Welcome to the third article in the Teacher's Secrets Series. The purpose of this series is to demystify what teachers are looking for in an assignment when various technologies are involved. While some teachers are very clear on what they are looking for in that kind of project, others are not, so our Teacher's Secrets Series checklists can help you figure it out.
Teachers are asking students to create blog postings as part of literature assignments and long-term research projects. But what should be part of a set of blog postings and what are some other criteria your teacher may be looking at? Take a look at this list to keep your blog on course. All of the items on the list may not be part of your assignment, but look at them anyway. You might be able to put them to use to improve your project.
1. Content and Creativity - It is your blog so you do have room for some creativity. But, what kind of blog postings should you include? Your postings should demonstrate your:
- understanding of the content or the issue you are considering
- ability to build an argument around a topic
- detailed evaluation of ideas
- asking of related questions
- inclusion of alternative points of view
- research including links to supporting or opposing points of view
2. Voice -Think about how you are going to talk to your audience. If this blog is only to be shared with other students, you might speak in one way, but if the blog is going to be public, you have to consider that the audience does not know what you are covering in your class or in your individual research and your language may have to be more formal. Write in a way that:
- is appropriate for the intended audience
- uses a consistent voice
- reflects your personality and makes the topic come to life through expressive writing and carefully selected word choices
3. Layout, Font Choice, Use of Graphics and Multimedia - The look of your blog is also part of the package. Make sure the layout is appealing or appropriate to the topic at hand. Use a font that is clear and easy to read. You should also select and insert high quality graphics and multimedia when appropriate to enhance the content's visual appeal and increase readability.
4. Citations - If it is not yours, all images, media, and text created by others need appropriate copyright permissions and accurate citations. Captions are also a good idea.
5. Timelines and Tags - Keeping up with your blog is a MUST. Update your blog as often or more often than required and make sure all posts are dated with the most recent posts appearing first on the home page. Posts should also be categorized and tagged appropriately for easy searching.
6. Quality of Writing and Proofreading - Make sure all your posts are free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.