Blogging Guidelines

What is a blog?

Shortened from the term “web log”, a blog is an online space that is used by authors, reviewers, photographers, and businesses to post original content on the internet. It is one of the hallmark technologies that shaped the user-centered “web 2.0”, as anyone with an internet connection could now have a voice and potentially an audience online. Previously, online media was dominated by large companies like newspapers. Now, with free services like blogger.com and wordpress.com, the internet has become more participatory and user-generated.

Why use a blog in a classroom?

In much the same way that the internet has been democratized by becoming more  participatory, educational philosophy has become more student-centered. Teachers, who used to be regarded as the sole provider of knowledge, are now becoming guides and facilitators due to the growing abundance of easily accessible information. Classroom participation, active discussions, and hands-on learning have been the focus of teacher training reform over the past fifty years. Now, those activities are not limited to the walls of the classroom.

A class blog offers students a public forum to develop, share, and demonstrate their knowledge. Specifically in language acquisition, multiple genuine opportunities to communicate in the target language can greatly improve the ability to write and think in a foreign language. One great advantage of the blog format is that students who do not tend to speak up in class discussions can find a voice in the comfort of their home or library. The classroom blog is an opportunity to grow as a student, a writer, and an English speaker. Again, because it is user-generated, students can begin to take ownership of the project. This personal investment spurs intrinsic motivation to use English and critical thought throughout the course of study.

What should I write about?

The classroom blog can take many shapes. In a traditional sense, it can be for the teacher to post pictures, videos and news about what is going on in the classroom. A more student-centered blog would make the students the authors and the teacher as an administrator. Each course has their own minimum number of posts and comments. You are welcome to post and comment more.

A post should:

1) Be a substantial piece of writing (300 word min.).
2) Address a topic connected to your studies at NUGSE or answer the assigned question(s).
3) Be creative, open and honest.
4) Use sources and citations responsibly (APA recommended).
5) Have a descriptive title.

Posts or comments could:

1) Respond to a piece of literature read for a class. The skills gained from writing critical reviews would be helpful here.
2) Continue a discussion from a class.
3) End with a discussion question to prompt responses from other students.
4) Be formal (see post 1) or informal (see post 2 below).

How will I be assessed?

You will receive feedback on each blog you write as a public comment from the instructor. These comments are not meant to be punitive, but rather to allow all students to see clear examples of strong writing and repeated recommendations of how to improve weaker writing. Here is a sample rubric:

Score Description
5 ·         Post is very thoughtful, interesting and well developed.

·         Post is connected to course content and meets the word limit requirements.

·         Writing is organized into paragraphs with a clear beginning, middle and end.

·         Post includes clear references where needed.

·         Writing is clear and free of grammatical errors.

4 ·         Post is thoughtful, interesting and well developed.

·         Post is connected to course content and meets the word limit requirements.

·         Writing is organized into paragraphs with a beginning, middle and end.

·         Post includes references where needed.

·         Writing is mostly clear and free of grammatical errors.

3 ·         Post is somewhat thoughtful, but may not be fully developed.

·         Post is connected to course content, but may not meet the word limit requirements.

·         Writing is somewhat organized.

·         Post includes some references, but needs more.

·         Writing is has several grammatical errors, making it unclear at times.

2 ·         Post is not very thoughtful, and is not fully developed.

·         Post is not connected to course content, and does not meet the word limit requirements.

·         Writing is poorly organized.

·         Post fails to include references.

·         Writing is has many grammatical errors, making it unclear at times.

1 ·         Post is not thoughtful, and is undeveloped.

·         Post is not connected to course content, and does not meet the word limit requirements.

·         Writing is not organized.

·         Post fails to include references.

·         Writing is has many grammatical errors, making it difficult to understand.

Each comment is worth one point and should:

  • Be a complete paragraph or more.
  • Give honest, critical feedback of the original post.
  • Engage in meaningful dialogue with the ideas presented in the post.
  • Go beyond compliments and personal sentiments.

Sample posts and comments

Post 1: Words HURT (https://nuwritersguild.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/words-hurt/)

Post 2: 1, 2, 3…and identity loss? (https://nuwritersguild.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/12-3-and-identity-loss/)

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Blogging Guidelines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s