Reading Reflections

CS 4472: 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 choose to write about just one reading, please include a short paragraph about each of the other readings (~two to four sentences) so we know you read it.

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. It is also instead of taking attendance--you must hand in your reflection in person on paper, unless you have an approved excuse.


Your three lowest reading reflection grades (including zeros for not doing one) 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. Attending the on-campus job fair is not a valid excuse, unless you receive prior permission (please go to the fair earlier or later in the day). You may not use "late days" for reading reflections.

Please hand in your reflections on paper, at the start of class. If you have trouble with your printer, you may email it before class. However, if you email your reflecition, you must come see the TA in class to show that you are present. Remember that when you email your reflection, you are asking the TA to print it for you--so please do this only when necessary.