Discussion Board

The discussion board postings were a huge part of the class experience.  Sure, we got tons of time to talk during class but the discussion board let us expand upon things we might have only had the chance to briefly mention in class.  It also allowed some people who maybe didn't feel like they could speak in class bring up their questions or thoughts.  I'm not normally a fan of discussions boards for classes but I really liked how this one was utilized.

The fan fiction postings were definitely some of my favorites.  I've never been a fan of fan fiction and honestly, the few postings I read for the discussion board assignment did nothing to make me think any higher of it.  Here is what I had to say about the fan fiction samplings I read for class.

Same book, different story

Fan Fiction is not something that's new to me.  I've heard about it and read some forms of it but never on a site like fanfiction.net.  I chose to read fan fiction based around one of my favorite books, Vampire Academy.  I was not impressed with one of the stories I read.  The first story I chose to read was poorly written and definitely not edited.  There were times when I had to piece together what the story was supposed to be saying because sentences ran together or words were misspelled.  It was not a very pleasant experience.  The second story was much better in terms of grammar and spelling but it still wasn't very good.  It lacked any depth regarding characters or story.  Both stories took place after the ending of the Vampire Academy series so it would make sense that characters have changed but both representations showed characters almost nothing like those from the books.
I appreciate the idea of fan fiction but I'm not a fan of it.  I definitely think it could be a great tool to get someone started on a story but I don't think people should focus too much on it.  It's an easy way to creatively write a story without having to build a world or characters.  I also think it's a really fun approach and it seemed like that was pretty much everyone's reason for writing it on fanfiction.net.  I thought the site was a great community and was organized very well.  

One of my other favorite discussion board assignments was about finding YAL on the web.  I'm a YA book blogger so I obviously spend a lot of time online but this assignment actually helped me find some new sites to check out.

YAL on the web

YAL has a huge presence online.  Teenreads, YALSA, and LS 5385 are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sites dedicated to the promotion of young readers and readers reading young adult literature.  These three sites show very different perspectives though.  Teenreads is a site that young readers can go to for giveaways, interviews, reviews, and recommendations.  YALSA has a different purpose.  YALSA is aimed more at the people recommending books to young readers.  As for LS 5385, I have never seen a blog quite like it.  The review style is a wonderfullly approachable way to go about reviewing books.  Young readers who may not be that into reading can still get recommendations from this site without having to read through a lengthy review.  
Two other sites I've found are YA Books Central and Stacked.  YA Books Central is similar to Teenreads in that it's a community type site where people can find reviews, special content, and giveaways.  Another feature of YA Books Central is that you can create an account and submit your own reviews.  Stacked is a blog run by two librarians with a special interest in YAL.  They feature a lot of reviews but also feature a good amount of discussion posts surrounding YAL but also the YA community online and in libraries across the country.  

The discussion board postings for this class really added to the class content and I appreciated how awesome everyone was in the online community.  Everyone contributed really great content and everyone was so friendly in their comments.  This is how discussion boards should be used in classes.


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