MON: Blogging vs Vlogging (Leanne Johnstone)

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Leanne Johnstone
12 January 2017

It is important that learning experiences and assessments remain relevant and in line with the way information is communicated in the wider world. Blogging has been increasingly used as a method to communicate and this has been reflected within the education sector. The use of blogs has been shown to allow students to exhibit significant gains in their ICT self-efficacy (Papastergiou et al, 2011) and English language skills (Wong Pei Jun, 2012). A drawback of blogging could be that it can be difficult to implement successfully when students have minimal prior experience of doing such an activity (Kerawalla et al, 2007). Microblogging has been shown to have provide a more effective learning experience than traditional blogging for learners with lower attainment levels (Huang et al, 2015).

Vlogs (video logs) are a more recent method of communication where individuals share information in a short clip that is shared online. Although the process of creating an article would be the same, the output would be different. When vlogging, it has been demonstrated that students produce higher level explanations of concepts when using three-dimensional objects as opposed to static images (Lawrie, 2013). It has been found that students enjoy making videos (Smith, 2014) and that vlogs can allow students to organise and reflect on the outcome of their learning (Hung, 2011). Similar barriers to blogging have been found in that technological difficulties may hinder progress (Hung, 2011).

Both blogging and vlogging present opportunities for peer feedback. When students are given an opportunity to evaluate and give comments on each other’s work, it has been shown to allow them to develop a deeper understanding of the subject (Thomas et al, 2014) and the quality of the feedback can be the same quality of the tutors (Walker, 2013).

It is important that the impact of the use of blogging and vlogging is understood in terms of the skills and knowledge used. Does one provide a more effective learning experience than the other? What considerations should be when deciding to undertake such activities with students? Although currently this project is in its infancy, it is hoped that these questions can be explored and answered in the specific context of FE.

This presentation intends to share with you the initial findings of an action research project involving the use of blogs and vlogs as a method of assessment. Focussing on the experience of the students, which will be gauged though a series of focus groups and surveys, the study aims to further understand the benefits and limitations of both blogging and vlogging as an assessment tool.

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Blogging Vs Vlogging

Blogging Vs Vlogging

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Andy Brooks
5:01pm 27 January 2017

Hi Leanne, did you concentrate on a particular age group?

Jude Toasland
11:54am 28 January 2017

A fascinating topic. As with Andy, I'm interested in the age group of the students involved.  In my experience younger people are generally more confident with video (the changing culture where YouTube and Instagram videos are the norm) whereas older people tend towards reticence when faced with a video recorder! I'm also interested in the impact of seeing someone (and their surroundings) upon the reaction and feedback of other students, in comparison with just seeing the written word.  I look forward to your presentation.

Leanne Johnstone
7:30pm 28 January 2017

Hi Andy and Jude,

Thank you for taking the time to read my abstract and for posting questions.

The project involves the experiences of adults completing HE level course within an FE environment. So within each cohort we have a wide range of ages. You raise an interesting point Jude and this is certainly something that is coming through in my findings.

Sarah Adrienne Hughes
11:49am 29 January 2017 (Edited 11:50am 29 January 2017)

I am excited to hear about Vlogging - a term I had not heard before!

Visioning healthcare in the 2030s, I envisaged that patients might provide their own care review at the end of a day by creating a short video... Vlogging, it would seem!

I will watch your presentataion with interest, for my students!! What technical issues do you think a varied background of student (and lecturers!!!) might encounter?

Where do they 'post' them?



Mary Howell
2:25pm 29 January 2017

Hi Leanne and thank you for an interesting abstract.  Like Sarah I hadn't heard the term Vlogging, until coming across your project.  I'll be interested in your findings because at the moment I am trying to encourgae teachers to share reflection in between face to face sessions and had considered looking at microblogging, but think your presentation may give insights as to whether Vlogging might be an appealing approach for some.  Like Sarah l am interested to know about implementing the system. 

