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Students participate in this class through a number of different channels, including: in-class discussion, blog entries (beyond the required vector posts), blog comments, twitter (#hashtag). Accordingly, your participation grade reflects your engagement with as many of these channels as possible. My assessment is, admittedly, a subjective one based on my impression of your investment in the class as expressed in these various channels. That is to say, I am not directly measuring (as in counting or evaluating) your tweets, for example, but the fact that you use Twitter frequently, infrequently, or not at all will be taken into consideration. Throughout the semester, there are 3 participation checkpoints, each worth up to 50 points. (Note: You don’t need to submit anything for these — I’ll simply assign you a score and, if necessary, provide comments to explain my evaluation.)

Some notes about each participation format follows below.


Ask and answer questions! Participate verbally in whatever’s going on. Avoid distractions like facebook or whatever dang thing you kids are doing these days.


As you know, in this class I’m asking you to create vector posts, which is much like blogging. Beyond that, you’re welcome (and I certainly encourage you) to write less constrained blogs about whatever you think relates to your experience in this course. You can do that here on this class blog, or in your own umwblogs site if you have one. Just include the tag “engl251” wherever you post it, and this blog will pull it in automatically.


Vectors and blogs are meant to be the basis of conversation, and that conversation happens through the commenting system. Read each other’s content, post comments, and when someone posts a comment on your content, make sure to reply thanking them for reading.


Twitter is a great way to communicate outside of class and even as a backchannel in class. Just tweet with the hashtag #engl251 and you’ll be part of that community. (Note: Make sure your tweets aren’t “protected”, otherwise the rest of us can’t see them until we follow you.)

Other Channels

Are there other ways to contribute to this class and (therefore) improve my impression of your engagement? Probably, but these four listed above cover the ones that are the easiest to keep track of. The bottom line is just this: come to class having read/played/viewed the assigned material, and take advantage of the ways I’ve set up for you to get even more out of the discussions we’ll have.