I have read about this phenomena and heard about it from colleagues but hadn't quite experienced it until recently. My students wrote sooooo much better on our class blog than they do when turning something in to me for evaluation.
Here is what I noticed from a simple "Book Review" assignment I gave them to do on the blog. (I teach middle school Language Arts).
followed the format (this RARELY happens)
responded to ALL of the prompt (in almost all cases)
used standard/conventional English (this was a shocker)
wrote more than they regularly do (go figure)
were much more insightful, articulate, clear.
much preferred the format over turning in hard copy (as reported by them).
Okay, so now I have some evidence.... as tiny of a sample as this might be (150 students), it gave me hope and I will continue to figure out how to use our class blog as a way of responding to literature.
p.s. I found it much easier to grade as well!! (just an added bonus).
Anyone else like to share their class blog experiences? And... any tips on what you have done that has been successful in terms of using a class blog.