What is said, in both articles, makes a lot of sense. The context has to be authentic and should be aligned with the desired learning outcomes. A blog can be very powerful when you want your students to reflect. At the same time, the blog needs to be carefully planned and managed by the instructor. The students need clear expectations and guidance, in particular if their contributions are to be assessed.
On assessment, Ruth Reynard gives a useful classification of statement types that could be used in a grading rubric:
- Reflection statements (self positioning within the course concepts);
- Commentary statements (effective use of the course content in discussion and analysis);
- New idea statements (synthesis of ideas to a higher level); and
- Application statements (direct use of the new ideas in a real life setting).
Having just started using blogs in my own teaching, I found that these articles have confirmed my own thoughts and support (to an extent) the approach I have been using.