First Blog Assignment

Due: March 1

What you’ll do for this assignment

Write a few paragraphs (about 500 words, but don’t get hung up on numbers) in which you reflect on your learning in the course so far. There isn’t one right way to do this, but however you do it, make sure that you

  1. Look inside yourself. Ask yourself how you’ve changed or grown.
  2. Be concrete. Give specific examples of new knowledge or skills and why they matter to you.
  3. Use your own words. As we discussed the first week of class, generative AI definitely has its uses. Writing this post isn’t one of them. You won’t be evaluated based on things like subject-verb agreement or comma splices. Hopefully that takes some pressure off. You’ll be evaluated on whether you’ve followed these instructions and made a genuine effort to be reflective.
  4. Show care in your writing. Care is different from grammatical correctness or correct punctuation. Careful writing reads like time and thought went into it, not like it was tossed together in a hurry. Careful writing doesn’t feel generic. It carries the mark of the writer’s individuality. Sometimes that means it flows less smoothly than writing produced by an algorithm. Individuals have bumps and warts. They take risks. Bumps, warts, and risk-taking make writing enjoyable and interesting to read, because they convey the humanity of the writer.
  5. Remember that your post will appear on a public-facing blog, where anyone in the world who finds it can read it.

There are a couple of things you should be sure not to do:

  1. Don’t mention me by name. This post is about you, not me. Focus on what you’ve learned from the course or how the course has changed you so far, not on anything I’ve done or said or taught.
  2. Don’t write things you think I want to read. Write what’s real. Write honestly. Your post will not be evaluated based on whether you’ve said the “right” thing.

Below are some questions to prompt your thinking. Don’t construct your post by answering these questions one at a time! They’re meant to help you reflect, not to organize your post. You don’t have to answer all of them. Maybe one or two will suggest a theme for you to explore about your learning so far. If so, you can focus on that theme and not worry about questions that aren’t related to it.

  • What are a few important things you know now that you didn’t know before the course began? (Important to you, that is. And why are they important to you?) You don’t have to limit yourself to things we’ve done or discussed in class. Maybe the most important things you’ve learned have been in the books assigned or the course website.
  • What are some connections between computers and the humanities that you see now but hadn’t seen, or hadn’t given much thought to, before?
  • Has what you’ve learned so far affected your confidence or your facility in using your computer? How?
  • Has what you’ve learned made you pay attention to things outside this class that you hadn’t paid much attention to before? (These could be facts/ideas in other classes, things you notice in the news, things you notice on social media, or other things.)
  • Has what you’ve learned so far spilled over into any of your other coursework, reading, or activities? If so, how?
  • What are some things you find yourself wanting to know now or be able to do that you hadn’t much thought about knowing or doing before?

How you’ll do it

  1. Draft your blog post in one of your journal files using Markdown. Use the preview pane in VS Code to make sure everything looks right.
  2. Register an account on the English @ SUNY Geneseo website (if you don’t already have one from another course) and join the group Digital Humanities. (Be sure to follow the instructions for two-factor authentication. Note: You won’t be able to set up 2FA until you’ve joined Digital Humanities.)
  3. When you’re happy with what you’ve written, log into the site, go to the group’s blog, Digital Humanities at Geneseo, click +New in the black ribbon at the top of the site, select Post, and paste your post content from VS Code into the editor there. The editor understands Markdown! Use the Preview button in the post editor to see how your post will look when published.
  4. When you’re ready to submit your post, click Submit for Review.

Put your post title in the title field in the post editor. Don’t repeat your title in the body of your post. Don’t put your name in the post body, either. It will appear automatically once your post is published.

How your post will be evaluated

You can earn up to 15 points for this assignment. In evaluating your post, I’ll be asking myself the questions below. It’s a good idea to ask yourself how you would answer these questions before submitting your post. I’ll send you my answers to these questions together with a brief comment and the number of points you earned.

In your blog post, did you …

  Not really A little bit Somewhat Pretty much Yes!
give concrete examples of skills or knowledge you’ve obtained in the course so far?
explain why the skills or knowledge are important to you?
address yourself to one or more of the assignment questions meant to prompt your thinking?
write authentically, in your own voice, using your own words, about your learning?
write about how the course has changed you (if it has), avoiding any direct mention of me, the instructor?
use care in the composition of your post?
format your post appropriately using Markdown?