I actually have pretty mixed feelings about publishing homework publicly and look forward to seeing what everyone else thinks here. On the one hand, I agree with the notion that an open audience being able to view what you write adds incentive to present yourself well. The thought of colleagues and employers (in addition to instructors and classmates) being able to see your homework is just intimidating enough to really push me to do my best. However, I think that consciousness of the audience must also stifle conversation a bit. Controversial topics cannot be fully explored within the usual protection of classroom silence.
And though some choice in the public arena is offered in the syllabus, I think there are probably some who need to take the class that don’t really feel they have an option. That is a little concerning. I must admit that I feel like the size of the internet in itself offers the feeling of anonymity and I haven’t been overly concerned. But if we were discussing more politically charged and sensitive areas? I am not sure I would feel comfortable fully contributing an unpopular opinion. And if no one is really expressing honest opinions, is there still a purpose to the conversation?
So, I guess my final opinion on the matter is…it depends. It depends on the subject matter, the perception of availability of the opt out, and the position of the person taking the class.