Diligence and regularity
In his Lugano talk, Miles emphasizes the importance of weighting blogwork seriously. "It is common in my teaching," he writes, "for a blog to be worth up to fifty percent of the final mark for a subject."
Frankly, if I'm serious when I say to students that I expect them to use their blogs consistently, I need to demonstrate this seriousness by weighting their assemement value accordingly. If I'm serious about students writing with diligeence and regulatiry, then it must be worth their time to do so.
A key step here, I think, will be the emergence of the weblog as a professional academic forum. I'd look for two phenomena to emerge as markers of this change:
- We'll come expect that major researchers have weblogs or their equivalent, just as we now expect any substantive enterprise to have a Web site.
- The network of linkage, reference, and citation in these blogs will become professional in the technical sense of the term: some kinds of linkages (being linked frequently, or blogrolled, or whatever comes next) will become a mark of professional acceptance and accomplishment. being accepted into the fraternity of research blogs may come to have the significance that receiving a fellowship once held.
This development might repair some disciplinary frayage which currently creates professional anomalies. In some fields, people with doctorates are not yet ready to contribute professionally. In others, graduate students are frequently among the leaders, in contribution and in influence, for several years before they complete their degrees.
Before I'm accused of elitism: I'm talking about accomplishment and contribution. Before I'm accused of quelling freedom, I'm talking about recognizing achievement, not credential-checking. And before I'm accused (again) of fascist twaddle, please refresh your understanding of what fascism is, beyond a term of abuse.