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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 34, Issue 2, June 2011

Robert Boyd Skipper
Pages 119-132

The Blog-Assisted Seminar

Four years ago, I tried assigning blogs as homework to ensure that students came to class prepared for seminar discussions. From the start, it was clear that blogging was having a good effect, but I needed to make many refinements before I was satisfied that I was squeezing the greatest benefit from this device. In this paper, I summarize and explain the fully developed method on which I eventually settled. I first explain what I’m hoping will happen to students over the semester. Then, I list some guiding principles that have pushed me in certain directions as I refined the method. Next, I give a step-by-step account of how the method works, from the syllabus to the classroom. Finally, I consider drawbacks, advantages, and an important objection.

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