Professor of Italian Dennis McAuliffe elected to use a blog in his Boccaccio class this semester–a class in the Italian Department which studies in detail the works of Giovanni Boccaccio in translation. In an interview with Professor McAuliffe, he expressed that the students have been extremely responsive throughout semester with their blog posts. Deciding to make blog posts mandatory for the students, McAuliffe decided that posting in English would be more conducive to a thorough and in-depth discussion on the literary works.
McAuliffe’s desire was for the blog to prepare students for classroom interaction–to stimulate discussion out of the classroom before the class in order to raise relevant issues in a classroom venue. He wanted to engage the students in conversation in relation to their ruminations on the blog space, and, overall, he is pleased with the results of preparedness in the students, and also pleased at the level of interaction amongst the students.
McAuliffe also holds that the blog paves the way for better, seminar-type discussions as opposed to a lecture-style, where students often become bored and passive. Using the blog for inter-personal interaction outside of the classroom makes the students feel more in touch with the issues of the classroom, and more able to take hold of the issues relevant to them and shape the class discussions.
Professor McAuliffe has indicated an interest to use a blog in future courses, citing the eager and timely student blog posting, commenting, and discussion.