Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blog Publishing

I just came back from CCCC, where since I was presenting on peer review through blogger, I also attended sessions with similar concerns.

The reports (both my own and of other presenters) about the benefits of multimodal peer-review are encouraging--the focus on written communication that such platforms encourage fosters student responses that are both qualitatively and quantitatively better than the paper counterpart. One of the concerns audience members in my presentation had, however, was about the practice of publishing a draft. I believe in some other form the same concern had come up when Jason and Ximena had presented on the issue, and so I think it is worth exploring.

The concern is as follows: even people who have a blog of their own only hit "publish" when they feel that post is ready to hit the public. That is also the case in print--writers send articles to journals which we call peer reviewed, but the writer having submitted the article is not claiming they are sending an unfinished product, no matter what comments they get back. Yet such is not the case when I ask my students to publish a rough draft so others will read and critique it. One suggestion I received was to have a limited audience for the drafts (perhaps only class members) and a wider, public one for final drafts. I am not averse to the idea (though I think the logistics of it may be nightmarish) yet I am also concerned this can be a step backwards--one of the benefits of public posting on blogger is that students consider them a real writing situation. If they limit them to classmates and perhaps those of another section (again, not easy to do), doesn't that change the dynamic? So these are the questions I was left with as I was flying back from St Louis. 


  1. I have also been getting this concern after presentations as well.

    Being data-deficient, I could be dead wrong, but it still seems to me that the "anxiety" over "publishing" online comes from us. Ultimately, we grade what our students write.

    Our students' work in C2.0 is certainly "out there" but that that is one huge "there" and no one is likely to see it other than class members.

    That said, since I can remember, we have encouraged students to publish in local literary journals and etc.

    Maybe if we could reconfigure the discussion so it is not about student "work" but about student-citizen "public discourse" and responsibility.

  2. I am being dim; I do not get what the problem is...