The educational affordances of blogs for self-directed learning

Judy Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


To be successful university learners, students need to develop skills in self-directed learning. This encompasses a range of cognitive and meta-cognitive skills including generating one's own learning goals, planning how to tackle a problem, evaluating whether learning goals have been met, and re-planning based on this evaluation. The educational affordances of blogs offer opportunities for students to become self-directed learners in a supportive social environment. Based on qualitative analysis of design diaries written by 113 computer science students about a creative project, this paper presents a framework of the ways in which blogging activities can assist groups of students and their teachers in the development of a range of cognitive, social and self-directed learning skills. Although the students in this study used the commenting feature of blogs effectively for the purpose of praising and encouraging their peers, and giving hints and tips for solving problems, they did not coach each other on higher order skills. The paper discusses how this could be achieved in order to extend the educational value of blogging within a university learning community. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1628-1644
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Blogs
  • Computer science
  • Self-directed learning


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