Materials for RP Blog courses from prior terms
Blogs for Spring 2011
Here are descriptions and details for the blogs we will be including this semester. All are for sections of Writing 20, Duke’s first-year writing course.
(1) Google Earth’s Impact [Dr. Christine Erlien]
During the first part of the semester, students will develop short evidence-based opinion posts dealing with Google Earth and one or more of the following issues in response to readings: the democratization of geographic information, humanitarian issues, security, and privacy. Later in the semester, students will work together to create group blogs addressing how Google Earth has impacted a particular area of study (e.g., education, research, travel, etc.)
Blog readers assigned to this course should plan on reading the blog regularly for weeks 3-6 of the semester (1/24-2/18) and the last several weeks of the semester (4/13-4/28). During weeks 3-6, 6 students will post on the blog each Thursday by 5 pm, and we will discuss these posts in class on Friday (classes meet at 11:55 and 1:30). Blog readers are encouraged to comment on student posts and/or respond to other comments. During the last 3 weeks of the semester, blog readers are encouraged to provide comments on the development of the group websites.
(2) The Billion Dollar Problem of Aquatic Invasive Species[Dr. Sandra Cooke]
Students will write and post “research highlights” (like in the journalNature) that succinctly present the findings and implications scientific research articles. (Students are studying these articles for one of the major course writing projects. Topics of such projects in past semesters of this course have included ballast water treatment and regulation, marine invaders such as the red lionfish, and freshwater invaders such as the spiny water flea. Other blog posts will be brief commentaries synthesizing a set of scholarly articles we’ve read as a class (such as research papers debating the cause of the Lake Victoria water hyacinth invasion) or certain issues in invasive species science that we’ve discussed in class (such as the overuse of militaristic rhetoric in invasion biology; the use of citizen science in monitoring invasive species).
Blog Readers assigned to this course should plan on reading the blog regularly from the middle of January to the end of April. A detailed schedule of blog posts will be provided; typically students post to the blog at least weekly, but Blog Readers will be encouraged to read and respond to only a selection of these posts. Blog Reader comments will be part of comment strings that include reactions from students enrolled in the course, as well as from students enrolled in an ecology course at Oklahoma State University. Last semester, a couple of invasive species scientists found our blog and commented on the students’ posts; one of these scientists was the first author of a paper that a student summarized in his research highlight! Thus, Blog Readers may find themselves interacting with invasive species experts, in addition to the students.
(3) Writing About Religion and Politics [Dr. Seth Dowland]
Students will locate (and post links to) interesting recent news stories at the intersection of religion and politics, and then provide succinct analysis of these stories in blog posts. Students will read about the role of religion in the revolutionary period, in the civil rights movement, and in the rise of the religious right. The course blog will offer a site for using these readings to place the contemporary stories in historical context.
Blog Readers assigned to this course should plan on reading the blog regularly from the middle of January to mid-April. During this period, eight students will post on the blog each Monday, and we will discuss student posts and comments in class on Wednesdays. Ideally, then, Blog Readers will read and respond on Monday or Tuesday. Blog Reader comments will be part of comment strings that also include reactions from other students enrolled in the course, as well as from students enrolled in a courses on Religion and Politics at Bucknell University and the University of North Carolina. Blog Readers are especially encouraged to comment on student posts, but also welcome to respond to other comments (and each others!) as well.