Students in this class will either present a brief oral report to the class or, in groups of 2-4 people, keep an online journal (weblog) of their reading this semester. Both options will involve about the same amount of work, but with the weblog option, you'll be spreading the work out over the entire semester.
If you choose to keep a weblog AND present a report, you do not need to take the final exam.
Group Weblog Option. A group weblog (or blog) is a way for you to form a smaller community within the class and discuss a topic that interests your group. It is your space not only to write down your thoughts, insights, and opinions about the literature but also to find and link to other information that you find on the web.
A group blog is different from an individual blog in that the responsibility for writing blog posts each week won't fall to one person.You'll each have individual identities in the blog, but you'll also be acting collectively. As a group you'll be responsible for writing posts and comments on your own blog; someone from your group should also post a comment on at least one other blog each week.
Each week your group will be responsible for the following:
1. an original blog post by one of the members.
2. a comment on another group's blog.
You can choose to keep your blog based on a particular theme or you can keep it as a more freeform response blog. The overall idea is that you are providing additional information to class members. Some possibilities for topics:
Freeform blog that discusses all topics 19th-century science, technology, or culture All things Gothic Historical background Literature related to what we're reading in class
You do not need to have any knowledge about creating web pages to choose this option; the beauty of a weblog is that all the technical work is done for you. You simply type in your comments and click on the "publish" button.
Many free blogging sites are available.which would work well for our class. Creating an account and setting up your weblog on any of the free sites will take about five minutes. You should try to choose a site that allows the creation of an RSS feed and permits comments, as Blogger does (and as most sites do). Blogger (www.blogger.com) and Wordpress (www.wordpress.com) are two popular free blogging sites.
Requirements for the Weblog Option
1. Write 10 entries of approximately 400-500 words each. If you choose the weblog option, your group will write at least one entry each week, for a total of ten entries in all. To allow for exams, holidays, and papers, some weeks have no weblog post due.
2. Post your entry to your weblog by the Thursday due date at 9 p.m. You do not need to wait for Thursday. Your group can complete its post and comments at any time during the week, but 9 p.m. on Thursday is the due date each week; after that, your post will count for the next week. You can miss a few posts and still receive credit, but your grade would be reduced.
- You must sign up for this option at the beginning of the semester. Posting all the entries in the last week of class won't be acceptable.
- Although your weblog posts aren't due until Thursdays at 9, don't wait until the last minute to post your messages. The sites sometimes go down or are offline for maintenance, and you may miss a deadline if you wait until the last minute.
3. Respond to at least one post by another group by Thursday at 9 p.m.
Each week, your group will respond to another group's blog by 9 p.m. Since new blog posts won't be available until 9 p.m., you'll be reading and responding to posts from the previous week. You don't have to wait until Thursday to post a comment, though. For example, last week's blog posts (8/30) will receive comments by 9 p.m. this Thursday (9/6).
- The requirement is one comment from your group on one other group's blog, although you're welcome to post other comments if you wish. You don't need to post as individuals, although you can if you want to.
- Comments should be substantial: 100-200 words that discuss the content of the post. Try asking questions, adding your own observations, or mentioning another blog post that seems to respond to this one.
Grading: The weblog will be graded primarily on your satisfactory completion of the above criteria and the quality of your posts(75%). You'll also have the opportunity to grade the others in your group for their effort and participation (25%).
I will read all the weblogs and comments each week, but I will only leave comments on half the blogs each week.