For my new undergrad course, we’ve started a course blog. We’ll be using it to discuss the course material, and also for assignments – the first assignment (due today!) is to write a post for the blog. Actually, what they’ve been asked to do is publish a draft blog post by today, so we can give them feedback on it, and the final, polished version is due next Friday. So, head on over, see what the students have been writing, and give them some feedback:


  1. In order to give feedback I’d need to know more about the primary objective of the assignment, is it about

    a) how to write an interesting blog entry to a target audience similar to your own blog,

    b) do research about a specific topic, write a synopsis and back it up with references,

    c) something else?

    Should I critizise the writing style, the choice of topic, the choice of references (or the lack thereof)?

  2. @Tim: They were given a very vague remit – research a topic related to the course, and write a blog post about it. Most (all?) of them haven’t blogged before, so they’re figuring out how to use the blogging software, how to embed images and to use links. And of course, what writing style to use – I’ve suggested they aim for something in between a chatty “what I had for breakfast” style personal blog, and a more formal scientific article, but that each of them needs to find out what kind of voice works for them.
    Oh, and many of them are taking the course to earn a science credit, so I’ll be looking for them starting to understand and use the science to support their points, but I didn’t insist on it for the first assignment.

    So, feel free to criticize all of the writing style (particularly how well the style they have adopted works in a blog setting), choice of topic (interestingness, relevance, etc), use of references (e.g. for evidence of whether they’ve probed a little deeper into the topic than just a quick google search).

    Of course, given that this is the blogosphere, you can comment on anything you like, really, although I might decide to spare them if any trolls show up.

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