6 Tips for Making the Most of Your Class Blog

We [Heart] Blog
For several semesters I have had students engage in digital conversations using discussion boards on class management sites such as Blackboard and Canvas. This semester, wondering if writing for a public audience would increase their investment in participating in these kinds of digital conversations, I decided to set up a class blog.

Blogging in the Classroom: Not Only Why, But HOW!

A somewhat frustrated smiley face icon holds up a sign that says "Blogger" beneath the icon for Google Blogger.  A grinning smiley face icon with full lips and bright, white teeth points up at the WordPress logo and looks triumphant. In between the two competing smiley face emoticons, we see, in red, "vs."

If you’re anything like me, you may be hesitant to set up a new platform for teaching and writing in your classroom. Or, even if you’re convinced that blogging in a rhetoric or literature classroom is a great idea, you may avoid doing so because you’ve never run a blog, been a blogger, or fear the possible breakdowns of working online in an unknown digital space and losing student work.

The Pedagogy of LOL

Photo of black cat glaring with text Happy Cat is ready for judgement day

Like most writing teachers, I like incorporating informal writing assignments into my class in order to make my students comfortable with writing casually and in the moment, without the the threat of a bad grade stifling their process. One way I've done this in my Banned Books class this semester is by requiring them to post a blog entry on the day's reading at least once during the semester.

Bringing the Blog to the Classroom: Special-Topics Blogging and Presentations

Photo of student giving a PowerPoint presentation

Since the beginning of my time instructing students in rhetoric and English courses, I have found that students are much more successful at communicating and developing their ideas when they become more aware that their writing is geared toward a concrete audience. I have also found that writing skills improve significantly when students learn to articulate their ideas in a variety of situations and formats.

Technology and Pedagogy: The Forum and Form of Blog Posting

Comic with Shakespeare at a computer asking To blog or not to blog?

According to legend, the Athenian orator, Demosthenes, overcome a speech impediment and a weak delivery through a practice of filling his mouth with stones and speaking through them. One might argue that Demosthenes was ahead of the curve in his use of technology. Others might suggest that my example is perverse, since 1.) the stones impede his natural ability to speak, and 2.) they were removed when he spoke in public.

Blogging in the Classroom: Peer Review Plus Camaraderie!

Screenshot of course blog for Rhetoric of Suburbs and Slums

As a student myself in Dr. Lester Faigley’s Visual Rhetoric class four years ago, we used Blackboard’s “Forum” feature to initiate online discussions about our readings while sitting in front of computers in the same classroom. I remember how invigorating it was to respond to my classmates’ posts as they wrote them. I also found that having a written record of my thoughts on the readings served as great review for when I wanted to refer to theories from these readings later in the course. In Dr.

Reflections on Blogging

Photo of aluminum computer keyboard

Like many of the instructors here in the DWRL, I ask my students to write blog posts throughout the semester, which means in the last year and a half, I’ve read about 180 thoughtful, carefully constructed responses to my own work.


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All materials posted to this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We invite you to use and remix these materials, but please give credit where credit is due. In addition, we encourage you to comment on your experiments with and adaptations of these plans so that others may benefit from your experiences.


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