Author Archives: Bonnie Boaz

About Bonnie Boaz

I have been teaching for over 20 years, and after all this time, I would say that teaching is one of my superpowers. I taught at Syracuse University for seven years way back when (okay you were likely a baby then) and I've taught at VCU for 12 years. I've been teaching in University College for the last 8 years, and currently teach Univ 112, Univ 200, Univ 211, and Honors 200. I think VCU students are the best around: you are smart, open-minded, and creative. It's a privilege to share the classroom with all of you!

Last Week Note to my IP Warriors!


Deep breath!  Eye on the prize! This is your final stretch!

I can see that many of you are continuing to work on your drafts based on my feedback, and several have made visits to the Writing Center. Eight of you provided some wonderful feedback on Opposition segments in the Blackboard assignment before Thanksgiving. Bravo to these students!

Several have asked if you should use MLA or APA citation formats in your IP. I suggest APA if you have no preference, simply because your IP likely falls in the social sciences discipline. However, if you feel more comfortable with MLA, please use that format. The important thing is to use ONE format consistently and correctly. If you have questions about how to cite sources (either in text or on the final citation document), a good source to consult is the Purdue OWL Cite or your Diana Hacker handbook.

This is the final culmination of all of your hard work in Univ 200 this semester. I urge you to send the link to your final project out to a friend or family member before you submit it and ask them to read it for writing errors and clarity.   At the very minimum, you immediately lose credibility on a website if you have grammatical and writing errors.  It is not cheating to ask a friend to go to your website and review it for readability and grammatical correctness.  I have friends ask me all the time to review their websites or their written work to assure these are grammatically and structurally sound.

As far as textual errors: don’t forget little things like placing titles of articles or movies in italics, and using correct capitalization in titles.  Paragraphing was also a problem in several beta drafts.  You must break your text into paragraphs — besides being grammatically incorrect to cram numerous ideas into one long paragraph, it’s simply visually unappealing not to have your text broken into paragraphs.  Use space to your advantage!

Think about what kind of supplemental information someone coming to your website would be interested in having.  If you have a long video that you do not want to include in your article/essay/argument, but it helps supplement your argument, you can create a tab or page for an Supplemental Bibliography of supplemental works.  Try out the tools available in your web template so that you can add side bars, headings, etc.

All of you should have created an About page in your website. Think about what you would like readers coming to your site to know about you.  If you have an About page in your Rampages blog, you can copy and paste this bio into your website’s About page.

Check the site as well as the #thoughtvectors Twitter hashtag, to see links to your peers’ work (from across sections) this week. I will be asking you to post a link to your final IP on Twitter as well.

Finally, please take the time to complete the course evaluation (which you can access in Banner if you have not seen the emails sent to you).   This feedback is very important to me. You only have until Friday to complete the evaluation Please take a few minutes to do this as you finish up your project.


Have I said that some of your work has been amazingly impressive?!! I can’t wait to see your final projects!

PS:  Hosna and Tran, please see my reply to your comment on my last post (your IP Google doc link). — I couldn’t open either of your Google docs to provide you feedback on them.

Drafting in Google Docs this Weekend

Hello IP Warriors!


Students wanting more feedback on their draft — especially students who are late to drafting — MAKE AN APPOINTMENT in the Writing Center now, since appointments book fast at the end of the semester!

writing center meme

This weekend is a drafting weekend, and to do this, please create a Google Doc. to draft your IP project.  

For those new to Google docs, see “How to Create and Share a Google Document” here:

Note last step:  “Type in the e-mail addresses for those who you want to share the document with.” My email address is   Make sure you give me permission to EDIT document and not simply VIEW it.  The default is view, so you’ll need to change this.  See these tips:

If you allow me to Edit, then I will be able to make comments and provide feedback on your draft.  If you do not allow me to edit, I will be unable to comment.

See assignments for your weekend work, and as soon as you’ve created your Google doc and begun drafting, post a link here —

POST A LINK TO YOUR GOOGLE DOC as a REPLY to this post.  (This allows me easy access to all Google docs).


Class Commentary on “How Slactivists Can Change the World”

For Monday, Oct 26th you will be reading  Justin Tubb’s “Feminists for the 21st Century:  How Slactivists Can Change the World,” found here:

Justin was a former #thoughtvectors student, and his final Inquiry Project (IP) is exemplary in many ways.

