This is an interesting example of teaching using only blogs. FSU has a course (ENC 1102), which is a second semester of a required two semester composition sequence at FSU. There are two instructors team-teaching with about 50 students broken into three secions of students participating in coursle/online weblog community.
They used blogger and had a class website and individual student sites. Blogging was the main form of interaction, supplemented by email. The email component was used mostly for exchanging drafts and for response purposes.
Note this comment from the instructor:
I got to know my students (and they me) better in this online class than I ever have in my face to face classes. All that interacting (email, commuity weblog, individual blogsites) we did made me much more approachable to them, both when we were on the class website and via email. And the ones who blogged about their regular lives on their individual blogsites…I felt like I really got to know everyone.
The way blogging promoted friendship between classmates in ways they “hadn’t been brave enough to hope for when we were planning the course” was discussed.
The professor also noted some of the difficulties experienced by students:
On the flip side of this, some students had trouble making their first papers flow and be properly linear because they were pulling material straight from their blogs. Making the transition from blogging to traditional paper actually, in retrospect, seemed more difficult for students than the transition from traditional paper writing to hypertext writing. In the future, I might skip the traditional paper altogether and ask students to write all of their major assignments in hypertext. This makes sense too, because all of the writing students did for the class (except that traditional paper) was for the web.
The tripod blog is for paying subscribers only. They have a feature called “Blog Buddy Page” which lets you create a page that displays the entries of your friends’ blogs. They also have community blogs that are shared so multiple authors can post to the blog. Their BLOG FAQ was interesting to read.