I think it is really smart the way Lis201 was set up. I think that having discussion blog posts brings the discussion section members closer together and creates a better environment for learning. When I looked up courses that were similar to Lis201, I found that at the University of Minnesota, they offer a similar course, but the mode of instruction is a bit different. Instead of having blog posts online, students discussion material in section. I dont think this would work as well because with blog posts, students are forced to do readings themselves and learn the material in depth, where as when students are just talking in section, they do not necessarily have to feel obligated to do the readings.
I really enjoyed the way this class was designed. The online portions really helped with the in-person aspect with the class. I believe that the balanced mix of online and offline assignments made me a more effective student online as well as offline. It made it easier to communicate with the other students in my section. The online portion also allows for a better understanding of how to use online resources. I think the way that UW-Madison has its courses like Lis201 right now is perfect. If there were more online assignments I feel the class would be less discussion oriented, which is the most beneficial aspect of the class.
I think the productiveness of the online component of the class relies not on the material, but on how the assignments relate to the material. If the class were about anything else I think that the design of the course would still work. It makes for a much better understanding of material and a closer connection with other students. I found that this course taught me a lot about the digital world today and developed my understanding of online resources.