John McMahon, who teaches political theory and American government at Hunter College, requires students to contribute to a course blog. He spoke this semester to students in the Political Science department about how he’s incorporated blogging into his courses.
John’s course blog makes use of a classic “just-in-time” assignment: reading responses that are due shortly before the class meets. Every week, John’s students each write one 250-300 word response to the readings assigned for a specific class date, and then share their responses by posting them on the course blog. For night classes, posts are due by 7 a.m the morning of class (students all respond to the same readings for classes that meet once/week; for classes that meet twice/week, students can choose to submit responses the morning before either of the two class meetings).