Allison Bell
8:04pm 2 February 2017

Hi Leanne,

Look forward to hearing about your findings in this. Particularly interested in the assertation by Smith (2014) that students enjoy making videos - perhaps some qualification might be needed here? As others have alluded to, does preference change according to age or any other factor (e.g. English as a second language where this could be more of a challenge?). Speaking from personal experience producing video for my m/media project, text is so much easier to produce that video content (of course, depending on production value etc.). Having said all of that - we give opportunities to our own students to produce video content and have been pleasantly surprised by the output and commitment. (They are mostly between 18-21yrs old).


angela bonehill
6:39pm 5 February 2017

Hi Leanne,

I’m interested in this subject as I used Vlogs as part of my project, I needed students to use this tool to introduce themselves to their counterparts, however they were not keen to begin with, their presentations were stiff and rehearsed and the audience could see they were extremely nervous. However their counterparts from Denmark seemed really confident and relaxed.

Do you think it something that students get used to? Moreover, they seem happy to put videos of themselves on social media.

I'm looking forward to listening to your presentation too


Leanne Johnstone
7:19pm 6 February 2017

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your comments, they have certainly given me some points to think about.

Sarah - technical issues do seem to be a barrier, though interestingly I have found that vlogging seems to have less than the blogging. I will be sharing some ideas of how these can be overcome in my presentation.

Mary - that sounds like an excellent application of vlogging. I will be discussing some of the positive and negatives of it in my presentation.

Allison - I completely agree with my statement needing some qualification :-) I agree that students do make some excellent videos and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to investigate the use of vlogging.

Angela - thanks for sharing your experience. It is interesting that students from Denmark were more confident and relaxed. I wonder why that is? I do think it can be something that students get used to. I hope to do a similar exercise with the same students (on a different topic) to explore this further.

Best wishes,



Matt Endean
4:23pm 7 February 2017

I too as others am interested in this, as a regular blogger (mostly for rallying). I do find the task of sitting down and writting a chore at times, and the thought of just recording a video (so easy now with recent technology) seems very inviting and likely to increase my participation. Though I would have get used to hearing my own voice, which I don't like!

Paul Curran
1:39pm 8 February 2017

I'm very interested by this Leanne. One thing I have noticed is a different attitude to vlogging from learners with no experience of a vlogging culture. It's quite alien to some people and they don't have a reference for it whereas others have preconceived notions of a vlogger and would not of some famous youtubers etc. Sometimes this makes them less likely to take part if they have negative preconceptions. Best of luck!

Dr Simon Ball
10:53am 14 February 2017

Hi Leanne

Please find below the main questions and comments from your live presentation. It's up to you how to answer them, whether you wish to group them, or whether you wish to point to an answer already given above, for example.
Best wishes

  • What pedagogical literature informed the choice of a blog as part of the assessmsnt of the module?
  • What was the student reaction to the introduction of the blogs and vlogs - were they positive in the initial stages?
  • Do you think students have more aptitude for using tech like blogs and vlogs? The whole digital native thing has been pretty roundly debunked, but what did you think?
  • Interseting about the incentives of being seen by peers/ and about peer support
  • Did you ask students to peer review the Blog posts?
  • Interesting that only one took this up
  • Any idea why the others weren't interested in taking it up?
  • How were the fears addressed for example plagarism
  • Self-selecting as they were already confident using video..?
  • That is interesting - building confidence in evaluative skills
  • And also the increase in more openly sharing blogs with increased confidence.
  • Were they asked why they didn't opt to use vlogging?
  • There's a whole set of issues about presentation of the self here, isn't there? Online identity etc.
  • Did the students do any presenting in class?
  • The safe space seemed important here. Has their connfidence grown
  • Love the idea of finger puppet videos. very innovative
  • Perhaps the age range is a factor here
  • I think that literacy with these kinds of online tools is really important and so helping them to develop these skills seems very useful
  • I was also wondering about gender differences and body/self image on vlogs
  • I have had students use puppet pals app - yes seriously at a level - they loved it
  • I think familiarity is even more than useful - I think it's part of our responsibility as educators
  • If the phone is the main internet access, the video will probably be easier than writing text.
  • or they could use cartoon images
  • An idea... we actually video presentations for assessment

Moira Dunworth
11:46am 15 February 2017

Thanks for very interesting presentation, Leanne. As I mentioned, I pubished a short paper about blogging as a teaching tool many years ago! I have a pdf of it but can't see how to attach that here. It's in the Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning - this links takes you to it. 

Journal of Practice Teaching & Learning 7(3) 2006-07, pp.6-21. DOI: 10.1921/19640

It's interesting to me how many issues remain the same ten years later!

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