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:
- The blog posts jump-start the day’s conversations.
- The posts provide an opportunity for you to share current events and recent phenomena that relate to our class.
- The posts give students who are less vocal in class an opportunity to contribute to discussions.
- The posts help me to identify misconceptions or confusions about the course material.
- Blogging leaves a fairly permanent record of our class dialogue, which can be useful to revisit in the future.
- Blogging lets us extend the conversation beyond the 50 minute class period.
- Blogging is good practice for writing for a broader audience.
Blog posts count as either Unsatisfactory or Satisfactory.
A Satisfactory blog post must meet the following criteria:
- Posted to the class blog by 9:30am the morning of your group’s day
- Include a descriptive title
- Posted under your group’s category (i.e. Group A, Group B, Group C, etc.)
- Focus on an aspect of the day’s material or broader themes 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. Maybe you have a relevant example beyond the course reading to share and analyze, a kind of “sighting” in the wild. 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.
- When appropriate embed illustrative media, like a YouTube video.
- At least 250 words in length
- Written in a clear manner, less formal than a conventional paper but still readable and rooted in evidence-based reasoning
- Contain no more than 2 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.