Somewhere in between: blogging as an intermediate and accessible space
journal contributionposted on 16.11.2017, 13:27 authored by Mhairi MorrisMhairi Morris
The learning process involves contextualising new knowledge with prior experiences and beliefs. In the scientific discipline, the focus of learning is geared towards learning how to do science, but there are significant barriers to learning, including jargonised terminology and excessive use of acronyms. Scientific discoveries are made by experimentation, but science as a discipline progresses through a series of ongoing conversations. Blogging provides a platform that widens access to these conversations by communicating science in a style of writing that sits somewhere in between the formal and informal. Regenring scientific writing as a blog can enhance student learning by breaking down the barriers to learning posed by ‘intellectually inaccessible’ information. Here, I describe an experimental approach to teaching cancer biology by regenring a classic review article in the field as a series of blog pieces, using everyday metaphors and analogies to describe the characteristics and behaviour of cancer cells. Other aspects of discipline, identity, ‘voice’ and communities of practice are also considered. Until such time as blogging is recognised as a valid academic output, however, it will remain firmly somewhere in between.
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