The Duke Reader Project is pleased to once again work with DukeEngage to encourage interaction between current Duke students and the broader Duke community.
DukeEngage enables roughly 425 undergraduates to provide eight weeks of immersive service in partner communities throughout the world each summer. DukeEngage projects span a range of civic engagement activities, including environmental advocacy, community outreach, global health, education, social justice and more. Many students who participate in these DukeEngage opportunities are blogging about their experiences. Dedicated readers who follow the blog and post comments will help the students engage an audience for this form of public writing.
What does a Blog Reader do?
The logistics of the blogging project are different than our traditional matching system with students in courses. When you sign up, you’re agreeing to follow the blog for a particular student’s project. We ask you to provide a short paragraph introducing yourself and your interest in the particular project to the student, to help them feel comfortable the a conversation with you from the beginning.
You can expect a post every week or two while the student is at the site, although some students post shorter updates more frequently. The Reader Project coordinator will help keep you appraised of when students put up new posts.
You don’t need to comment on every post, but we encourage you to read them all. Consider these things in your comments to students:
- Acknowledge and validate their voice as they wrestle with difficult topics.
- Add insight or value to the blog with your comments. It’s always nice to hear, “I enjoyed your post,” but the most useful responses go on to add more for the student to consider or add depth for the author as well as other readers.
- Politely and critically push the students: to consider counter arguments, to apply their thinking to other contexts, to look at possible consequences both intended and unintended, etc.
- Ask questions that might encourage a conversation in the comments.
- Consider this a community in which you are part of an ongoing conversation throughout the summer, so respond to the blog post and to other comments to continue the dialogue between the students and readers.
If you are interested in participating or if you have further questions, please contact us.