Comments vs. Parallel Conversations in Education

Although comments may be appropriate for some purposes, for classes, it is better to use comment-disabled blogs. Students, when commenting upon a classmate's blog, tend to give supportive comments, such as "I agree!" without following them with some substance. When responding to a classmate from their own blog, students can acquire habits of citing others, summarizing/paraphrasing classmates' points, and writing more substantive contributions to a class conversation. In addition, when all are using RSS feeds (and news readers, such as bloglines), students can see how many others write and respond, and learn from them.