Eng 103, Spring 2007, Essid
We will be using the Blackboard discussion group to write a public journal, a part of your participation grade. I'll keep a journal there, too, as will Kate Seferian.
The journal is a self-paced activity, but the software date-stamps everything. If you crowd a bunch of entries in the week before class ends, that's less-than-mediocre work (C or lower) in terms of how I'll grade the entries. Instead, it would be wise to post a short and thoughtful entry at least every week.To improve your own grade, you should also respond to others' journal entries occasionally--something really interesting may warrant an e-mail to the entire class.
If you run into software trouble or have questions, e-mail me. I don't want to give someone a D who posts once or twice in their journal, then learn, two days before the end of the semester, that they never learned how to post and reply, or attach a file to a post.
What the Heck Goes into a "Public" Journal?:
1) Leaving hard-to-misplace notes to yourself that others can read. It does not have to be written in dramatic or grammatically correct prose. I'd suggest an entry for each of our readings, at the very least. You can also park notes about other ideas in your journal. You might copy text from a Word doc for your group to critique, you might write about the weather, life at UR, gripe about this or other classes in a public and friendly way, whatever you please.
Note that since others can read and use your ideas, this journal is about as private as a bulletin board. While you might write "Essid is a crazy, boring dumb-head" in a private note, would you post it where everyone could see?
2) Talking back to others. If you see a cool entry or clever idea in a classmate's journal, reply with your own follow-up remark or question.
3) Joining others to chat. You could do so through IM or any similar chat software, but others will be dropping in and it may be hard to hold an on-topic conversation. Note that the board's chat feature keeps a transcript--handy for later study if you meet online to discuss a project.
Being a Good
About acting stupid: No, I do not want "hot" links (pun intended) to your favorite porn site. I'm not a puritan, however; as long as you do not violate the law, you can put what you want in your journal. That said, cussing, pornography, and other behaviors that isolate you from a wide audience are, well, stupid ways to persuade folks to take you seriously. They also don't count for participation in class.
what you write or post offends someone, I hope that they will tell you
first, then tell me if needed. Acting as beat-cop again, I will ask you
work it out--I do not censor, but I may ask you to apologize.
used to hang the rotting bodies of pirates in chains for their crimes,
then toss the rotten cadavers out just inside the high-water line to warn
others. . . those were the days. I have never run into much plagiarism
in my classes because I tend to assign topics that would be difficult
to plagiarize. If you ever feel tempted to "borrow" an essay
from a pal or any number of online essay mills, rest assured that I'm
good at tracking down such work and assigning an appropriate penalty for
piracy...ye'll be hauled before the UR Honor Council to hang in virtual
chains if found guilty.