Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Learn How to Join and Contribute

As a member of our WRIT 303 course it is your responsibility to join this e-journal blog and, crucially, to participate when asked throughout the semester.

Importantly, this site will also serve as a message board from me to you and you to me. I will most likely have to pass on important information regarding class meeting times, assignment deadlines, changes in the syllabus, etc. throughout the term. Therefore, be sure to check this site frequently, especially on days before and after we meet for class, to be sure you are current with the goings-on of the course.

Okay, so what's next?

Below I am going to detail how to join this blog and how to contribute. If you are unfamiliar with using blogs have no fear, Blogger is quite user-friendly and you should catch on quick. Remember, you can always email me with questions. What you should do is email me immediately if you are having trouble with the site, for journal entries may be submitted via email and handed in hard copy the day they are due if such internet hiccups arise.

How to Join

Via email you'll receive a link allowing you to gain authorial access to this blog. Follow the link and you'll have the opportunity to create a new Google username and password and officially join Blogger and the course e-journal. If you already use Gmail, you can use your existing account log-in information without having to create anything new. Please use your complete last name as your username!

From now on you'll use that username and password you select or create to log into this blog before you add a comment or a post. So write it down or email it to yourself so you do not forget this information!

How to Comment and Post

First, you must log in. Go to the top of the site and at the right of your email address/username on the navbar you'll see a link titled "Sign In". This is your ticket.

To offer a comment to any post click on the post's title or on the ## Comments link at the bottom of the post. You can also click on the post's title found under the archived posts on the right side of the site. At the bottom of the post you'll find an editable text box. Think of it like a word document screen and you'll catch on quickly. Here you should offer your response to the main post thread or writing prompt. You can also reply directly to a comment written by another student. If the debate gets intense enough then I may decide to move the discussion into a new thread (i.e., post) all its own.

I highly recommend composing your e-journal responses in a word processor such as MS Word first, rather than typing your response directly into the comment box. The webpage may crash or timeout, causing you to lose your information. Therefore, to avoid losing your written work, compose your response in a separate program, save the document, then copy and paste your response into the comment box on the course blog.

More Editing and a Vital Disclaimer

If you happen to know HTML and/or java scripts you can use these to edit your posts to a greater degree---adding images, video, links, and more.

If a you should choose to add media to a post, keep in mind that inappropriate material, language, and slander will be subject to immediate removal. Depending on the level and degree of inappropriateness, the student faces disciplinary action such as receiving a zero on the assignment (minimum) or being reported to the Dean of Student Affairs (maximum). Please see the CUNY Computer User Responsibilities webpage for information concerning such disciplinary processes.

In Closing...

Be sure to bookmark this site on your personal computer so that you can check the blog frequently. As I recommended above, nearly once a day you should be visiting our e-journal. While you are required to only submit one writing per e-journal assignment, you may write as much at you wish on this blog. Contributing more with extra effort certainly weighs positively on your overall class participation!

Remember, the point of this blog is not only for me to impart important class announcement nor for you to just submit a weekly journal entry; rather, it serves as a birthplace for written ideas. The things discussed and argued here will undoubtedly come up in class, and should, so feel free to verbally reference the blog's content while we are in the classroom. Paper topics and sites of argumentation will also present themselves here. This is a vital component and goal of this site: for as we test and share ideas with one another, we further understanding of specific subject matter, thereby developing and deepening our ability to discuss the course's texts and topics to a greater degree.

I hope you join as soon as possible so that you can begin adding to your classroom e-community by contributing commentary and content to what is now our new WRIT 303 course blog!