We worked in class today to make our blog conversations more productive. In particular, we’re trying to foster more actual substantive discussion in the comments—we don’t want them to be random text strewn into the ether for the sake of fulfilling a set quantity.
The new commenting guidelines all the classes agreed to are these:
- The persons primarily responsible for commenting each week will be responsible for at least one, rather than the previously specified three, substantive comments. Since the quantity has gone done, expectations for quality go up a bit. Everyone in the class would prefer one really solid, useful comment to ten random, irrelevant ones. You should post on whichever posts interests you, but if there are posts without comments, you should try to find something interesting to say about them.
- Authors of original posts should respond to some of the comments on their posts by Monday of the following week.
- At the conclusion of the blog assignment, you will be responsible for showing evidence of your substantive engagement in comments sections, both as a commenter and as an author responding to comments.
Some classes noted that many useful comments posed direct questions to authors, pointed authors to relevant resources, pointed authors to complicating counter-evidence, or respectfully took objection to specific parts of the post. Authors also appreciated comments that pointed to unexpected ways of thinking about images or details the original author did not address in her post. The key goal of the entire class is to make the comments sections useful and interesting.
I have added these changed expectations as an addendum to blog assignment on the Assignments Overview page of the syllabus.