We don’t have a lifetime achievement award for UMW Blogs yet, but I think professor Jeremy LaRochelle of the Modern Foreign Languages department would certainly be in the running if we did. Over the past four semesters he has been quietly introducing his his courses to this publishing platform as a tool to track their reading reactions, writing skills, and analytical acumen, while encouraging them to give feedback to one another’s thoughts. One of the most impressive elements of prof. LaRochelle’s approach is that he is able to give everyone their own blogging space, yet at the same time encourage solid feedback and commenting across sites, and for anyone who has used a blog for a course you’ll probably agree this is one of the hardest practices to foster.
If you take a look at his seven course blogs spanning four semesters you’ll quickly get an idea of the extent students are encouraged to think and write openly about the work they are doing. Which covers everything from reading environmental literature to working through grammar and composition to writing about ecology in a freshman seminar. Moreover, this collective work is putting a tremendous amount of thought, analysis and discussion about a number of Latin America authors that have little if any other exposure online. His work has been constantly evolving and experimenting with this publishing space, and it was high time it was applauded here. Bravo! Bravo!
- Composición y gramática, Spring 2009
- Composición y gramática, Fall 2008
- Ideas sobre naturaleza en la literatura latinoamerica, Fall 2008
- La novela de la tierra latinoamericana, Spring 2008
- FSEM: Writing Ecology: Literature and Environment, Spring, 2008
- Composición y gramática, Fall 2007
- Conciencia ambiental en la literatura latinoamericana, Fall 2007