Hi all! So excited to be a part of the HASTAC Scholars community this coming year.
So I just finished my summer project, which was to write my First Year Exam, described as a "specialized paper examination" which really is a LONG paper based on a specific area of interest. I started composing this paper in May, and I also decided that I wanted to experiment with vlogging along the way. So each night after completing the day's work, I journaled on video about the process: I talked about my struggles, things that were going well, things that I was confused about, and I reported on what I'd completed. (Check out some excerpts from my vlogging entries here).
Vlogging my own writing process through the summer has made me think about the possibilties for using vlogs in the English Composition classroom. The video journals became almost like a sounding board for me as I composed my paper. I worked out problems, I summarized, I verbalized what I'd already done and what I had yet to do. I wonder the extent to which the vlogging shaped the written portion of my work, and how the paper would be different if I hadn't vlogged along the way?
I'm teaching English 225: Academic Argumentation this fall at U of M, and most of my students are sophomores and juniors in majors outside of English. I want to ask them to vlog their composition process for at least one of their projects. I've always done lots of reflective process activities with students in writing, but video seems to offer a much more personal, raw way to reflect--and I thought it was lots of fun! I also felt like I was more honest with myself on video, like I was talking to someone who actually cared about what I was doing (which I guess that someone was ME!). I think the vlog works in some ways because our generation is familiar with the genre. TV shows use a variation, like the confessional in The Real World or any of the interview clips most reality shows use.
I'm curious--has anyone else used vlogs in an academic setting? What do you all feel are the benefits and drawbacks of doing so?