Weekly blog assignment [July 5, 2011, 8:32 p.m.]
- To help you, the Knight-Mozilla learning lab participants, get into the habit of writing about your process;
- To help us, the facilitators of the learning lab, get a sense of what you’re taking away from the weekly lectures;
- To help us, participants and facilitators, consider the mechanics of your personal project, how it relates to the themes of the learning lab and how newsrooms stand to benefit from it.
Over the four week learning lab (from July 11 to August 5), you’ll be required to keep a regular blogging schedule – one per week. With this blog we’re looking for you to engage with the weekly lectures – in part, this is to demonstrate your understanding of the lectures and to describe how the lessons apply to your personal project idea. It’s also an excellent opportunity to fine tune your project idea and get comfortable discussing its specifics and your process.
A note to new bloggers
If you haven’t blogged before – now’s an excellent opportunity to get started! Any platform of your choosing for this exercise will do – WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. We’re happy to provide guidance if you’re uncertain of how to start a blog.
Details and deadlines
Blog posts should be 300 to 500 words in length and published weekly before class the following week, Monday no later than 9 a.m. Pacific. Unfortunately due to the limited time we have for the Learning Lab and our ongoing efforts to treat all participants equally, we cannot accept late blog posts.
Blogs posts should discuss the course content from at least one of the two mandatory weekly lectures. And, apply these concepts to your own concepts. We encourage you to respond to rather than repeat course content. Feel free to include related links in your posts.
How to submit
The weekly blog assignment will be included in Task List each week. Include a link to your weekly post in the comments section.
You’ll also want to make sure you includea link to your blog url on your P2PU course profile.
Note: while we encourage you to embrace your blog and write frequently and furiously – we will only be able to evaluate one of your posts per week.
We encourage you to comment on your classmates’ posts via the Task List too!
Your blog posts will be evaluated by the learning lab facilitators – we’re a small team so we’ll try our best to provide constructive feedback on your blog posts in a timely way…but thanks in advance for your patience if we’re a little delayed!
Your blog posts will be evaluated on the following five items:
Your blog posts must be timely and apply the content of the weekly lecture to your own project. Make sure to stick to discussing the content (at least one of) the weekly webinars. Feel free to include quotes from the speakers and relevant links to demonstrate your understanding and presence at the lectures.
If you miss one of the mandatory lectures, all lectures will be recorded and available on P2PU publicly (to everyone on the Internet) as soon as we can get them posted. We’re hoping for video, audio and slides, but it may just be audio with a link to the visual information that was presented.
The purpose of the blog assignment is not to parrot the lectures back to us. Nor is it a research paper. We’re looking for engaging writing on the content of the webinars. Make sure your posts do not ramble endlessly… consider your audience and your medium. Don’t be shy about letting your personality shine through in these blog posts. In fact, a little quirk is encouraged! We want to get to know you better as innovators…and individuals.
Get to the point. Edit your writing down to the fewest words possible that still convey what you want to say.
We will not be sticklers for grammar for these blog posts but it is important that we understand what you are trying to communicate. If your posts are rife with grammar, spelling and punctuation errors this may interfere with our understanding of your larger ideas.
You are strongly encouraged to publish visual aids with your posts. Images, sketches, diagrams, video how-tos and the like are helpful for communicating your ideas and laying the groundwork for your final project.
Note: the design of your blog will not be evaluated as part of this assignment.
Linking to a wide variety of sources is a must. We don’t expect you to be experts on the content we’re presenting but we hope you’ll leverage on knowledge by subject specialists who can provide a unique perspective.
Think of your blog as a resource for your peers in the industry – ask yourself what links would most help them in trying to understand the content of the webinars and alternative perspectives not presented in them?
When you’re blogging it’s important to always keep your audience in mind. For this assignment, your primary audience is, of course, the facilitators of the learning lab and your co-participants. But your audience is also (potentially) worldwide and can include anyone who is interested in your personal project – including individuals from the newsroom you may end up working with.
When reading your blog posts, we will be considering your wider audience and evaluating whether you have written something of interest to that audience.
Extra points will be given for engagement – posting thoughtful/useful comments on your classmates’ blogs, their P2PU profiles, and responding to comments on your own blog.