Writing assignments are a fantastic ways for student to engage with and process material. Using the internet as a platform for student work encourages students to engage with a community beyond the classroom. A friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Salmaan Khan, who is teaching a biochemistry laboratory class at the University of Minnesota has tasked his students with such an assignment.
One assessment in the class has students writing a one page paper on a topic of their choice. The paper is structured in a question/answer format – students select a question relevant to biochemistry and explore the data around that question.
Dr. Khan established a blog to share student work. The resulting work can be seen here. He requested that I read and comment on some of the student work to engage the students. I have done so and I now put this to the larger community. Please visit and ask the students questions on their work.
These types of writing assignments give students practice at communicating to broad audiences on the web. This assignment carries even more impact for the students if they have the opportunity to engage with that community.