|Image by Wesley Fryer thru CC BY-SA|
I really like the blogging in the wild approach since it ensures that when someone is commenting on their peer's work, they can (at least in principle) see the full history of the project being worked on by their peer, and if they are interested in can keep coming back to it, offer to collaborate etc.
I think this at least partially addresses some issues I encountered in the Coursera peer review system such as not being able to see the broader project context of peer work, and not being able to follow the development of peer projects, however it raises a number of new issues:
1) Are students happy with blogging in "public"?
2) How to scaffold the peer review process in public blogs
Addressing point 1) I explain to all my students that they can set the blogger to:
a) Full Public - appears in Google search results
b) Accessible to all by link
And I explain that even with option b that in principle anyone can come through my public class site and find their blog unless it is explicitly set to private; but I encourage everyone to take the b) option. I'm a bit of a sharing nut :-) And I hope all my students can turn their projects into part of their professional portfolio.
Regarding point 2) I find myself equivocating on how much structure should be imposed on students both for assignments and peer review. Too strong a structure and some student creativity is inhibited, too loose a structure and perhaps some students are left unsure how to proceed; not to mention the added concerns of encourage positive helpful feedback during pair review.
Any which way it makes me imagine an "Eternal Independent Learning" system in which individuals would be working on projects, posting them to their blogs and receiving feedback from each other. Clearly this is what actually happens in the real blogosphere itself to some extent :-) But I'm imagining a little bit of scaffolding using the blogger API could create a sort of queue of people waiting for feedback on their projects and do something like http://www.fivesecondtest.com/ except on a larger scale so that arbitrary project components (rather than just landing pages) could gain reciprocal feedback, while also allowing individuals to establish mutually supportative relationships with each other.