I have a teaching question for all of you: I am teaching a class in the fall that I have taught several times. One of the assignments for the class involves collecting news articles over the semester to monitor media reporting of the class topic. Each week, two students post their articles for the others to read, then come to class and provide a brief overview. We have some small-group discussion about the articles, then continue with the rest of class. I am pretty satisfied with this aspect of the class.
The other part of it is that the students turn in a collective journal at the end of the semester. They are split into groups by media source location and are required to each have one article per week, plus a reflective sort of write-up for each one. The first time I used this format was last year and the feedback I got on my evaluations about the collective journal was not great. They saw it as a waste of time. I think the problem is that they DIDN'T keep up with the assignment during the semester (big surprise), so they wrote it all at the end and it was a pain.
I don't want to have them turn in things every week, because I already have LOTS of grading for this course. They turn in parts of a paper assignment all semester including doing peer-reviews. Does anyone have suggestions on this news article/journal assignment to make it seem more valuable to them? I think the writing is a great exercise (and this is not a humanities or social science course).
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!