This is my pre-spring break post and I apologize for the delay but I was away in South Africa and did not have internet access.
Last term, Ann M. and I tried to connect her LRC103 Ning and my ENG101 Masculinities blog in an effort to help students with the research process. Bascially, the way she and I envisioned it, her students would become research advisers to my students (i.e.help my students find appropriate sources and assess them). But unlike last term, when I overlooked the fact that her students needed gmail accounts to post comments on my students' blogs, I provided instructions for LRC 103 Ning students on how to create gmail accounts. Then I had all of my students join Ann's class' Ning, create profiles and reach out to students, asking for research help with their individual projects. Some students jumped in and friended many of the LRC 103 students but then some of my ENG 101 students friended their classmates, not realizing they are in the same class. Lol :)
As we are progressing toward drafting the first draft, several of my students have connected with their research advisers- Ann has been kind enough to create a spreadsheet which reflects the pairs, some of which she assigned as some students were unable to find their match on their own.
But of course, much like last term, most of the exchanges between students in both classes take place via e-mail :( I think what might be partially to blame is the fact that blogger does not seem to accept/process comments which are longer than certain amount of characters?
I've asked Ann if she would be willing to continue this research adviser experiment and have my students contact her students about their second research papers, and she agreed. We are both hoping that the first paper will be the ice breaker and the second will reflect students taking full advantage of these connections.