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Class eZine Project

Page history last edited by Gian Pagnucci 7 years, 9 months ago

One project that is highly valuable to try in writing classes is creating a class magazine. Digital magazines are sometimes called "zines" or "ezines." The term "zine" also often implies a kind of cutting edge, irreverent publication, though as the teacher you will want your students to think carefully about what how irreverent they might want a magazine to be which will be public.


Wikis are a great way for students to create this type of common class project. Students as a class can decide on a cover for the magazine. They can choose a color scheme. They can also vote on a cover design. And, of course, students should together as a class write a common description of the zine, its purpose, and its intended readership.


Then students can decide what topics will be covered in the magazine. For instance, a class might want to write a Student's Insider Guide to IUP. This is one popular topic I have had classes use for creating an ezine. Students can then identify topics that go with this guide, such as:

  • Places to eat
  • Technology options for students
  • Campus fashion
  • Dealing with homesickness
  • Studying tips
  • etc....


Students can then be divided into smaller teams which are in charge of each of these topics. So the Campus Fashion team might have 3 students in it, writing about class attire, work out attire, and "going out" attire. Students can write fun topics or more serious topics like how to succeed with classes. I generally let students decide on the topics since this usually motivated them to write more. Students can also include images or videos as part of their articles.


Finally, students can post their articles in the wiki. Then students can take on the role of editors, proof reading and editing other teams' entries. It can be interesting, as well, if you have two sections of the same course, to assign each class to serve as editors for the other class. This helps students think about individual work versus overall collaborative work. This also helps students to reflect on how individual writing gets reshaped by larger group or, eventually, corporate agendas. Students can also write and post reflections in the wiki or some other area, such as a blog, so they can think about the nature of these different writing and editing processes. Each student writer also should have a chance to write their own "about the author" page.


Once the zine is all done, it can be shared with other classes and read by future classes. This gives the students' writing an authentic audience for publication.


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