John Fea, in his blog, the Way of Improvement leads home, links to an interesting article, Blogs vs. Term Papers. That author argues that colleges should eliminate long research papers in favor of shorter blog posts. The focus seems to be on encouraging better writing skills in today’s world.
While there may be some merit to this, and it is important for students to develop this digital literacy skill, I see blog posts as encouraging reflections on shorter online articles. I don’t think that this style would facilitate deep academic research skills including accessing and analyzing peer reviewed research critical to a particular discipline.
For these research skills, I believe that the research paper is still the golden standard. For a well-rounded digital- and information-literate student, I would love to see both types assigned.