Your blog is a collection of informal writing (both in-class assignments and homework) and also the discussion that happens in the comments.
The online participation portfolio is the means by which you get feedback on how your blogging demonstrates your ongoing development of important journalism concepts and general critical thinking and writing skills.
Your participation portfolio takes the form of a blog entry that reflects on, and includes links to, selcted online responses to the assigned readings.
- I am not asking for a list of all the blog entries you have posted.
- Instead, I am asking you to revisit what you have written, put them into various categories, and reflect on what you have put into your online reflections, and what you have gotten out of them.
Questions and answers about the blogging portfolio follow.
What’s the Purpose of the Blogging?
The discussions we have in class are training, preparing us for the more advanced journalism writing we’ll be doing, and the topics we’ll be covering. I think of the written, informal blogs as occupying a transitional space, between the immediacy (and, sometimes, stress) of an in-class discussion, and the depth and structure of a formal written assignment.
What Goes Into My Portfolio?
A careful collection of your online writing, grouped into categories (Depth, Interaction, Discussion, Timeliness, and Coverage), with a brief assessment of your contributions in each category.
- Depth (entries demonstrating more complex thinking, more engaged reading, more insightful analysis than the bare minimum that you would get if you filled out the “Blog Me” template and then stopped. If a work happens to inspire you, or you have a lot of questions about it, or you found a class discussion enlightening, “Depth” is your opportunity to showcase that advanced level of thought.)
- Interaction (entries that mention, with details, an idea you got from another classmate–cited with a name and hyperlink.) You can refer to an idea you heard in class, or you can refer to an idea you read on a peer’s blog. Linking to something valuable you found on a peer’s blog is a form of interaction, as is creating a blog entry noting that two classmates have posted blog entries that disagree with each other on their blogs, and inviting them both to visit your blog where you consider the pros and cons of their points of view. (Link to the blog entries that disagree with each other, so that someone who finds your blog first will be able to participate.)
- Discussion (entries that demonstrate your willingness to engage with your peers’ ideas). Examples of good discussion: being the first to leave a comment on a page that later sparks a discussion; returning to an ongoing discussion and continuing the conversation; responding at length to a question you find posted on someone else’s blog. (Note: this section can include your participation in discussion that happen on other peoples’ blogs, not just your own.)
- Timeliness (entries that demonstrate time-management skills that serve the overall online class discussion). A timely post might be written early, or in response to a current event that you can link to our reading, or otherwise not posted at the last minute in order to fulfill a blog portfolio requirement.
- Coverage (posts that don’t fit anywhere else). These posts demonstrate that you participated by blogging something each time you were asked to.
What’s the Rubric?
- 8: Excellent:
- By the due date, a working link points from this page to your portfolio.
- Portfolio begins with a statement that not only informs a random visitor about the purpose of the course and the assignment, but also presents your ideas in an appealing, engaging way.
- Each category is clearly marked, and introduced with a brief explanation of what the category label means.
- Links point to two or more posts in each of these categories: Depth, Interaction, Discussion, and Timeliness. (The same post can appear in up to two different categories.) Entries in the Coverage category are thoughtfully presented.
- In each category, posts are introduced with well-written, engaging explanations that shows an awareness of how the informal writing is helping you learn. (Example, demonstrating a good link: “I engaged with multiple points of view when I joined in a conversation about the purpose of symbolismon Gus Griffin’s blog. In that same discussion, I also demonstrated my ability to think critically and back up an argument with evidence, because I introduced a quote from Foster to back up my point.”)
- 7: Very Good:
- By the due date, a working link points from this page to your blog, where it is possible to find the portfolio post.
- Portfolio begins with a statement that explains the purpose of the blog, in a manner that invites the interest of a random visitor.
- Each category section is clearly marked.
- Links point to an average of two posts in categories Depth, Interaction, Discussion, and Timeliness. (The same post can appear in up to two different categories.) The Coverage category is not the largest category.
- Posts are introduced with clear explanations of why the post belongs in the given category.
- 6: Acceptable:
- The link may be missing or malformed, but your portfolio is available on your blog.
- The portfolio statement informs the random visitor, but may be dry or perfunctory.
- Category divisions are all present, but they may not be clearly marked or defined.
- Links point to at least one unique post in Depth, Interaction, Discussion, and Timeliness; at least two of these categories feature more than one post; the same post does not appear in any more than two of these categories. The Coverage category demonstrates your efforts to learn from every blogging assignment.
- Posts may not all be introduced with clear explanations; introductions and links may be vague (“Here’s my entry for this category” or “Click here to check out what I wrote.”)
- 5: Good-faith Effort
- The portfolio entry is available on your blog.
- Some attempt at introducing the portfolio to an outside reader has been made.
- Some attempt at organizing the portfolio according to the categories (Depth, Interaction, Discussion, and Timeliness) has been made.
- At least one post has been assigned to each category, and some attempt to link to each post is evident.
- Some attempt has been made to introduce each post.
- 3: Partial
- Some evidence of an attempt to respond to at least part of the assignment
- 0: No Submission
What’s the Format?
I adjust the contents of blog portfolios from class to class, so the example I’m about to link to is not exactly what I’m asking for in this class. Nevertheless, from a previous class, here is an example of a rich, detailed online participation portfolio.
- Click the “Blog Me” button on this page.
- Replace the default (“I want to talk about this quote because…”) text with an explanation of the purpose of the course and the purpose of your blog portfolio. (Make the explanation make sense to a stranger who has wandered onto your blog via a search engine.)
- If you need to take a break partway through, that’s fine. You can publish your partially-completed cover page, and come back to it later (see “How Do I Edit an Old Blog Post?” below), or you can click “Save Draft” to save your work without publishing it just yet.
How Do I Edit an Old Blog Post?
Look for a “site admin” or “edit this post” link somewhere on your blog. You can also type the URL “blogs.setonhill.edu/yourblogname/wp-admin” to get to the editing screen. Click on “Posts” on the drop-down menu to the right, and view the list of your recent blog posts.
I Commented on Someone Else’s Blog a While Ago…. How Can I Find that Comment Again?
If you are looking for comments you posted in the past, you can use Google to search blogs.setonhill.edu for your own name, or you can search for topics you remember blogging about. Here’s a Google search set up to find the word “everyman” in the SHU blogosphere.
I’m Not Sure How to Make a Link… How Do I Do That?
First copy to your clipboard the URL of the page you want to be the target of the link. Then, in the window where you write your blog entries, select the words that you want to be the title of your link, and click the button that looks like a chain. You should see a new box pop up. Paste the URL from your clipboard into the line that says “Link URL.”