High-Stakes Reflective Blogging within Cohorts
This is a follow-up to Jen Ross’ excellent comment, which I insert here:
…from my point of view the danger isn’t so much ridicule and indifference as a construction of a writing self that ‘hides its own mechanisms’ – that pretends there is no audience and no strategic choices being made for the benefit of that audience. I’d rather see writers in online environments (whether there by choice or not) embrace and explore addressivity than buy into the idea that they can, in this medium, truly ‘write for themselves’ only.
This really required me to stand back, and think again. I did not even consider this perspective, of the type of student that would knowingly distort one’s authenticity to construct a false self, or of a student willingly ignoring any audience and demonstrate a lack of self-critical judgement.
I had considered my own experience, struggling to be more authentic and probing, for my own sake. I had considered adult literacy learners, often blocked by needing to adopt a formal writing style irrelevant to their real-life contexts.
I addressed some of these concerns about addressivity in an earlier post and another related post on student blogging roles, yet the issue about how to address the extremes of the reluctant and the narcissistic bloggers is crucial for instructors, and how they compare with what I consider to be autonomous, social, reluctant, and defensive bloggers, needs further exploration.
This is indeed a starting point, a draft to clarify some differences between how student bloggers (and likely, faculty, too, for that matter) perceive their adopted roles, how they adopt a perspective before they even begin to start blogging. For many, under differing circumstances, they tend to shift between them. It would be interesting to observe in hindsight how one has switched these roles, and perhaps speculate on reasons for the switching.
|Indifferent to audience
|Invites and welcomes audience
|Requires others as audience
|Overwhelmed by audience
|Apologetic or Attacking
|None- writes for oneself
|Minimal – Focus on self-interest
|Variable – conditional on others
|Minimal – over-concerned
|None – competitive, combative
|Responsiveness to Feedback by Others
|Self-critical –Independent of Others
|Variable – Contingent on Others
|Internal – Critical of Self
|External –Critical of Others
I focus on the specific context of cohort blogging and elaborate further on roles I found myself adopting while engaging in reflections on academic blogging.