week 1, and review it more carefully. Append your post further (again, use different color or font type) by adding a short phrase and a quote from the resource you found useful to your original post.
Post 6 : Create a post that has sections for discussion and feedback you received by me about your blog posts. Cite and Insert between three different links from your facilitator’s blog and comments into your own blog post. Summarize or paraphrase the feedback you received, and respond to the feedback you received, explaining how the questions, comments and links suggested as feedback by your facilitator and others have influenced your learning.
Week 4: Weaving Content from Other Sources
Posts 7 and 8: Cite and Insert between three different links from two other expert blogs on two different subjects of interest to you and reflect on the posts and the expert blogs as a whole. Summarize (one post for each expert blog) how the expert bloggers made use of blog layout, menus, links, plugins and widgets, and comment on the blogger’s writing style, topics, categories and tagging. Make a summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the expert blogs, and how they will influence your own blogging in future.
Week 5: Summary Reflective Activity (Way-Making Journeys)
Post 9: In a summary blog post, explore more widely the range of resources posted by your facilitator and/or the other participants for sharing with the group. Select three resources you would like to follow-up on in more detail. Document the process you went through in exploring these resources, detailing your questions, what you concentrated on, what you skimmed or skipped over, and how relevant the resources are to your own learning.
Post 10: Review the posts of other participants, and comment on similar experiences and insights, and feel free to ask questions about others’ way-making journeys.
Summary Post: In this final post, reflect on the impact of this learning event has had on your future blogging/online networking activity. What did you find most useful? What was most challenging?
Assessing Connective Communications
The blogging skills course is intended to model a more open form of assessment that invites the participants to use the tools as learning resources.
Exemplars: Participants will be provided a number of exemplars composed by the facilitator that can suggest models for how to craft these posts. These exemplars will resemble the posts the participants will be composing; however, the connecting activity of each participant will be unique. Thus, these exemplars are intended to act as a guide to make suggestions about promising practices. The exemplars are not intended to be prescriptive, to limit how one writes, but to provide starting guidelines.
Checklists and Templates: Participants will be provided with a number of checklists and templates to guide their writing. Again, these are intended as guides, and not intended to limit the creative writing process. In fact, as with the exemplars, the templates and checklists are starting points, and open to feedback and revision.