Interesting stuff, Sara! I think you’ll find that, similar to some of your other social experiments, letting students loose on Medium will bring unexpected results.
In our class, students were tasked with submitting weekly reading reflections and group project reports on Medium, and we were pleasantly surprised with the range of depth, style and content (images, songs, etc.) as students experimented with the platform and the topics.
We envisioned it as a way for students to have an ongoing dialogue outside of class (as well as a way for the quieter students to boost participation grades); while that did happen occasionally, the bigger impact came from witnessing the reach of social posts in real time. For example, a student’s reflection on Paul Ford’s ‘What Is Code?’ was recommended in short order by Ford himself. By the end of the class we noticed there were a few hundred followers of the class blog, further underscoring the importance/ relevance of the topic. I think it certainly helped students to stay engaged.