Using Online Blogs To Create Class Community

  • Graziella McCarron George Mason University


Location: Dewberry Hall


Anonymity online (sometimes an unfortunate pitfall of digital learning) can lead to invisibility, exclusion, misunderstanding, and miscommunication. As such, I seek to “humanize” myself as instructor/facilitator and support students in “showing” themselves to each other. The online introductory blog that I require all students to complete at the start of class aides in building community and relationships, which support learning and allows students an opportunity to bring their "whole" selves to learning. For my required introductory blog post, students respond to prompts I provide and, as part of the assignment, comment on two classmates’ posts. They also post photos of themselves. Common ground may start with sharing a love of baking or raising children while a student, but it can blossom into shared dialogue about leadership, our place in the world, and how we relate to each other as a learning community. I also post my responses to these questions, so we can also connect further.  This poster describes the activity and presents student work and reactions to the assignment.  

Author Biography

Graziella McCarron, George Mason University

**2018 University Teaching Excellence Award Winner**

Dr. Graziella McCarron's work has been in the Leadership Studies program at the School of Integrative Studies focusing on courses in ethics and leadership and leading change. A significant part of her role has included designing, deploying, and evaluating the online curriculum for Leadership Studies.

4:15pm-5:30pm POSTER SESSION (Group A- 4:15-4:45pm)