Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Lost Bloggers

From biggest issue to the mildest, I need to troubleshoot the following situations:

Students who.....

* Still don't have blogs! (at this point only two or three remain across all my classes.  This is usually due to students who miss the 'set up' class and then just skip blogs feeling immune from penalty because they missed the 'set up' day.  Worst offender: the unable-to-it-helrself girl who was placed two weeks late into my class; then proceeded to miss 2 more Tuesdays -  our lab days - in a row.)

I don't want to spare any more classroom lab time to accomodate these students.  There were two different class sessions to set up blogs.  Students should be responsible to make up whatever work they've missed - including blog set up.  However, I have not been able to get them to meet "outside" of class either.   Ideas?

*Aren't blogging consistently or thoroughly.  Only 60-70% of students complete any given blog assignment. Some students have only done one (out of 3 or 4).   Of those that write each entry, many follow the lead of their peers so that some "clusters" of students (by which I mean the free-formed social groups who view and comment on each other's work) are writing long, thorough and exciting entries while other "clusters" are writing shorter and less intensive ones.  More are trending towards terrible than the reverse.  It feels like they are "norming" themselves against one another. 

I reviewed students' grades and blog performance today and gave a general talk about finding good blog role models to use when deciding how far to go with blogging.  However, the worst offenders were absent :)

* Are handing in printed blog entries - Some less tech-savvy, but very grade-conscious students are throwing in the towel and turing in printed word docs to substitute for each entry.  Ok for the the first week or so, but I need them to use the blogs they've set up.

These students are particularly frustrationg for me since they were in class every day we did blog set up and I personally helped them several times.  Ideas?


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I guess that I am trying to figure out how to deal with serial non-contributors. The "social groups" have formed and behave in kind. Perhaps, the problem with the students who a. either do not show up or b.can't get it together to participate or c. simply don't, is that this is a "social platform," and they are not interested, or not interested in that way because they see it as simply "extra work." They don't value the engagement. I have two students in my class who are totally separate from the rest, no matter what. I had decided to try to "group them online." But they ALL wanted to do their projects on their own. How ironic! The "generation" that texts ad nauseum doesn't want to "write," unless it is required and "school work." They crave constant connection, but only if it's "fun."

  2. Sorry, but the worst offender should be gone; I cannot see how she will catch up and therefore will become a burden, not allowing you to focus on the students that are there and complete their work.

    As to the other students...if they are not doing work, they don't get credit, right? That should motivate them to get blogs (girl, it is NOT that hard to sign up for a blog, seriously).

    As I keep reading your entry, it's becoming clearer that the blogging is just helping you see who is slacking--the "worst offenders" are perennially absent...or it could be that they are scared. But, then, until when are they going to have their hands held?

    The printers seem to be another story clearly they feel inadequate and are trying to force you to do what is comfortable for them...this one you have to decide--would giving in be a bad thing? What's the point of the class blogging if some students are not?