Synchronous Blogging

Today we are meeting for class. However, we are not meeting in space–physical space. We are meeting in cyber-space and we are meeting at the same time!

Most of our blogging thus far has been of the “asynchronous” sort. That means, scholars log onto their computers whenever–after class, midnight, early morning, just before class– and blog. This asynchronous blogging produces mixed results. Some scholars engage the process, taking time to post, comment, and respond. Other scholars have tended to view blogging as “just getting it done.”

Today we are giving “synchronous” blogging a try. At 12:20 PM, from wherever you wish to blog, scholars are to log in, post their blogging location, and commence to writing. For two hours we are going to blog together–ALL TOGETHER AT THE SAME TIME!

As was discussed yesterday in class, there should be two cycles of blogging. One cycle each hour for each of the two chapters assigned to each scholar. A cycle is understood to be (1) post a blog on some aspect or theme of the chapter for which you are responsible–this will take about 15-20 minutes; (2) read the posts of your other team members, commenting on their posts–this will take about 15-20 minutes; and (3) respond to the comments on your initial posts.

Repeat this same cycle in the second hour. So, at the end of two hours every scholar will have two posts, two or more comments on others postings for their same chapter, and two or more responses to comments from others scholars on their blogs.

This is all very interactive. It takes discipline and steadiness. Don’t hesitate, BLOG!



“Language: A Reader for Writers”

Central to our working (as COMP 250 scholars) is a series of common readings and conversations on language, rhetoric, and research. Below are listed the chapters from Language: A Reader for Writers (Gita DasBender, OUP 2014) together with the names of scholars responsible for this material. Language is a required text for “Academic Inquiry and Writing” — the Summer II (2014) COMP 250 course at Fort Lewis College.

Two chapters (3 and 4) were assigned for all scholars on Tuesday 10 June 2014. Also, each scholar was asked to select another two chapters for close reading, analysis, and appropriate employment in their research project. These selections were to be noted on Thursday 12 June 2014. In fact, additional selections were not collected until Monday 16 June 2014. In the list below, scholars whose names are bolded were assigned chapters since they hadn’t yet made a selection at that time.

1. “What is Language For?” — Michaela, Bryon, and Nicole

2. “Multilingualism” — Nicole, Cameron, and Jana

3. “Language and Writing” — all scholars

4. “Language and Correctness” — all scholars

5. “Language and Gender” — Jessica, Rosa, and Jana

6. “Language and Race” — Bryon, Jessica, and Darian

7. “Language and Politics” — David, Nicholas, and Michaela

8. “Fighting Words” — David, Candice, and Alyssa

9. “The Language of Globalization” —  Alyssa, Rosa, and Cameron

10. “Endangered Languages” — Candice, Nicholas, and Darian

Appendix: “Researching and Writing about Language” — all scholars should review the sections of the appendix appropriate to their chapters.

We’ll be discussing (in our third week) as a community how to utilize this material in research projects and on blogs developed for COMP 250.

For now, be aware that each scholar will work with four other scholars assigned to research their same chapters–two scholars for each of the two chapters each scholar is taking up (meaning: “analyzing, annotating, absorbing”). Together, these teams of three scholars will read, discuss, outline, blog, critique, and prepare a scholarly presentation for others in this course.

Again, each scholar is a member of two teams, one for each chapter. Teams are numbered according to chapters from Language. These teams have 30 minutes to present material from their chapters, taking another 15 minutes for discussion with and questions from other scholars. Thus, each scholar has approximately 15 minutes per team (per chapter)–though how the chapters are prepared and presented to the class remains a team decision. Scholars are urged to blog their discussions, using digital platforms to engage each other and other scholars from COMP 250.

I’m suggesting teams present on the following schedule and in the order they are listed.

Tuesday, 24 June 2104: Teams 1 and 5 // MOVED TO THURSDAY 26 JUNE 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014: Teams 2 and 6 // MOVED TO FRIDAY 27 JUNE 2014

Thursday, 26 June 2014: Teams 7 and 9 // MOVED TO MONDAY 30 JUNE 2014

Friday, 27 June 2014: Teams 8 and 10 // MOVED TO TUESDAY 1 JULY 2014

In order to prepare, scholars are provided the following arrangements:

  1. Synchronous Web-Discussions: Scholars will web-connect synchronously (at the same time but in different locations) on Friday 20 June 2014. This meeting in cyberspace will be discussed and clarified in class on Thursday 19 June 2014.
  2. Asynchronous Web-Discussions: Scholars will continue to collaborate on presentations via email, text, and blogs through the weekend of 21-22 June 2014.
  3. Face-to-Face Discussions: On Monday, scholars will be given the day to connect in person with members of their teams. That is, there is no unified class on this day. Rather, time-on-task is provided for scholars to meet as clusters for continued discussion and refinement of their presentations.

This assignment challenges scholars to self-direct, self-regulate, and self-assess across a multitude of platforms and learning environments. This isn’t “painting-by-numbers.” More is required. The material provided furnishes rich insights for collaborative learning, language analysis, and research trajectories. In this instance of collaborative scholarship, teams are accountable to the body of scholars known as “COMP 250.”