Classroom Blog Projects

My on-going freshman composition classroom blog projects were adapted from a cross-cultural poetry blog project created by Dr. Arthur Young; I participated in one of Dr. Young’s blog projects while completing my Master’s of English at Clemson University, and felt that an adaptation of his project could be a valuable tool in college writing courses due to their use of contemporary technology, their facilitation of classroom discourse, and their ability to enhance student research skills.

Each classroom blog project is designed to assist enhancement of student argumentative and rhetorical skills in an online setting, and each project focuses on contemporary issues or historical artifacts that I use to promote intelligent discussion in my freshmen level composition courses. Please click any of the links below to view individual cross-classroom (blog projects featuring students from my different composition courses at the same college/university) and cross-college (blog projects featuring students in similar composition courses at different colleges/universities) blog projects.

Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in participating in a blog project or have questions about starting your own!

University of South Carolina Beaufort – Composition & Literature (ENG 102) The Giver Spring 2022.
Two ENG 102 courses discuss the themes in the YA novel, The Giver.

University of South Carolina Beaufort – IDST B331 (Stories of War) & IDST B320 (Yoga Principles & Practice) Bhagavad Gita Cross-Classroom Blog Project.
Two upper-level Interdisciplinary Studies courses – on very disparate topics – discuss the Bhagavad Gita.

University of South Carolina Beaufort – Composition & Literature (ENG 102)
“Without You There is No Us Cross-Classroom Blog Project” Spring 2021
Since we’re still online for spring, and both of my ENG 102 courses are reading the book Without You There is No Us by Suki Kim, I figured this would be a good exercise in adapting former course material for the online format/modality.

University of South Carolina Beaufort – World Lit. & Composition and Rhetoric:
“Girl at War Cross-Classroom Blog Project” Fall 2020

 I wanted to see what might happen if World Literature (sophomores, many English or Education majors) and college freshman (mostly traditional freshmen, all majors) talked about the novel Girl at War (about the Yugoslavian wars) together over blog posts. I plan on re-working the instructions a bit so it’s more Reddit-y; this worked great with modality changes (all online courses) for Covid-19.

University of South Carolina Beaufort & University of Louisville:
“Hedda Gabbler Cross-College Blog Project” Fall 2014
This blog project involved a collaboration between my Great Books (ENG 290) class at USCB and my friend and University of Louisville Graduate Teaching Fellow Britney Broyles’ freshman Western Humanities survey course.  Our students discussed the plot twists, twisted characters, and much more regarding Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler.  The aim of this project was to have the students discuss the text in an online space, with the hope that extended discussion of the play would better allow them to form their own opinions about a complex dramatic piece of literature.

University of South Carolina Beaufort Cross-Campus Blog Project:
“Go Green USCB” Fall 2013
We’re tackling environmental issues in the blog project! Discussions on fracking, pollution, endangered species, and forest fires are just some of the many topics four of my freshman composition courses are working with on this blog project.  The central aim of this project is to utilize current events articles in order to better understand the Toulmin Method of argument.

Jefferson Community & Technical College Cross and Indiana University Southeast Cross-College Blog Project:
“Latin American Drug Wars: U.S. and Mexico 2011,” Fall 2011
“Latin American Drug Wars: the U.S. and Mexico 2011″ involved two freshman composition courses from two different universities – Jefferson Community & Technical College & Indiana University Southeast – to analyze recent press surrounding the drug trafficking issues in Mexico in 2011. The classes also watched the film The Two Escobars (click here to see the movie’s description on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series website), which detailed the 1970s and 1980s rise to power of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, in order to gain a contextualization of the United State and Latin America’s unique history and foreign relationship regarding drug trafficking and smuggling.

Jefferson Community & Technical College Cross-Classroom Blog Project:
“JCTC Goes to Brazil,” Spring 2011
“JCTC Goes to Brazil” involved two freshman composition courses’ discussion about current events and aspects about Brazilian culture, and was planned in conjunction with Jefferson Community & Technical College’s “Arts & Culture Festival: Brazil” event. Students were required to participate in the cultural event and write a response linking knowledge from the Arts & Culture Festival and their blog groups’ topic.

Jefferson Community & Technical College Cross-Classroom Blog Project:
“Investigating Endangered Species,” Fall 2010
“Investigating Endangered Species” required two introductory college writing classes to research and converse about the problems facing particular endangered species, as well as possible solutions to the issues presented concerning these species.

Jefferson Community & Technical College Cross-Classroom Blog Project:
“Go Green JCTC,” Spring 2010
“Go Green JCTC” encouraged three freshman composition courses’ collaborative research and exchange of ideas related to contemporary environmental issues. Students participated in this blog with a similar group project concerning environmental issues in their communities.

Jefferson Community & Technical College Cross Classroom Blog Project:
“Lyrics and Rhetoric,” Fall 2008
“Lyrics and Rhetoric” required students in two different freshman composition courses to analyze song lyrics related to the Vietnam War, with further in-class listening to the songs they discussed on the blog, sharing (by group) the information they considered important/interesting on the blog, and in-class discussion on rhetorical themes found in the songs.

University of South Carolina – Upstate & Clemson University Cross College Blog Project, Spring 2008
University of South Carolina – Upstate & Clemson University Cross College Blog Project, Fall 2008
These cross-university blog projects involved the collaboration of four freshman composition courses (per semester/per blog) at two different universities, and was a collaborative teaching effort between a graduate teaching assistant at Clemson University and myself. Both blog projects promoted student discourse relating to various themes of songs that came out in America during the 1960s, such as the anti-war movement, the Civil Rights movement, and women’s issues. My University of South Carolina-Upstate students participated in this blog in conjunction with the University’s freshman reading assignment for the 2007-2008 academic year, In Country, by Bobbie Ann Mason.

Clemson University Cross-Classroom Blog Project:
“Rhetoric & War,” Spring 2007
My first foray into cross-classroom blogging, “Rhetoric & War” utilized in-class technology so students in four freshman composition courses at Clemson University could discuss the rhetorical devices and themes found in music related to wars in various eras of American history. This blog project was conducted between two graduate teaching assistants at Clemson University, myself and current Arizona State University Ph.D. candidate Geoff Way.


4 thoughts on “Classroom Blog Projects

  1. Pingback: Home « Erin R. McCoy

  2. As an educator who is relatively new to integrating Web. 2.0 technologies within my freshman composition courses , I found your cross-classroom Blog Projects inspirational. Thank you for sharing your successful and meaningful projects. I will refer to them often as I begin to experiment with and plan my own lessons for the new fall semester.

  3. Pingback: Erin McCoy’s Blog | The New Frontier: Issues in 21st Century Education

  4. Pingback: Community Based Writing Assignment & Go Green Blog Project | ENGL 101: English Composition

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