1. When, why, and how? I began to blog in 2004 (see blog.garven.com), and I have had course-related websites dating as far back as 1994. See “Blogging, tweeting, facebooking, etc.” for further historical/philosophical perspectives and various other caveats and cautionary tales.
2. What about Blackboard? I use Blackboard for two purposes: 1) pointing students to my “self-hosted” course-related websites (cf. fin4335.garven.com, fin4366.garven.com, and fin5335.garven.com) and blogsites (cf. risk.garven.com, options.garven.com, and seminar.garven.com), and 2) posting grades. Generally, I find that my “self-hosted” sites are more flexible and easier to use than Blackboard.
3. What about Facebook? Quoting from a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, “You hunt where the ducks are… Facebook is where… students are.” Thus, I republish my course-related blogsites (risk.garven.com, options.garven.com, and seminar.garven.com) at riskfb.garven.com, optionsfb.garven.com, and seminarfb.garven.com.
4. Some technical issues related to blogging
- Subscription options (other than Facebook): RSS, Twitter and/or email
- Email example
- Some good news for Baylor faculty: Baylor provides hosting and technical support for WordPress.
5. Research-related blogging
- Current projects: Demand for Insurance, Adverse Selection in Reinsurance Markets, Noise Hedging and Executive Compensation
6. Sociological consequences
- The web transforms the professor’s role from “sage on the stage” to “guide at students’ sides”.
- The web encourages a more collaborative and interactive learning environment.
- The web does not render faculty members obsolete (notwithstanding the recent Chronicle of Higher Education article to that effect).