After reading Justin’s IP essay carefully, leave a one paragraph comment on this post about Justin’s IP using the prompts below. 

Prompts for your comment:  What does Justin do that impresses you, in terms of design?  What does he do that impresses you in terms of writing (be specific).  Finally, where would you say is the climax of his argument?  (“Climax” is a literary term usually reserved for fiction, but I would like for you to identify the climax to his argument.  Follow the link on “climax” to get a definition of it, if you don’t remember this word from previous English classes). After identifying what you see as the “climax” to his argument, make a brief case for WHY.

In addition to addressing the prompts; please comment on anything in the IP that you would like to discuss. Make your comments varied; please do not repeat the same ideas as your peers unless you extend that idea in some useful way.

(This assignment can be found in Week 9 Assignments)

Student Comment Echoes My Encouragement to you


Here’s a student comment on another student’s mid-term blog post that really resonates for me.  Read the student post, then the comment from Lindsay:

ALSO:  Look to the right on the Twitter feed, where you will see that Tom Woodward has featured Hosna’s blog post in his “another beautiful #thoughtvector’s post” tweet.  See the post he tweeted from Hosna, in our class, here:

Post your Mid-term Blog Self-Assessment on Blackboard

This week, DUE MON OCT 12, you will write a Mid-Term BLOG SELF-ASSESSMENT and post it on Blackboard (to allow for privacy).  See Week #7 Assignments on this blog site.

Once on Blackboard, click on “Assignments” tab (at left on Blackboard home screen). Open “Mid-term Blog Self-Assessment” link.  Copy and paste your blog self-assessment in the “Write Submission” box AND upload your Word doc with the blog self-assessment in the by “attach files” button.

Thus, you will submit your blog self-assessment 2 ways — copying and pasting into the “write submission” box AND uploading the word document.  Points will be deducted for late submissions as well as incomplete (only submitted 1 way) submissions.

The first notice about this gave a Friday due date, but I have moved the blog self-assessment due date to Monday, Oct 12th, to allow for careful reflection on your blogging practice.  Points will be deducted for late submissions to Blackboard.


Twitter Handles

This week you will be asked to tweet out to 3 students in our class to ask them about their IP project.  Make sure to include #thoughtvectors in your tweet.











—  Do the students below have an IP Project focus?






Check your blogs and email!

Hello everyone!

I have visited ALL blogs listed on the Google Doc, left at least one NEW comment, and emailed each of you with a blog update.

TO LATE ADDS:  If you have not added your blog url to our Google Doc — PLEASE DO SO IMMEDIATELY!    Our Google Doc can be found here:

Once you add your url to the doc, I can syndicate it on our class blog so that your posts will appear on our class blog page.  If you are not blogging consistently in this class, you are seriously behind in the work of the course and risk failing the course. If you do not add your blog url to the Google doc, I cannot access the work you are doing in the course.

As I said in my emails, I encourage everyone to try and organize their blogs so that I can find your work easily.  Creating pages for concept experiences, nuggets, and IP may help, or creating posts and adding the category “nuggest< “concept experiences” and “IP” will help.  Please see tutorials if you do not know how to do this.

I also encourage all of you to comment frequently on one another’s blogs and to keep track of your commenting history.  I will be asking you to self-report on your commenting on your mid-term reflection. You will have to note all comments and dates of comments at this time.  I expect students to comment on their peer’s blogs, even when they are not assigned specifically to do so.  The blog commentary creates a community of readers for your writing.



Hi Thoughtvectors 074!

A shout out to all of you for your patience and perseverance this first full week of our online class.  Rampages has presented challenges for some of you, and navigating the site AND our class site (and migrating away from your comfortable experience with Blackboard) has presented challenges for others. Happily, 15 of your blogs are syndicated on our class blog home page for EASY access!

I have made some adjustments to the Daily Syllabus to address some confusion about the Concept Experiences for this week.  We are in the process of editing some of our earlier assignments, so I think I may have gotten a little ahead of myself in an earlier version of the Daily Syllabus.  Checking in with the syllabus today (after NOON on Friday Aug 28), you will see that the upcoming week’s assignments are a bit more specific and labeled.  I hope this clears up any confusion.

To make things easier, I have (and will continue) to number all Nugget and Concept Experience posts.  For the first 8 weeks of the course, you can expect to have new readings due every WED of the week, followed by a Nugget blog post assignment and a Concept Experience blog post assignment (which will be numbered consecutively throughout the duration of the course).

