The blog I've been running this term is for the third year graphics course offered to the game development stream students. One of the reasons I started it is that the only other ways to communicate with students would be to ask the professor to post things to his course website (which would limit me in what I could actually say), or to hope that students actually checked WebCT once in a while (computer science students don't much like WebCT).
Some of the things I post about include:
- Updates on my progress grading various assignments and tests.
- General summarized feedback on assignments.
- Numbered comments for tests that I can refer to when marking so I don't have to write the same explanations over and over again on paper.
- Detailed explanations of topics students seem to be struggling with.
- Links to applets on fundamental topics I've made in the past that might help students.
- Links to other resources that might be helpful.
A course wiki would look a lot different from the blog. For instance, instead of a stream of posts that capture what happened during a particular term chronologically, a wiki would likely end up being a more structured documentation of the course that could evolve over time. It is more of a living document that students, TA's, and professors could contribute to. It might even be able to combine the ideas of the traditional course webpage with some of what I put on my blog (some of the resources on my blog might be better suited to a wiki). A wiki might be more difficult to use as a form of feedback to students in a particular term since it's not as obvious when new content is posted.
So, if choosing between a wiki or a blog, I would consider whether I want to develop a resource that will evolve each time the course is taught (wiki), or if communication and feedback to students is my priority (blog). I don't think one is superior to the other, and the ambitious might even be able to effectively offer both.
Have you used either for your own course? What type of content did you include, and how successful was your approach?