This category (page) is the “obligatory” space; the one where students will be expected to create/moderate/contribute to reading and lecture-related discourse each week.
Note that there are a few roles specified: blog creator/moderator and blog contributor. These roles differ, but one is no less important than the other.
“Blog creator/moderator” are those students (for the moment, given the current class size, usually two per week) who initiate a thread on a topic associated (primarily, in the first instance) with the readings. Past lecture material and/or previous readings may be broached, but the primary intent is to get us all thinking about the current readings. Discussion about lecture material or previous readings may best be diverted to/found in the “Post-Hoc” page.
In order to stay abreast of who is responsible for thread creation each week, students should refer to the “blog leader/creator thread rotation” posted in the “Resources: Course Administration” section of the course website. As intimated above, the rotation may have to be revised during the course of the semester, depending on adds/drops, so consult with the rotation schedule periodically, so as not to be caught off guard.
At a minimum, then, it is anticipated that there will be 2 unique threads per week (although moderators) may choose to create more. ALL students are expected to respond (by writing a reply) to at least one thread per week. Thus, students can anticipate penning between 13 and 26 blog entries during the semester. Obviously, the more threads one contributes to, the more (potential) impact on one’s participation evaluation (although, please note that quality trumps quantity). Students will be asked to keep a record of their posts and replies in one file inside their Dropbox folder on Trunk, in order to facilitate evaluation of their effort at term’s end.
Designated thread leaders are also asked to moderate discussion—which may mean asking for clarification of writers, or seeking to stimulate lagging discussion, or redirecting wayward discourse. How well a week’s conversation transpires is factored into the moderator’s evaluation.
What sort of content is being sought? What topic a moderator selects choose is up to her/him, but it ought to:
- be reading-centered;
- make a connection to prior readings and/or class lecture/discussion;
- incorporate/reference phenomena from the social world (a media production, event, utterance, etc.)
Again, once a post is made, all students are expected to log a response, and the complete thread will likely be touched upon in class, so students should be ready to explain and defend what they have written.
Any questions? Use the comments section (below).