Film & Media Studies Theory

Whitman College – FMS 387

Blogging Guidelines

After completing the reading for each week, you will be expected to participate in a class discussion, prompted by me, on the course blog. Oftentimes, I’ll ask you to think of examples of a particular theory “in action”; other times, I’ll ask you to simply discuss the interactions between a text we’ve read and another media object.

Responses will be due by 7AM on WEDNESDAY of each week. You will then need to comment on another post by 12 NOON on WEDNESDAY. Note: on the week that you lead discussion, you do not need to post to the blog, but you do need to post a comment.

Discussion will be judged on your engagement both with the question posted and the texts it concerns.

Engaged discussion is characterized by:

  • A thoughtful response — not simply barfing your thoughts on the page.
  • Consideration of multiple texts — you might spend most of your attention on one of the texts or screenings, but you’ll want to think about how to compare/contrast with the others that we’ve seen.
  • Original ideas — in fact, I encourage provocative, edgy conversation that challenges us to think outside of the box.
  • Engagement not only with MY question, but with the responses already offered.  This isn’t a conversation between me and you; it’s a conversation between the whole class.
  • Checking back to see if other people have commented — this is crucial!
  • Some sort of indication that you actually read and watched the materials for the week — and aren’t simply BSing.  I can tell these things.
  • Proofread.  You need not be overly formal, but you also should steer clear of emoticons and abbrevations.  This isn’t instant messaging, it’s writing.

Each post will be worth a total of 5 points: 1 point from the comment, 4 points from the actual post.
Additional commenting will certainly help bolster your grade — but only if it is thoughtful and engaged.

Rating 4: Exceptional
The post is focused, cogent, and coherent.  It evidences in-depth engagement with the materials and pushes that engagement to a more profound level: asking questions, pushing boundaries.  The post is elegant, points to specific examples, and is free of errors.  It inspires others to respond.

Rating 3: Above Average
The post is focused and coherently integrates examples with explanations or analysis.  The author skillfully integrates examples and thoughts concerning the week’s topics, readings, and lectures and connects them to the texts in question.  The entry reflects in-depth engagement with the topic.

Rating 2.5: Satisfactory
The post entry is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Fewer connections are made between ideas, and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. The entry reflects moderate engagement with the topic.

Rating 2: Underdeveloped 
The post is mostly description or summary, without ample reference to ideas and readings from the week. The entry reflects passing engagement with the topic.

Rating 1: Limited
The post is unfocused, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of student engagement with the topic.

Rating 0: No Credit
The post entry is missing or consists of one or two disconnected sentences.


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