As I wait for the approval of university lawyers before uploading anonymous feedback gathered from ENG 252, 298 and 513 students to Scribd
, my current focus is on the design and development of materials for ENG 111 College Rhetoric and both sections of ENG 345 Technical Writing (one is mixed mode, the other face-to-face). Despite the differences in focus for 111 and 345, students will be required to perform similar coursework. Because of this and dwindling time before next semester starts, I want course materials to be as universal as possible.
Already uploaded to Scribd are blogging guidelines
and a grading contract
for all courses. The latter document, though, gave me some pause. I was unsure about how/where to include expectations for blogging, just how it should factor into a "B" grade. I paused on this because, as Ethan Watrall
stated on Twitter, I want blogging in particular to be a "first tier" assignment. Instead of just facilitating in-class discussion or working as a form of drafting (as it did last semester), I want blogging to be just as valued and viable as the larger/longer assignment sequences. But how to do that?
As I perused the grading contract in its current form once more, I realized that I need not change anything. Perhaps this reveals some pedagogical naivete, but all I see that I need to do now is make sure students understand what is meant by "assignment." There are different kinds of assignments, of course; some will be completed in four weeks, but others won't. Rather than a writing project to be completed in the span of four weeks before moving on to another writing project, blogging will be a semester-long endeavor, the production of a substantive record of critical thinking and engagement. Blogging doesn't need a special set of requirements in the grading contract. What's already in that document covers it plain and simple.