Blogging Circles

How is our class blogging organized?

  1. There are four “blogging circles.”
  2. Everyone writes at least one post and one substantive comment a week. Doing this is a credit/no-credit task. The blog post is due by Sunday evening.
  3. Every week each circle will contribute a single blog post from the posts described above to the course blog. The weekly contributor will rotate through the circle, based on alphabetical order. The entire class and professor is expected to read and think about these weekly contributions.
  4. Toward the end of the semester every student will put together a blogging portfolio that analyzes and evaluates their blogging activity. The portion of your final grade that comes from blogging will be based on whether or not you did the weekly activities described in #1 and your own evaluation—as well as mine—of your blogging portfolio.

What makes a good blog post?

Our class discussed several characteristics of a good blog post:

  • Readable (what the author is saying is clearly expressed)
  • Thought-provoking (it goes beyond the obvious or what we’ve already talked about)
  • Connective (the post makes connections to other things we’ve discussed in class, material from other courses, or historical or contemporary events and culture)
  • Progressive (in the sense that it moves our conversation forward by building on or challenging our existing conversation)

What can you write about?

There are a number of approaches, and you can vary them week to week. You can consider the course material using critical approaches you’ve used before; write about an aspect of the day’s reading that you don’t understand, or something that jars you; formulate an insightful question or two about the reading and then attempt to answer your own questions; or bring in some outside links or resources online, and explain their significance and connection to our class.

What can you comment about?

When you respond to another post, you can build upon it, disagree with it, re-think it, or connect it to other blog posts. In general though, think about a comment as a “turn” in a conversation. Your goal is not to shut down conversation or to have the last word; rather, it is to be a generous listener and to sustain the conversation.

Who’s in What Circle?

A full listing of the blogging circles is available to the students in the class.

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