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September 29, 2011

Thoughts on use (or misuse or better use) of the class blog so far

As I mentioned in class, I am eager during the break to hear any and all feedback on the ways in which I have so far used this blog space to supplement/enhance class experiences and discussion.  In the second half of the semester, I could:

  1. blog a lot more (or perhaps even less)
  2. provide more links to blogs/articles/cases we would not have time to discuss in class
  3. enable and encourage (or even require) some student blogging
  4. enable and encourage guest-blogging by real lawyers/judges working on sentencing issues
  5. be a lot more creative in this space (e.g., make more use of videos and other media)

Please let me know if you would find any of these kinds of changes to be especially intriguing or exciting And please know that I will interpret a lack of comments on this topic as a sign of contentment (and even great happiness) with the bloggy status quo.

September 29, 2011 in About this blog, Class activities | Permalink


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This isn't feedback, but from today's Dispatch: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/09/30/law-will-open-prison-doors-for-thousands.html

Posted by: Jennifer H | Sep 30, 2011 1:43:03 PM

Following Jennifer's lead, here is an article that caught my attention:

While this seems like a good idea in theory, I will be interested to see how this reallocation of resources will really turn out to work in both Youngstown and Mansfield.

Perhaps it could be valuable to have a continuous thread where students could post links to current events and stories relevant to sentencing?

Posted by: Andrea G | Oct 3, 2011 8:18:25 PM

I think the blog has been effective and has definitely helped me critically think about what we discuss in class. There's a good balance of text and links (because too much of either would make me zone out). Definitely continue to add links to articles/blogs/etc. that we do not have time to fully address in class, and posting videos might be a fun addition, if they are not extremely long or a mere repetition of class discussion.

Posted by: Crystal M | Oct 6, 2011 1:19:19 PM

I like the blog as an additional resource, but it can be overwhelming with all the links to additional sources. As long as the class continues to focus on the assigned reading and only references the primary material on the blog I think it is helpful. I like that students can discuss and share their thoughts on different issues raised in class because we do not always get a chance to have a fully developed discussion of these topics during the available classroom time.

Posted by: Patrick M. | Oct 10, 2011 10:59:48 AM

I enjoy the blog as is, though I agree with Patrick regarding links to additional sources--but I think additional prompts/discussion threads about class-related material could be good. I think #4 would be really cool ("enable and encourage guest-blogging by real lawyers/judges working on sentencing issues").

Posted by: Shawna | Oct 10, 2011 9:31:22 PM

I have definitely enjoyed using the class blog as is, but I would love to see more videos and media. I like the use of links, but I would be interested to see what other sentencing media is available via the blog.

Posted by: Allison S. | Oct 10, 2011 10:13:06 PM

I think Andrea has a good idea about allowing students to prompt discussion by posting links or posing questions. My suggestion would be to do this through student posting on the main blog. You said part of your reasoning for having us post was the benefit we get from writing in a public space (unlike a TWEN discussion board). I think that is enhanced if we post on the main page and not simply behind click-through commenting. But make it all discretionary.

Also think guest-blogging is a good idea. It can provide additional perspectives and allow us to engage real practitioners.

Posted by: Kevin S | Oct 10, 2011 10:35:26 PM

I have really enjoyed reading the blog this semester. I think having more prompts per day would give more options about what to respond to, and would give more avenues for relating class material to areas of personal interest.

Posted by: Joey F. | Oct 11, 2011 1:57:08 PM

I think the blog has been very informative so far in supplementing additional information to what we have learned in class. I do believe, however, that the new twist suggested—namely inviting current practitioners to chime in—would be quite beneficial. I think various viewpoints from those outside academia would shed light on new ideas and force us to question even more the aspects involved in sentencing. What issues currently frustrate them, what areas are hot topics now that we might face in the future, how to go about creating change in the system or if it’s at all possible? All of these issues are thought provoking and important, in my opinion, to developing a well-rounded understanding of our area. Moreover, using other types of media, such as the short YouTube video recently posted, is an effective way to not only discuss issues in an atypical way which can create some really good discussions, but it can help engage those with different learning styles.

Posted by: Isabella | Oct 11, 2011 5:20:08 PM

I feel as though the blog is interesting, but pressure to use the blog (in my opinion) just leads to blithely commenting without really caring. I generally only comment when I have (what I consider to be) a thoughtful thing to say, and I would resent any required commentary or additional pressure to participate on the blog. I do, however, love the idea in #4!

Posted by: Krystin Brehm | Oct 18, 2011 2:09:26 PM

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