Crowd-sourcing classroom blogging

So, I’ve made some work for myself this semester, I think. In light of the conversation a few weeks ago regarding blogging by academics, and a recent spate of blog posts on LSEImpact on social media, I decided that my students should be blogging.

In reality, I think they should be writing. A lot. And I think they should be reading each other’s writing. It’s amazing to me how many students go through college having had no one read their papers or other written work except their professors. Don’t get me wrong, I have faith in the ability of most professors to present an informed opinion on a work, but those students are missing significant opportunities to improve their skills of crafting an argument if they do not practice and put themselves out there. I can give an opinion on how to write something, but it’s merely one opinion.

It’s a good one, of course, but just one.

So, I have 25 students in two methods classes. They are going to blog about their research projects–still TBD for most, though a few have come to me with interesting ideas. They are going to blog about their reading assignments–mostly from Poor Economics or Freakonomics. Hopefully, they also blog about questions that come up in their textbooks. Hopefully, they blog about interesting things they find in the news. Hopefully, they start reading other blogs and commenting on them as well.

The course blog is here. It has three lists of links. One for each section of my class and one for several economics blogs. Some I read, some were just suggested to me. If your blog is not on there, and you think it should be, let me know. I’m happy to add it. I think the more examples they have, the better.

In addition, I’m totally open to ideas of how to make this work. Assignments that are particularly well-suited to blogging (with an economics or econometrics or research component preferred) are totally welcome. If it worked or if it didn’t, it it was an unmitigated disaster or a resounding success, I’d love to hear about it.

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Author: ekfletch

I am an independent researcher on issues of gender, labor, violence, education, and children.

2 thoughts on “Crowd-sourcing classroom blogging”

  1. This is a great idea, Erin. I read the written comment on my teaching evaluations for last semester, and one of the things quite a few students mentioned was how they liked my emphasis on clear writing — something which made me very, very happy. I think yours is a great idea. In my class, students write policy memos and a 12-page term paper. I use every occasion to grade their writing.

    By the way, you’ve had a good blogging year so far. Keep the good posts coming!

  2. Thanks, so much, Marc. I’m really excited about asking students to blog. I think it’s a neat way for them to share what they’re thinking and make better use of the “global classroom”, something that’s not always easy. I’m really excited to see how it works and I will definitely be updating with lessons learned.

    And, of course, continuing blog. Thanks for all your support.

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