Blogging

Rationale

Almost every day of class a group of students is tasked with posting to the course blog. There are several reason why I emphasize blogging in my classes:

  1. The blog posts jump-start the day’s conversations.
  2. The posts give students who are less vocal in class an opportunity to contribute to discussions.
  3. The posts help me identify early on misconceptions or confusions about the course material.
  4. Blogging leaves a fairly permanent record of our class dialogue, which can be useful to revisit in the future.
  5. Blogging is good practice for writing for a broader audience.

Specifications

Blog posts count as either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. A Satisfactory blog post must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be posted to the course blog by 9am of your group’s day
  • Include a descriptive title
  • Posted under your group’s category (i.e. Group A, Group B, Group C)
  • Focus on an aspect of the day’s material that you find particularly compelling. This could be something you don’t quite understand or that jars you. Or you could formulate an insightful question or two about the material and then attempt to answer your own questions. You might make connections between the course material and conversations we’ve had in class (or ideas that you’ve encountered in other classes). You can also respond to another student’s post, building upon it, disagreeing with it, or re-thinking it. In any case, strive to go beyond the obvious or what we’ve already talked about.
  • At least 250 words in length
  • Include at least one illustrative piece of media (an image, a screenshot, a GIF, an embedded video, audio, etc.). Illustrative means that the media is directly related to the phenomenon you’ve sighted. The media must be fully sourced, with full credit given to the source of the media, and ideally, linked back to its original source online. Note: you can disregard this criteria if you are leaving a comment to an existing post on our course blog.
  • Written in a clear manner, less formal than a conventional paper but still serious and rooted in evidentiary-based reasoning
  • Contain no more than 3 grammatical or spelling errors
  • Practice standard procedures for writing online, including hotlinking text (instead of dropping in unlinked URLs in the body of your post), embedding videos properly, etc.