Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tell Me: What Do You Want to Read on This Blog?

by Ann Abbott

That's me at the computer, blogging right now. When I started blogging here two and a half years ago, I can't say that I had a clear vision for what the blog would be. I simply knew that I had a lot to say about Spanish community service learning (CSL), social entrepreneurship and my talented students. I wanted to share those thoughts and hopefully build a community with others doing Spanish CSL.

After more than two and a half years blogging here, I thought it was time for some reflection. I hired a recent graduate to read through the posts and streamline the labels to be more user friendly and relevant. I also asked her to give me her opinion about what students would like to read here. Here is what she said:

"So, I was thinking about the site and what I would find personally interesting as a student. I really enjoyed the 'Student Spotlight' sections of the blog, because they are usually chock-full of links to different Spanish-related sites, organizations, programs, etc., and I feel that these can give current students a good example as well as many different resources for discovering what they might like to do as post-graduates. I think that sometimes it is difficult for undergrads to look at the big picture and they can become overwhelmed with the array of options facing them. So it is nice to be able to read about what former students have gone on to do after taking your class. I definitely think students will find some good resources in those entries.

"Of course the related programs, volunteer opportunities and links would be helpful to them as well, and many of the entries which deal with class activities or social issues are directly correlated with their coursework, so they should be able to utilize those.

"I think that the 'student reflections' can be helpful to students who are participating in the same volunteer work (for Leal elementary, for example) as the former student bloggers, as it might give them a little help with what to expect of their time there.

"As for the other labels, I think that the only ones which may not be directly related to students would be the faculty insight, spanish community service learning, and Comunidades, since these seem to be more helpful to other faculty members or professionals.

"As for myself, if I were a student being directed to your site, I would immediately go to one of the 'student spotlights', 'related programs', 'volunteer opportunities,' or 'cultural exchange' labels. I found that there is a wealth of information on the blog for Spanish students, and I hope that I was able to arrange it in such a way that would be helpful for their site navigation."

I really appreciate having her student perspective. Thanks, Lauren!

Now my question is for others who are reading this: What do you want to read here? What is helpful to you? What information do you find lacking? Any ideas and perspectives you can offer would be very welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I really like what Lauren said, I agree! I've been very interested in all the information about other students, because I am one :) and that helps me figure out where I can work/volunteer and ideas for what to do after I graduate. I'm sure people are reading this who aren't students though, and I usually find the information that you give for teachers/educators interesting too, and I might use it more in the future.

    Hopefully during the semester I'll have some interesting stories to send in about volunteer work. I'm getting excited about it!