This semester I am asking students in my Modern Art II/ Contemporary Art and Visual Culture classes to create and maintain a blog. I have tried this assignment in the past, but I was inspired by a recent article on Art History Teaching Resources entitled, Entering the Conversation: Using Student Blogging to encourage Original Writing, Critical Thinking and Personal Investment to try it again.
In the blog post about blog posting assignments, professor Naomi Slipp reflects on what she learned from offering the assignment, including both what went well and what she would change for next time. According to Slipp:
On one hand, the short writing assignments on the course blog seemed like a relaxed way to encourage students majoring in the fine arts to write critically about contemporary visual art and culture in a public platform. The revolving blog format lessened the pressure, since new posts would push old content further down the page. On the other hand, as permanently accessible online writing the stakes of these small assignments were also raised. Each student had to sign their posts encouraging personal investment in their ideas and public ownership of their writing. (Slipp)
Whereas Slipp created one blog for herself and all the students to contribute to, I have asked students to establish their own site to craft individually. See instructions here: Blog Assignment
Over the semester I will also be blogging along and contributing to the conversation. At the end of the semester I will reflect on the process.
Stay tuned for more of my updates.