student productivity
How does passion blogging encourage student productivity? Source: Andrew Neel/ Unsplash

During university, writing assignments enable students to develop their communication and critical thinking skills.

But depending on the course, some students are subject to regular writing assignments more than others. When these regularly revolve around overused or niche topics, students may lose interest and lose out on the benefits of writing.

Passion blogging could be one solution, according to English and journalism teacher Allison Berryhill.

student productivity

How does this method motivate student productivity? Source: Brooke Cagle/ Unsplash

Writing in Edutopia, she explained that passion blogging is founded on what students know and care about.

By encouraging her students to set up an online blogging space, Berryhill’s students are free to write about what they’re passionate about.

“My students’ passion blogs resulted in creative, voice-filled analyses on wide-ranging topics,” she wrote.

This included topics such as the 19th Amendment, the best local hiking trails, why Austin Forkner is an amateur Kawasaki legend, a student’s cataract surgery, (…) hunger strikes, a grandfather’s escape from Iran, and the Best of Iowa competition at the county fair.

By allowing students to write about topics of interest, Berryhill finds learners to be more engaged with the writing assignments and excited to get started on their pieces.

“Our class blogs are intended as a practice space for developing skills, and I grade them accordingly.”

Berryhill awards full credit to blogs that show attempts at passion (voice), authority (attribution and care with mechanics), structure (organisation and transitions), and ideas (supported with examples).

Through this frequent low-stakes practice, students are able to learn how to structure arguments, provide evidence and explain their thought process –  all of which are skills they can apply when in subjects like literature.

Alternatively, a passion blog may also inspire a writing career.

For instance, SG Budget Babe financial blogger Dawn Cher always had a passion for writing since she was young. 

“I never had a target audience, nor did I write to get recognised. In the beginning, it really was just a blog I started for fun and shared on my personal Facebook for my friends to read,” says Cher.

But since she started the blog, she has received over four million visitors and has been ranked as a Top 60 Budget Blog by Feedspot.

Cher’s story demonstrates where passion and productivity can take writers, while Berryhill’s approach shows how passion blogging is enlivening her writing classes.

University lecturers may want to consider implementing it in their classes too – if they haven’t already.

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