PopcultureLab: WordPress as LMS

popculturelab full

About three years ago, I was asked to create an upper-level elective around the topic of Media and Pop Culture at The Art Institute of Philadelphia.

After much research, I decided that since I had already been blogging a music blog at www.songgenius.net that I would create the shell and teach my students how to use a live blog to write about the relationship between the media and pop culture.

As I was planning the shape of the blog, I decided to to use the pages function to include a copy of the syllabus, an explanation of the course and “how to” blog resources, and a prompt.


Since this was a continuation of the Composition II course at AIPH, it was important to reinforce the writing synthesis skills the students had already been practicing, so I added a resources page where I assigned articles and videos that touched on media theory and some of the ideas from leading social thinkers around Pop Culture.

Reading and Videos

I required the students to quote at least once using a proper citation from at least one of these articles videos for each of the topics that they wrote about.

Before publishing each article, we had an in-class peer review using the grading matrix that I created. The students then published their revised, multimedia posts online. After they published I gave them a detailed critique on the content and the writing quality and a grade. Each student offered a brief presentation of their topic with a Q and A in class, the week after they published the article.

As a final they each wrote a bio explaining their background and how it relates to the topics they wrote about, trying to explain why they are credible as pop culture critics. They also were able to revise one of the two articles for a better grade.

Though I have not taught the class for almost four months now, we are still getting nearly 400 unique visitors to the blog per month.


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