Blogging Project (300 Points)

Purpose of Assessment: 

Grow research and writing skills. Deepen knowledge of content and interpretation of history. Create public writing students can point to after the class. Foster teamwork. Increase comfort with new technology and social media.

 
 

Blogging Project Elements & Deadlines


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Two Blog Posts (200 pts): Quick Start Guide

This semester you will write two blog posts. For each blog post you will create a draft, receive comments from your prof and peers, and submit a revised final copy of the post.

I'm providing a (very) quick start guide here. You will need to read the "required further reading links" below for full details.

Blog Post 1 is text-based; it's sort of a traditional research project, sort of a Wikipedia page, sort of a blog post. 1000-1500 words max. Worth 75 pts.

Blog Post 2 is a creative post that should narrate history through the use of rich images, video, social media, or creative writing. Length/scope is negotiable. We'll work it out together depending on the project. Worth 75 pts.

There is a full list of resources available under the Blogging Project Resources link (in the footer) - including how to create a blog post, how to pull flash images from a museum website, and how to create the yellow bubble footnotes.


Groups & Topics (25 pts)

Blogging groups will be assigned. (This is different from previous semesters and based on feedback from last semester's students...)

I encourage you to get to know your group mates and work out a plan for division of labor early on. Ask each other some getting-to-know-you questions, check in about your work styles, take the 16 personalities quiz together... Whatever helps you bond as a team is great.

You may choose your topics from a list of potential topics provided [list will be available by Thursday].

  • Both topics must be from the same civilization. 
  • Only one group may cover any given topic. 

These guidelines are also new to this semester. With the list of topics, I'm hoping to direct you toward important and interesting things you might not stumble on by accident. By asking you to choose two topics from the same civ, I'm hoping you'll come away with a deeper understanding of how complex societies are. That's the goal anyway. We'll see how it works and may loosen up the rules for Post 2.

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Topic consultations are part of this project. During class 2, each group will have time to sign up to meet with me on Feb 9 or 10 to discuss your topics and first steps.

  • Sign Up Here 
  • View confirmed appointments in this spreadsheet
  • All consultations to be held in UB offices (Level 8, Block C)
  • Feb 9 - 10:15-11:45 am; 2:00-6:00 pm
  • Feb 10 - 10:00-11:45 am; 2:00-6:00 pm

To Bring to the Consultation: 

  • Preferred Civilizations (1-2) & Topics (4-6)
  • Preliminary research (a few articles, books, or websites that you think will be useful)
  • Questions about the Blogging Project

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Commenting on Blog Posts (60 pts)

Each student will provide at least 3 comments (worth 30 points total) on Post 1 drafts and 3 comments (worth 30 points total) on Post 2 drafts. Choose posts of interest to you and/or posts for which you feel you can offer constructive criticism.

To best assist your peers and receive full points for this portion of the assessment, comments should address both a positive element and something that could use improvement

The following questions may help guide your comments:

  • Does the post have a clear statement of purpose or a thesis statement?
  • Do I understand the main point of the post?
  • Is the topic's importance to history present and clear?
  • Are there clear, specific examples to support the significance and thesis?
  • Do transitions from one section to the next make sense?
  • Is the post easy to follow?
  • Is the writing or presentation engaging? If not, how could it be made more engaging or fun to read?
  • Are images Creative Commons/Public Domain and cited properly?
  • Are there hyperlinks to sources?
  • Is there a references list? If so, do the sources look scholarly/educational?

INDIVIDUAL FEEDBACK (15 points total)

Phew! This is the simplest part. In class, after the submission of each draft and at the end of the semester, you will fill out a brief survey telling me:

  • What did you find challenging?
  • What did you find rewarding?
  • Any tech issues?
  • What did you personally contribute to your group?
  • How satisfied are you with your group members' work?

You'll complete three individual feedback forms, worth 5 points each. Your feedback helps me (your prof) identify and assist with content, technical, or group issues as they arise.

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Promoting a culture of teamwork (50 points)

This is an individual grade based on my (Prof. Bennett's) observation + your peers' assessment of team dynamics and individual effort.

You can earn full points in this category by:

  • Contributing equally to the workload through brainstorming, research, writing, and work on the class blog.
  • Submitting your materials to group members in a timely manner.
  • Attending group meetings and making group deadlines.
  • Consistently staying in contact with group members.
  • Addressing group dynamic issues in a respectful way and working to resolve issues in the group.
  • Requesting assistance from Prof. Bennett for content, technical, or group dynamic issues.

If your peers and Prof. Bennett are satisfied - or, better yet, thrilled! - with your work in the group, you will receive full or close-to-full points.