Assignment 5: Engaging Course Content through Digital Discussion (Upd. 4/2/17)

During the second half of the semester, students will continue to participate in virtual discussions with students about course material. However, this time, students will be responsible for sparking the conversation.

There are two important parts to this assignment.

PART 1: Each student is assigned to one week wherein they will write a blog post related to course material that week. 

Writing a blog post is similar to giving commentary in an opinion piece in the newspaper. These are short, informal, but analytical pieces that can take different forms:

  • Find a real world issue that relates to your topic for the week (ex. rezoning in East Harlem, the Low Line, etc) and critically examine the issue through the blog post – What’s the issue? What does the article tell us about the issue? What does course material add to your understanding and questions about the issue? What is your general assessment of the issue?
    • Can be in reaction to a news story video as well.
  • Attend a event related to your topic for the week and give a similar review – What event did you attend? What was it about? Why did you attend? Compare and contrast what you learned with course material- how does course material further ground your understanding of the topic, and how does what you learned give more context or understanding to what was discussed in class.
  • Interview a family member about something related to your topic that week (their housing experiences in NYC, and/or what they know about housing in NYC, etc) – Include a summary of the interview and quotes when appropriate. Why did you choose to interview this person? What does this contribute to your understanding of course material (or an aspect of course material)? How does course material help you understand the content of the interview?
  • Film or Documentary Review – review a film in relation to the topic of the week. What is the film and give a synopsis. Why did you select this film or documentary? How does it relate to course material (what does it contribute to and take from your understanding of course material).
  • Share an experience from your life. Maybe you live in a gentrifying neighborhood, or have a family business, or have particular insights into the criminal justice or immigration systems. Share some of your experiences in a way that add to course material, and use course material to deconstruct and investigate your experience. Remember, this is public, so don’t share anything you don’t want to be public.

General Guidelines:

  • Remember, these are public. You should consider the fact that you are writing for audience; and you should consider who you’re talking to.
  • Relatedly, please proofread these and check grammar to be sure they are clear. Remember, you are writing for an audience, with the intention of someone else reading and responding to your writing so clarity is very important.
  • These should be written from your perspective. You’re encouraged to use ‘I’ and give opinions and your own analytic assessments of issues taking place in our city.
  • You should raise questions and points for discussion to engage readers.
  • Include a ‘For Further Reading” with at least one resource.
  • Always hyperlink when appropriate – to information about the event, to the news article or video, any organizations you may mention, etc.
  • Include citations if necessary.
  • These should be a minimum of 500 words.

Posts should also including the following:

  1. A properly-cited image
  2. Appropriate Category selected
  3. 3 tags

Due Date Schedule

Students have been assigned to one week. Assignments are below.

HOUSING: Matt, Raiaan, Victoria, Ashley, Shannon, Asko
Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 4/7/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 4/9/17

PUBLIC SPACE: Vahe, Chris, Shevin, Melody, Michelle, Jake, Ariful
Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 4/28/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 4/30/17

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Lauren, Aalya, Daniel, Kylle, Nicole, Keith
Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 5/5/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 5/7/17

IMMIGRATION POLICY: Sara, Rafael, Mishel, Jerry, Xiaowei, Henry
Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 5/12/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 5/14/17

PART 2: Each student will be expected to comment on the weeks then they are not assigned to blog.

These are considerably shorter – a paragraph or less usually – though they can be longer.

These should be more substantial that “Yea, great!” or “I totally agree” – but should engage a particular point or question in their discussion, ask a question of the writer or larger class community, or engage in a conversation happening in the comments section of a post.

Students are expect to comment on others posts during the three weeks they are not blogging. They may also comment during the week they are blogging.

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