Research is like archaeology; you dig and dig and dig.  Sorting the treasure from the non-treasure can be tricky, it’s easy to lose your way.  A shiny object could distract you for hours, it may be interesting and oh so shiny but eventually you are able to recognize that it is not the treasure you are seeking.

And so it goes with my Literature Review.

I want to know: How are blogs and wikis being used in introductory university courses?

I want to know: What research has been done linking retention with student engagement with use of blogs and wikis in introductory university courses?

My search for linkage between university retention and student engagement leads most easily to the seemingly 100% proven fact that retention is high when students feel engaged with the institution (through socialization with other students and/or with faculty).  But what about engagement with the learning?

I began this archaeological dig with the presumption that linkage has been proven to exist between retention and academic success.  But I have found that this linkage is not 100%, in fact socialization is a stronger link to retention than is academic success (I think this is what I found in my digging, it was all so very muddy, yikes).

Of course, this is miles away from my original digging interest of wiki and blog use linked to retention.

and so, I dig