Blogs Meta-AnalysisA blog is an electronic tool that allows one to write and post written work online, and can be used in educational environments. Traditional papers, journals, reflections, and other written assignments, can be posted on a blog for other students and faculty to read. Additionally, blogs can be configured to allow others to provide feedback. In the right context and framework (Kerawalla, Minocha, Kirkup, & Conole, 2009; Kim, 2008), blogging can be an effective tool to support learning (Churchill, 2009; Ellison & Wu, 2008; Murray, Hourigan, & Jeanneau, 2007; Poirier & Feldman, 2012; Richardson, 2006; Sawmiller, 2010; Williams & Jacobs, 2004; Xie, Ke, & Sharma, 2008). For example, Xie et al. (2008) found that using blogs helped increase students ability to think reflectively, but that peer feedback on students' blogs appeared to have a negative effect on reflective thinking. Similarly to traditional writing assignments, blogging assignments and feedback need to be thought-out and grounded in research. For example, using blogs to help students regulate their learning through self-explanation (Aleven & Koedinger, 2002; Chi, Leeuw, Chiu, & Lavancher, 1994) or engage in active learning (Kim, Hong, Bonk, & Lim, 2009) may be one way to increase their learning. Blogs can provide an avenue for all students to have a voice, showcase work, track progress over time, engage in discussion, and develop thoughtful posts and feedback (Sawmiller, 2010). Overall, the blogging literature is mostly self-report and case study; more experimental research needs to be conducted to explore its effect on learning (Poirier & Feldman, 2012).


  1. Much like traditional writing assignments, when grounded in research, blogging can be an effective tool used to support learning.


Additional Reading

Lapadat, J. (2002). Written interaction: A key component in online learning. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 7(4).

Rainie, L. (2005). The state of blogging. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.


Aleven, V. A. W. M. M., & Koedinger, K. R. (2002). An effective metacognitive strategy: learning by doing and explaining with a computer-based Cognitive Tutor. Cognitive Science, 26(2), 147-179.

Chi, M. T. H., Leeuw, N., Chiu, M.-H., & Lavancher, C. (1994). Eliciting self-explanations improves understanding. Cognitive Science18(3), 439-477.

Churchill, D. (2009). Educational applications of Web 2.0: Using blogs to support teaching and learning. British Journal of Educational Technology40(1), 179-183.

Ellison, N. B., & Wu, Y. (2008). Blogging in the classroom: A preliminary exploration of student attitudes and impact on comprehension. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia17(1), 99-122.

Kerawalla, L., Minocha, S., Kirkup, G., & Conole, G. (2009). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging in higher education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning25(1), 31-42.

Kim, H. N. (2008). The phenomenon of blogs and theoretical model of blog use in educational contexts. Computers & Education51(3), 1342-1352.

Kim, P., Hong, J.-S., Bonk, C., & Lim, G. (2009). Effects of group reflection variations in project-based learning integrated in a Web 2.0 learning space. Interactive Learning Environments, 14(3), 1-17.

Murray, L., Hourigan, T., & Jeanneau, C. (2007). Blog writing integration for academic language learning purposes: Towards an assessment framework. Iberica, 14(2), 9032.

Poirier, C. R., & Feldman, R. S. (2012). Using technology to enhance teaching and learning. In B. Schwartz & R. A. R. Gurung (Eds.), Evidence-based teaching for higher education (pp. 39-57). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Sawmiller, A. (2010). Classroom blogging: What is the role in science learning? The Clearing House83(2), 44-48.

Williams, J. B., & Jacobs, J. (2004). Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education sector.Australasian Journal of Educational Technology20(2).

Xie, Y., Ke, F., & Sharma, P. (2008). The effect of peer feedback for blogging on college students' reflective learning processes. The Internet and Higher Education11(1), 18-25.