The first half of this class is primarily theoretical. The readings are fairly dense and you will need to spend a significant amount of time working with the readings to understand each author’s perspective. You do not need to understand every single part of the reading by class time, but you do need to engage with the reading. By posting on this blog multiple times a week, you will demonstrate that you’ve 1) read the reading and 2) tried to understand the author’s point. It will also serve as a springboard for class discussion.
How to Blog
On the course calendar (located on Blackboard) you will find a number of days that ask you to “Read/Post.” On these days, before the class period, you are required to post to this blog. Each blog post should fulfill 4 requirements:
1. A summary of the reading (200-300 words).
To fulfill this requirement you can attempt to summarize the entire reading or you can summarize one specific concept from it. If the reading for the week is dense and difficult you might focus on one section of the reading. If the reading is very easy, you might discuss the whole reading. This section should lead into your example and your question.
2. A connection between the reading and a specific example. (100-200 words)
To fulfill this requirement you will need to think of a way to apply the reading. You might discuss a specific situation to show why the reading is important. You might discuss a specific situation that extends or complicates the reading for the day. If you struggled with the reading for the week, you might find look for an example that clarify’s the author’s point, as if to say “I think this is what they were talking about.”
3. At least one question to spur class discussion
This question might refer to a specific concept, or even a specific term (what did the author mean by X?). You can ask a question about differentiating two similar terms from class (what’s the difference between X and Y?). You might also ask a question based on your example (How would author X respond to this differently?). You can also take a meta-perspective on the reading, asking questions about the importance of the reading. Do not ask yes/no questions.
4. One image, animated gif, or video
This can be the example you discuss in your blog post, or it can simply be a visual artifact you think is cool.
Grading the Blogs
For each class period where there is a reading due, I will randomly select students to share their blog posts with the rest of the class. If your blog is selected, you will be required through your summary, example, and question. Then, the class will try to help us answer your question. You will receive a grade based on your ability to start a discussion about the readings.
Periodically, I will also grade the blog posts directly. I will be looking at the depth of your summary, the novelty of your example, and the effectiveness of your question.