Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Too much blogging?

Well, no, not here.

But this semester I find myself teaching two grad classes, which isn't the usual situation. (Not that I'm complaining.) One is the required pedagogy course for new teaching assistants (new MAs here get to/have to take it before they teach for the first time), and one is a seminar called "Rhetoric, Composition, and the 'Social.'"

In both classes, I ask students to contribute to a class blog at least twice a week. And I also ask that they comment at least as much.

What if, as looks like may be the case for one student, you end up in both classes? Well, then you need to contribute four blog entries plus as many comments per week.

Still seems not so bad to me. Seems doable to me to blog four times a week. But, then, no one's asking me to do it, so if I let it slide, nothing particularly bad happens to me.

This gets back--doesn't it?--to the question Scot asked at the beginning of last semester, if blogging *should* be taught. That is, doesn't it fundamentally change blogging to make it part of a class?

And, sure, it changes it--no doubt about it. But, at least for now, I'm willing to risk that it might affect the way people think about blogging, that it might make them think of it as something assignment-related rather than writing and pleasure related. After all, isn't that the risk we take in assigning anything? I would like students to take pleasure in any form of writing I assign. But the very nature of it as assigned is sure to diminish at least some of the pleasure because it carries with it a demand, a necessity.

Because it's true that KR is the only person from last semester's blogging class, as far as I know, who is still blogging regularly. But it's some good blogging. So there's that.

At any rate, just something on my mind. Because this is the first semester I ever had a student in two blogging-heavy classes in the same semester. So I'd never given the question of blogging overkill much thought.

1 comment:

anne said...

I've had the same concerns about assigning blogging, just as I've had the same concerns about assigning visual production assignments: I do not want to quash self-found pleasures.

But in grad classes I would ask for written responses to readings, anyway, and then I or someone else in class would respond. So I talk about different uses of blogging, and the possibilities of having different blogs. Not that I have the energy for it...