Tuesday, October 11, 2011



The students in my two different classes that use blogs are getting better at the blogs and the content of them (ESL099) and getting worse--with most students ignoring the blog assignments completely (ELL101).

One advantage I have in the ESL099 class is that we have a computer lab one day a week, and so students can begin assignments or work on them some during the class.  I used to have a lab for the ELL101 class, but this changed after the first or second when another class needed the room due to the students with disabilities room changes.  I think that it is going to be essential in the future to be sure to have a lab one on day of the week for classes doing blogs in the future - so I will need to be sure to request this in future semesters!


My main issue for the ESL099 students is plagiarism and direct copy and pasting from the Internet, which we will address later this week.  With all the great informational resources online and the limited class time the students have to complete the blog assignments, I can see why they cut and paste, but this is not acceptable and we will need to discuss the concepts behind academic integrity and the ways to avoid plagiarism.

I hope to do a blog activity this week in the ELL101 class, motive the majority of students to complete it, and then report on the activity for the next week here.

Tune in next time for another episode on How the Class was Won...



  1. Prof Rebekah--
    Maybe what I am going to write about next has some bearing on what is happening with your blogs this semester:

    Next semester I am going to integrate one important element in my ENG102 blog pedagogy: what blogging is and what are some good blogging models. It is time for me to move on from their blogs being spaces to contain their work (a la Blackboard) to them being "real" blogs.

    If interested in the subject, Justin spoke at some length about the bloginess of blogs in "Peer Evaluation of Blogs" http://lagccnetworks.blogspot.com/2011/09/peer-evaluation-of-blogs.html

  2. I think the internet does not simply make plagiarism easier--I believe the internet models plagiarism for people, and not just students. Just recently I remember looking up "flu shot side effects" and I could not believe how many websites had the exact same content or close to 90% taken from elsewhere (mainly CDC), then with just a line such as "according to the CDC" the rest of the text was plagiarized, as if that one acknowledgement was enough. Since people learn most rules inductively, a user of the internet learns that the same material across many locations with a mere throwaway reference line is not a problem.

  3. And for that matter, teachers are huge plagiarizers of others' work on and off the net. If we see something we like we take it and often do not credit it. Case in point, X and I just found a website about The Truman Show by a professor that blatantly took things from our current course prep with no reference whatsoever. I must admit, I didn't mind the borrowing so much as the lack of advertisement for our group. Maybe we are truly in a post-copyright age. If so, we are really going to have to rethink what our courses and assignments are supposed to do.