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What is the Online Portfolio Assignment?

The online participation portfolio (I'll also refer to as a blogging portfolio) is your opportunity to draw my attention to specific examples of your best online participation, in a framework that identifies what you thought was most valuable about each contribution.
Some people contribute best when they write a smaller number of longer pieces, while others work best by giving a constant stream of briefer statements.  Some students find that the act of writing a blog entry helps them make sense of the material (so they post early), while others feel they only have good things to say after they have had the chance to see what their peers have to say first.

For every assigned text in EL250, including an article, a section from a book, a game, or a video, I am asking every student to contribute to an online discussion.

First we will start out simply posting a comment to the appropriate page on the EL 250 website.

But once everyone has had some time to experiment with the SHU weblog system, I'm asking for everyone to employ this four-step process, designed to prepare for a productive online discussion.

Peer-to-peer interaction is a vital component of this course. We'll do most of that interaction through weblogs. If you've never blogged before, don't worry. While students sometimes tell me they felt overwhelmed when they first encountered blogging, time and time again they tell me by the end of the course that what they get out of blogging depends heavily on what they put into it. You might want to read this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on how Seton Hill University students have been using their blogs.

You will each get a Seton Hill weblog. I will point you to complete instructions, and there will be plenty of time for you to try out your blog and get comfortable with it before we start blogging in earnest.

Update: I've posted a 15-minute tutorial on how to log in to your blog and post an entry.  You'll need to wait until I e-mail you with your username and password before your blog will work, but the video will give you an idea of what to do.  You can also see the same material as a written tutorial. After you get your username and password, post a test blog. (If you've already blogged for me before, you're welcome to start posting you response/position papers on your blog.)

Update: When Derek pointed out that what I announced as the "vastly improved" had the sound all screwed up, I replaced that bad link and I'll restore the links to the files that were larger and uglier to look at but acceptable to hear. Obviously I'm still looking for the right balance between good audio and good visuals.

Blogging Tutorial (80MB)  | Blogging Tutorial (20MB)
Choppy sound over a slow connection?
Right-click and "Save As" to your computer.
Cick on the file when it finishes downloading.

If that one is too slow for you to download, try this different version, which may begin playing faster. It's in three parts, which should load automatically one after the other. Blogging Tutorial (part 2 and part 3)

The course website is located at The site will develop as the course progresses. I'll never move a deadline up, but I may assign additional readings or change assignments around a bit.

The course will begin with a few slide shows and handouts that I've worked up in order to get things going, but we will quickly move into a phase where most of our time will be spent responding to the assigned readings -- I won't keep creating slide shows that spell in bulleted lists out every little detail for you. Instead, we will work out the important things together, through online discussion (and I'm sure I'll learn as much as everyone else in the class).
  • I plan to post an announcement every day at about 4pm EST, and that's where you'll find a list of what you should be working on next.
  • The page you will want to consult most frequently is the outline (which lists all assigned readings and the due dates for major assignments).
  • During the last week or so, most of the assignments will be geared towards helping you make progress on your term paper.

The most important thing to note is that I'll make that 4pm update with the optimistic assumption that you have completed all the assigned work for that day. Some of the next day's work will actually be due at 9:AM, so that I have time to read and respond to it, and incorporate your progress into my daily 4PM announcement.

Feel free to post questions on the site -- I'll be happy to clarify whenever I can. I'm working on an updated blogging tutorial, but if you're dying to get started, here's a link to the existing weblog tutorial.

You can also contact me privately, if you don't wish to make your comment public.

If you e-mail me a good question, I might strip your name from it and post a public response, with the idea that others in the class who haven't thought of asking that question would nevertheless benefit from the answer. If you'd prefer a private response, then let me know.

The reviews you see in gamer magazines are like the film reviews you see on TV. The author is trying to help you decide whether you should spend your money on this title, knowing that your decision will be based almost entirely on whether you will "enjoy" the experience. New games journalism describes the work of authors who are writing not simply in order to help consumers spend their money.
What do we mean by "culture," "theory," and "video game"?  How does the work we will do in this course differ from what you might expect to find in a walkthrough written by a fan, a review written by a journalist, or a market study written by a game developer? How do scholars look at the subjects they study, and how does the study of video games fit into the context of a liberal arts education? How will this class work?

Recent Comments

Dennis G. Jerz on Ex 5: Term Paper Presubmission Report (about 4 pages): Reviews have some value to scholars, particularly
Derek Tickle on Ex 5: Term Paper Presubmission Report (about 4 pages): Hi Dr. Jerz! Can the several direct quotations fro
Derek Tickle on Fatworld -- The Game: After playing the game I posted my blog entry call
Derek Tickle on Fatworld -- The Game: Hi Everyone! When I first watched the game trailer
Derek Tickle on Ex 4: Article Analysis: Hi Everyone! Here is my blog entry called, "Gender
Ashley F on Participation Portfolio 2:
Derek Tickle on Participation Portfolio 2: Hi Everyone! Here is my "Blog Portfolio 2." If an
Dennis G. Jerz on Participation Portfolio 2: Just the new stuff.
Derek Tickle on Participation Portfolio 2: Thanks! Would you like the new entry to contain ev
Dennis G. Jerz on Participation Portfolio 2: Good question, Derek. I'd like you to create a new

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