Michelle Albert

Program for Writing and Rhetoric

Some ideas for my classes next year:

I will continue to use my Wordpress blog as the primary online platform, but I will use it in more innovative ways. For example, I’d like to make better use of the public conversation element of the blog better than I did this year. I might have students post more often, maybe on a semi-regular basis rather than only once in a while, and require them to respond to peers’ posts in (hopefully) meaningful ways. Thus, I want to set up the framework for them to have conversations with each other on the blog about various topics and about their own ideas and work. I would give students a question or prompt to respond to each week (or so), and give them guidelines for responding to each other.

I want to give Google Groups and Docs another shot. I tried once before but ran into so many problems getting all my students signed up and signed in that I gave up. But I know those initial start-up problems can be worked through. So, I’d like to use Google Docs in conjunction with my blog. I might have students submit their work to me via Google docs for my feedback. I can use GD’s comments tool to write comments on student papers and then as soon as I am done, I can make the draft available to the student to see my comments. Also, and I will look into ways to use GD as a way to facilitate peer feedback.

I want to give students an easy option for submitting work digitally so that I can have them create documents suitable for publishing in an online environment. For this, I can use a combination of the blog and GD. Or, actually, as I’m thinking about is: I might set up a wiki. I could have each student create his/her own page on the wiki, and use that page to compose a Commentary essay (Commentary is one of the genres I teach -- a kind of informal, public argument). I would require students to include digital and multimedia elements in their Commentaries: hyperlinks, a video, and/or images. This would allow our in-class Commentary assignment to mimic the real-world commentaries my students read: Most news and opinion pieces we read these days are published online, and thus incorporate images and hyperlinks as part of the text. Having my students publish Commentaries on a wiki page gives them the option for incorporating those elements in their own pieces.

Another thing: I’m going to be the new Information Literacy Coordinator for the PWR this year, so I want to get more familiar with Diigo, Mendeley, and other current online research/social bookmarking tools and think about how to integrate them into the PWR’s upper division information literacy curriculum.


I will definitely use Diigo in my own classes: I will teach students how to use it to save bookmarks online and also how to use it to highlight and comment on online documents.



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