Professor: Sandra Cheng
Course: Survey of Art, ARTH 1103-6415 (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/arth11036415f2012/)
Assignment: Student Blog (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/arth11036415f2012/readings/)
Students are required to write a minimum of 10 blog posts over the course of the semester. Professor Cheng posts topics each week, and students respond, lending their insights, making connections, and reflecting on ideas from the course readings, lectures, and activities.
What WAC principle(s) does this assignment exemplify?
Professor Cheng’s student blog is a great example of the WAC principle of ‘writing to learn.’ The blog functions as a informal, ungraded (just a check for completion) space for students to use public writing to think critically about ideas, as well as make connections to personal experience, other readings, lectures, and activities. Furthermore, Professor Cheng’s blog assignments engage students in multimedia and a variety of discourses, such as websites, scholarly articles, visual art, videos, and news reports.
How might this type of assignment be used in other courses across the curriculum?
Other courses could consider using a blog to provide a space for informal ‘writing to learn’ assignments beyond the face to face classroom. For instance, a psychology course could use the blog to have students reflect on various experiments and case studies, or short written responses applying theories to youtube clips where psychological theory is reflected in popular culture. An education course could use a similar blogging assignment to have students make connections between course readings on methodology and fieldwork experiences. Architecture students could maintain a blog describing urban design in different parts of NYC or their neighborhoods in particular; dental hygiene students could use informal blogging exercises to reflect on the representation of dental hygiene in popular culture and the media.
These kinds of informal writing assignments could be developed into larger, formal writing assignments like research papers, or as a reflective supplement to more structured assignments like lab reports.