The kids are alright…

I am uncharacteristically excited about the work my students are putting into their blog, My Sociological Imagination.

…Oh, I hadn’t told you?

Yes, my Introduction to Sociology students (both sections) are writing a blog for the course.  They have not been given any specific instructions about content beyond the grading guidelines (posted toward the bottom).  So far, the students have addressed the work of one dissertation committee member, one co-author, and one future collaborator (fingers crossed).  This is purely by accident, if by “accident” I mean, “I only know wicked smart people who do fantastic research.”

The blog is public, so I’m kind of begging you to head over there and comment on their ideas…especially those of you with expertise in the topics they have chosen.  We still have lots of good stuff to come–gender, authority, education, religion, social movements–so I’ll probably post another reminder in the coming weeks.  I may also hit you up individually for comments.  You know, for the kids.



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6 responses to “The kids are alright…

  1. Funny, I too think of facebook as a petri-dick. And I even commented! And snarked the teacher!

  2. Jenn Lena

    While at first I was nervous, I am now excited and delighted to invite two important aspects of my work to mix and mingle in that lizard lounge in the sky: the blogosphere. At least one is drinking a dirty martini.

  3. Seems the blog is working well. i had a friend try this (also successfully) in an honors intro class recently. i am thinking about incorporating something similar into my undergrad networks course in the fall. If you later have any updates/suggestions/alterations to the process, i’d be all ears!

    fyi – the link to “one dissertation committee member” doesn’t appear to work.

  4. Jenn Lena

    Thanks for the dead link mssg. Now fixed. The blog is working well, but I’ll keep interested readers posted. Or maybe you can watch and see if I flip out in some “administrative message” over at Imagination. That would be a sign things have taken a turn for the worse.

  5. Jenny Trinitapoli

    i LOVED the class blog my students kept last semester. i especially liked the fact it really functioned as a tool for broadening participation. some students who were totally mute in class expressed really interesting ideas in the class blog. my students seemed to love it too. the biggest complaint about my class last semester was that i should have dedicated more class time to discussing the blog. i realized that many of them put quite a bit of time into their posts. impression management, i guess. they’re putting these ideas out in front of their peers and not just into the hands of a professor whose opinion they don’t care much about – aside from the whole grade thing.

    my instructions were a bit different from yours, and i’ve been racking my brain to come up with a way to increase comments without having to make it a points thing i’d have to keep track of myself. please update on how the comments function is working out for you sometime! anyhow, if you’d like to check it out.

    The material covered in this class should have some relevance to your experiences outside the classroom, especially related the consumption of news and cultural materials. Over the course of the semester, you have the opportunity to submit instances in which something discussed in the readings or in lecture is exemplified by something you encounter in a movie, a newspaper, magazine article, television clip, etc. Think of these exemplars as things I could have used myself as additional examples in class to illustrate a particular point or concept. (In the future, I may, indeed use them!) Exemplars should be a maximum of 400 words. A proper citation and link to the example you are referencing is required.

    You may receive up to ten points total for an exemplar. Reactions will be scored as follows: 10 points –reserved for instances of exceptionally insightful and creative explanations of the selected example; 8-9 – good job; this will be the default and modal grade for a solidly done exemplar; 6-7 – reaction did not evidence
    engagement with the methods of the example at quite the expected level; 5 or less – worth partial credit, but a superficial or otherwise inadequate exemplar.
    Importantly, you will not receive credit for pointing to an example someone else has already submitted.

    You may receive up to 50 points for exemplars. To prevent a barrage of last-minute submissions, you may receive no more than 10 points for exemplars submitted after November 18. Post your exemplars at the course blog at: Be sure to identify yourself as the author of the post using your first and last name. You will need to skim the exemplars offered by other students to be sure your post does not replicate what another student has submitted. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the exemplars that have already been submitted and to contribute original posts. Comments on posts submitted by other students are welcome but not required.

    Additional Note: Excerpts of submitted exemplars may be used in class, with props to the author.

  6. Jenn Lena

    Jenny: Thanks for the link and information. When I looked at the blog, it seemed to have only two posts (one on the movie, the other directions for students)–any advice on how I can see the whole semester’s worth of posts? I also appreciate the advice on bringing the examples into class. I’ve been doing that, but not in a serious, substantive way as much as a cheerleading way…so that’s helpful to consider changing.

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