This general progression makes sense if you think about it.  First you have to read a new article or essay, which takes time and effort (since our readings are not easy).  Then you will choose one piece of the reading to examine more closely (Nugget post).  Afterwards, you will work with a concept presented in the new reading (Concept Experience post).  Often we will try to make these concept experiences relevant (or more visible) to the work you do on the Internet in your own lives.

I am excited to read your blog posts — I’ve dipped into the blogs and commented on about 3 – 5 each day — completely randomly at this point.  As you noticed, your most recent blog posts are syndicated on our class blog site, so it’s easy to check out a few posts when you log in.  I always enjoy the “How does it feel when I think” post, as well as the “How do I live online” posts, because both give me a glimpse about who you are as writers, thinkers, and Internet dwellers.

This weekend you be asked to find some of your peer’s blogs to comment on — see Daily Assignments.  You will be responsible for documenting your online commentary and participation in this class, so please keep track of the blogs you comment on (I suggest making notes in a Word document that you keep on your desktop).

I expect frequent engaged commentary on blogs — and if you plan to get an A on the participation component of the course grade, you should comment on MORE than the assigned comment assignments I make.  The blogs provide a space for class “discussion” and without commentary on blog posts, “discussion” doesn’t happen.  So — you will not have discussion board posts in the traditional sense of Blackboard — your blog commentary IS your class discussion. Please comment insightfully and often on a range of your peer’s posts.

Thinking ahead: all Inquiry Projects in #thoughtvectors sections of Univ 200 will be developed around some kind of digital media focus.  This actually gives you a wide range of possibilities.  Any topic that interests you, also lives in some space online.  Your weekly concept and inquiry project posts will help you explore your interests and find a topic.  Stay open to possibilities!

CLICK “leave a reply” on this post if you have a question or comment for me (or the class!)


In this link you will find a tutorial about how to MANAGE YOUR COMMENTS on your blog:

Managing Comments:

I have been receiving emails from students who are concerned that they are commenting on their peers’ blog posts, but their comments are not appearing or they get the notice “awaiting moderation.”  Unless you plan to check your blog EVERY day to moderate and approve comments, you will need to change your setting to ALLOW comments on your blog posts.

Please watch the above tutorial.  In the “Before a Comment Appears” heading, please de-select (or UNcheck) BOTH boxes (“comment must be manually approved” AND “comment author must have a previously approved author”). This will allow all of your comments to appear under your post automatically.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 1.43.47 PM

If you watch the entire tutorial, Dr Reed shows you how to disallow comments on a specific post in the case where you may not want student comments — and this is an option for posts that you personally want to manage comments on. (Sometimes you write a post and do not want comments on for one reason or the other).

I encourage you to watch other Tutorials on Dr. Reed’s page if they address problems you are having with your Rampages blog.

Hello Thinkers!

You have noticed our class blog site has a new theme.  The old one wasn’t working for me — I needed something “cleaner” and easier to navigate, so I changed things.  I tell you this by way of arguing that change is a good thing, revising is a good thing!  This could be a motto for our class!

You will notice that your most recent posts are being aggregated on our blog’s homepage — under this post.  I’ve set this announcement post as our “featured” post, so that it will stay on top, but if I don’t have an announcement for you, the top posts on our class website will be posts YOU have made in your blogs.

I’ve syndicated all blogs that are included on our Google Doc blog url.  If you did not list your blog url on our Google doc, I have no idea where to find your blog, and I can’t syndicate your blog to our site.  Please go back to the Google doc and ADD your blog url asap.

Here’s a bit of good news!  Our class is a little ahead of the other #thoughtvectors classes– so if you are feeling a little behind, it’s okay this week.  I had planned to have all Mondays be days that readings are due, but we decided in a meeting this week that Wednesdays would be the day we will begin discussing all new readings in the course.  Hence, this week Bush’s reading was due Mon for our class, but it wasn’t due until Wed in the other classes.

SO — from now on, new course readings will be assigned to be due on WEDNESDAYS.  (If it works better for you to read on weekends, that’s fine.  Just look ahead to Wed to see the reading due and do that on the weekend).

You should scroll down and look at some of your peer’s blog posts right now!  They are AWESOME!!  Some of your blog posts are already impressive and thoughtful!  Feel free to leave comments on your peers’ posts — a good commenter is a good class participator and a leader in our community of learners!