Pseudonymous Writing and Improved Course Engagement Using Blogs


  • A. Fiona Pearson Central Connecticut State University
  • Scott P. Ellis Central Connecticut State University



blogs, participation, pseudonyms, engagement, active reading


This study examines students’ use of pseudonymous writing on blogs as a means of engaging with course material in college-level courses. The authors analyse qualitative data from course evaluations from over 40 sections of 13 different courses (N = 1011 students), which were offered between 2005 and 2010 on two different campuses in the northeastern United States. Findings reveal that students perceive improvement in their peer interactions and class participation when provided with the opportunity to further class discussions on class blogs under the guise of a pseudonym. The authors contend that using semi-public blogs as an alternative forum for discussion encourages students to read actively, improve their written communication skills, and engage in dialogue and meaning-making.

Author Biographies

A. Fiona Pearson, Central Connecticut State University

A. Fiona Pearson is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. She received her Ph.d. in Sociology from Georgia State University. Her research and teaching interests include sociology of education, public policy, consumer culture, and social inequality. recent publications have focused on low income parents’ access to postsecondary education and integrating blogs in the college classroom. She is currently at work on a project analyzing the effects of policy and institutional culture on the experiences of college students balancing parenting and schooling responsibilities.

Scott P. Ellis, Central Connecticut State University

Scott P. Ellis is a Professor of English at Southern Connecticut State University, where he teaches pre-20th century American literature. He received his Ph.d. in English from Emory University. He has published on Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Brockden Brown, early American authorship, and digital pedagogy. He has also published and presented locally and nationally on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with an emphasis on promoting active learning, designing technologically enriched courses, and managing different reading habits in classroom practice.



How to Cite

Pearson, A. F., & Ellis, S. P. (2014). Pseudonymous Writing and Improved Course Engagement Using Blogs. Writing and Pedagogy, 5(2), 231–247.



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