Why Do I Have a Blog Assignment?
Well, in the wise words of my friend and colleague, Dr. Molly Metz, it’s a really great tool, for a number of reasons (added to and edited from her original post):
- You’re probably doing this assignment in a college course. Writing is an important skill to practice consistently in college, but the audience is usually just one professor or instructor. When coupled with an actual audience of multiple skill and comprehension levels, you get to flex your communication “muscles”. After college, relatively few of you will go on to an academic program where you are writing for other academics. Many more of you will have jobs where you need to take technical information (in this case, peer-reviewed research) and make it digestible for an audience who doesn’t have the same background as you (whether that audience is a client, a boss, or the general public). This blog assignment is designed to help you communicate scientific findings to a non-expert audience.
- Furthermore, paraphrasing technical material is a great way to demonstrate understanding of a topic. It is easy to use the same jargon an author uses to describe what they did; more challenging is putting their ideas into language that your (non-psychologist) family members will understand and appreciate. Think of the task as generative learning: you learn better by preparing to teach, and actually teaching, the technical material! This is a meta-concept for this particular blog 😉
- While it is true that you could just keep a journal, or turn in individual assignments to me, a class blog will help you to learn from your classmates. You might see something a different way because of how they write about it; you will gain exposure to many more topics and articles than you would alone; you might find a great new YouTube video you didn’t know about before. Science is not a solitary endeavor, and by tackling this project together, I hope you are able to learn more and appreciate the science of psychology (cognitive, educational, or otherwise) in a deeper way than you might if you just read for class.
If you’re interested in the many uses of a blog, and possibly have ideas or other things to share, head over to this link to get started: http://howtostartablogonline.net/why-blog/
Most of all–have fun! I used to blog and it was amazing to connect with readers all over the place.
–Dr. Alex Swan