Reading Reflections

CS 6470: The Design of Online Communities
Professor Amy Bruckman

Due:Every class, at the start of class, unless otherwise noted on the syllabus
Format:Double spaced, 12 pt. font
Approximate Length:One to two pages
Percentage of Grade:25%

For every class, you will hand in a one to two page "reading reflection." The reflection may focus on one reading for the day, or may connect themes from multiple readings. Connecting the reading to the assigned online site for the day is encouraged, but please do not write about just the online site. If you write about just one reading, please add a short paragraph commenting on each of the other readings-- just so we know you read them.

What did you find interesting about the reading? What are the key issues the reading raises? What are the importance and broader implications of those issues?

This is not a summary of the reading. Please reflect on it. Tell us what it means. Relate readings to one another, or to the online site for the day. We are looking for insight.

Although you may write about shortcomings of the reading, you are discouraged from doing so. It is easy to tear pretty much anything apart, and is not necessarily a productive exercise. Even if you mainly disagree with a reading, the more interesting question to ask yourself is: what about this was valuable?

This assignment is intended to encourage you to do the reading before class for every class, and to help you to think carefully about the reading. This is instead of having a final exam in the class.


Your reflections will be graded on a minus/check/plus basis. A check means "This reading reflection is good--what we were hoping for." You should expect to receive checks on most of your reflections. A plus means, "You impressed me! There is something noteably insightful in the reflection." A minus means, "This is below what we were expecting." Multiple pluses or minuses are possible. A reflection that does not convince me that you did the reading may receive a zero. Writing style counts. Good grammar and spelling are expected.

Your three lowest reading reflection grades will not be counted. Reading reflections may not be turned in late unless you have an acceptable excuse for missing class that day. Good excuses include things like illness (please keep your germs to yourself and rest up!), conference attendance, or a job interview. Good excuses do not include things like work for another class, receiving a delivery of furniture, or picking someone up at the airport. You may not use "late days" for reading reflections.