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Tom De Bruyne
Tom De Bruyne has a master degree in Clinical Psychology and a bachelor in Philosophy. He works as head of the postbachelor "Multimedia Design"-programm at the Catholic College of Mechelen, Associated with the University of Louvain. Tom is also Project Leader at Memori, which is a Research and Consulting Institute that is linked with the same Institute for Higher Education. He's currently working an a government funded research project on location based virtual communities and he's running a weblog on this issue. In his spare time he writes as a freelance journalist for several Belgian ICT-magazines and is studying for his master degree in philosophy at the University of Brussels.
Weblog as an educational third-place
For two years now, we have been using weblogs as a communication platform for the bachelor-programme "Interactive Media Design". The weblog has very rapidly grown into a communication and exchange platform for ideas and course related background information. We have been using several popular practices from different weblog communities to foster interaction, like a periodical "Photoshop Friday", in which students were compelled to use a picture, modify it in Photoshop and upload it on the weblog. Other features that turned the weblog quite fast into a community were thematic weeks (e.g. e-commerce week, Flash-week,...). Another activity that is very popular amongst students and where weblogs can function perfectly as discussion board is the search for "So very wrong web designs". Students love to learn about good designs by looking at very bad designs. And the weblog allows them for discussion on this issue.
The weblog appears to have added value on three levels: community, creativity and knowledge management. The weblog is a very powerful knowledge management tool through which students learn from each other by seeing one another’s work and by looking at each other’s posts. Teachers learn a lot from students through the dialogues that start off on the weblog. Even more interesting is the fact that the very existence of the weblog is changing the way in which we teach. Tasks are put on the weblog, examples, thoughts, about things said in the course are posted and commented on. Sometimes this process starts off spontaneously, sometimes a lecturer initiates it.
We have also implemented an online diary during the 2 months of internship the students do. This turned out to be a great success. Although students are obliged to post on a daily basis, they enjoy doing it because they know that other people are reading it. Students also comment on each other’s diary entries.
In the future, we would like to experiment with new features like expert teams, social software functionalities (like ratings of posts or posters). Vital to this is that students themselves are triggered to implement new features in the weblog.
(The weblog is currently offline, due to the move towards a new server)
(screenshots can be provided in the presentation)
last update: Friday, July 23, 2004 at 10:32:56 AM-----------------------