I spent an hour or two learning more about syndication this morning. It seems to me that a campus interested in offering a flexible weblog program (for programs and work groups to post their work, for faculty to post their work, for faculty to use in courses, for students to use as course assignments, and for students to use as major portfolios or as individual blogs) should set up a variety of syndication options that users could quickly build into their pages. So that needs to be supported both by the software and by the IT group supporting the software.
We would want to be able to syndicate the student blogs to a course page, campus blogs to a campus page or series of campus pages, a variety of non-campus blogs to a variety of campus blogs, and news sources to course and individual blogs. You might want alumni from your major to be turning to your department home page for updates in your field, for example. You would want students to be able to read the blogs by their classmates easily, starting from an aggregator. You would want campus public relations pages to pick up the best of campus developments quickly.
A primer on RSS by Jason Cook, with other resources at the end of the last page.
As far as assignments that might build on syndication go, I can see a few different approaches. You might want students to:
1. Read widely and develop a broad sense of a topic. Offer them a wide range of materials on a syndication page and have them sample and select for their own deliberation.
2. Read widely from a syndication page, then select a focused set of materials to pass on to the class through a second layer of syndication. Students might take turns having this responsibility, and might also be asked to evaluate what they are passing on.
3. Read a focused set of materials you have selected for them after you read widely with the help of syndication.
So, how much to screen in the syndication process, and who will do the screening, and how much to evaluate what does come through, all depending on the course goals.