You’ve now got to two (well, really three) options for engaging in our discussions.  Up till now you’ve all been posting right here on the coursehub,  You login on the front page and you can create a  post right at the top in the box. But now you have another option. Instead of posting or replying here on the course hub site, you could write a post on your own blog.

 If you haven’t claimed or accessed your blog/website, it’s time to do that now.  See the How To Use Your Blog page (also found on the menu bar under the How To tab).

Before I explain where to post what, let’s think about the nature of our conversations we’re having here.  All conversations and discussions start  with some trigger or starter statement. Then people respond and discuss, and if the discussion is rich, they then respond to each other’s responses, etc.   In the early weeks of the course, nearly all the starters or triggers are either posts that I have written or links I’ve posted from the Web. I will continue to post links and “starters” throughout the course.

But as the course progresses, though, students will increasingly be finding and posting “starters” or triggers of their own. I’m encouraging you to do your own exploration and research on these topics and share. Don’t be limited to the readings I post. Find some readings and share them with class. You might find something interesting on the Web that relates to a topic we’re looking at, so you post a link to it and start a little mini-discussion. Or, you might be reading your book for the project. Your reading triggers a thought, so you post that thought or insight for everybody else and some of them respond.  Then eventually you will have more thought-out, better-researched posts of your own. Instead of posting a “hey! look at this link, it’s interesting…”, you’ll be writing that interesting essay yourself on the public web.  And, I hope, it will help trigger or start discussion here.

So how to choose where to write or post?

It’s a judgement call. Think about what you’re about to say. If you’re reacting to something to something somebody else said on the course hub or reacting to the link that was posted on the course hub, then a Reply is probably called for.  That’s what most of you have been doing in the first few weeks and it’s fine.

But if you’re having a new thought or something that doesn’t seem to fit in the flow of an existing conversation, feel free to create a new post on the course hub at  Creating a new post is good thing too if you’re reacting to an existing link but you want to take the conversation in a different direction from the existing thread.  Typically posts on the course hub will be shorter, not require as much styling, and likely might have a link or two but won’t require extensive quoting, linking, embedding of graphics, etc.

In the latter half of the course, you will be expected to start finding your own voice. This means going beyond just reading links that are posted and responding. It means doing some research of your own and formulating your own ideas/thoughts/essays.  In fact, you’ll need to do at least four of these longer pieces, including your book review project. These longer pieces need more styling to be readable. You’ll want to quote some other website and maybe insert a graphic or embed a video. You’ll want to insert hyperlinks to sources. This is all best done on your own blog. When you post on your own blog, if you check the “category” as ECON260 (a little check box at the lower right when you are in the writing/editing screen of the dashboard), your post will automatically be copied into the course hub so others can see it.

There’s not a clear right or wrong, just as long as you get those four longer assignments done eventually on your own blog.  You can do many more if you wish. It’s your blog.