Primers on blogging and online learning

Yesterday I came across two good, thoughtful blog posts that each summed up one important aspect of digital humanities practice. The first is Jeffrey McClurken’s primer on “Forms of online learning”, aimed at people who might be interested in the topic but “are not part of the ed tech world” (i.e., people like me). Essentially it is an ordered, structured list of different types of approaches where each is characterised very briefly and a few pros and cons are given.

Although McClurken calls it a draft, it provides an excellent overview of a very diverse range of forms that are often, mistakenly, discussed as if they were one single “thing”. Also well worth reading is Jason Heppler’s post on “What I’ve Learned as an Academic Blogger”, based on his experience of running a blog of his own for four years. I found it particularly interesting and helpful to read his advice on the very day I launched this site, but I could also relate it to my previous experience of academic blogging (in Swedish) for almost two years.

Most of Heppler’s points I agree with, such as the importance of writing regularly and not to procrastinate by fiddling with the design (I am the first to plead guilty on that score, though). Others I rather hope than am convinced he is right about, for example that you can write about many different things and do not have to stick to one topic. I intend to do just that here, but I am also fairly certain that it will make fewer people read the blog. Like Heppler, however, I am more interested in quality than quantity, so as long as there are at least a few readers it is a compromise I can live with.