As a teacher, I believe students learn best when they are active participants in their own learning, and my pedagogical approach explicitly encourages and supports students’ participation. I thus encourage students to build on their existing knowledge, to learn new concepts, and to operationalize those concepts to create meaning for themselves and for others in multiple media and with multiple writing technologies.
ENGL 498: “Eportfolio Workshop”
A one-hour tutorial designed to help English majors create professional eportfolios to share with future employers, graduate schools, and internship coordinators. Students in the tutorial are: introduced to concepts like remediation; develop a writing sample appropriate for a specific audience; learn and apply the basics of web design in relation to their eportfolio; and draft reflections–annotations accompanying their artifacts, “Dear Reader” letters introducing their portfolio, and bios introducing themselves–to be included throughout their portfolios.
ENGL 369: “Writing for the Web”
Writing, like reading, is a complicated literacy activity that is discussed and practiced in a variety of ways throughout the English Department. In “Writing for the Web” our focus will be on the relationships between writing and technology, particularly those technologies associated with the web: networks, screens, devices, keyboards, websites, wikis, and podcasts.
Our study of writing for the web will come in three parts. First, we will familiarize ourselves with the web through study of scholarship and representation in popular media to consider both the promises and challenges it presents for its users—like us—as part of daily life. Along the way, you will produce and revise (and revise again) an article hosted on a wiki, learning how technologies like wikis invite new writing processes. Second, we will produce texts in a medium that you may not have used before, sound. Specifically, you will collaboratively produce episodes of a podcast series to explore first hand how digital technologies make new opportunities for writing and production available to their users. Finally, to accompany your podcasts, you will collaboratively produce listening guides for your episode as well as marketing materials for the podcast. All of these materials, your podcast and listening guide, will go live in podcast stores and online before the end of the semester.
ENGL 366: “Digital Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture”
This upper-level course prompts students to explore two related questions: First, what difference do digital technologies make in the ways that we read, write, make knowledge, and participate in society? Second, what do the changes related to digital technology mean for those of us who compose texts. With a focus on developing rhetorical knowledge of digital composing environments, students produce and analyze digital texts in a range of media—video, photography, blogs, wikis, websites, podcasts, and social media posts—while examining how these environments influence what it means to write, read, and participate in a digital culture.
ENGL 334: “Technical Writing”
This course presents students with information about writing in workplace environments and professional communities. In this course, students gain experience planing and implementing information design based on issues of access and accessibility; practicing effective techniques of document design through the use of color, font, image, and layout; evaluating the usability of technical genres (like websites and manuals); and organizing multiple sources of information into a coherent and eloquent text to address a writing situation.
ENGL 310: “Theories of Teaching Writing”
An introduction to theories of writing developed through decades of rhetoric, composition, and writing studies research, this course examines the act of writing, how it is practiced, and how it is taught. To study writing as a practice, this course examined theories of composing by addressing questions like: What role does psychology or cognition play in the writing process? What role do social forces—technological, economic, political, ideological, and linguistic—play in the writing process? How do people use writing to learn? To make knowledge? To act? How do issues of gender, sexuality, and race invite reconsideration of those issues? To study writing as a teaching subject, students also considered how writing theory could inform approaches to teaching and assessing writing.
ENGL 215: “Interdisciplinary Composition”
A WAC-oriented second-year writing course, “Interdisciplinary Composition” helps prepare students to compose in and for a specific discipline. To meet this outcome, I used the TFT curriculum as outlined by Yancey, Robertson, and Taczak in Writing Across Contexts. Through this curriculum and its focus on genre-through-reflection, students answered questions about writing and writing in/for specific disciplines: How do writers in my major or discipline write? Why do writers in my discipline write and for whom? What are conventions of academic writing in my discipline and why does it look this way? How does the writing in my discipline compare to writing in other disciplines? What do the writing practices used by members of my discipline reveal about what my discipline values?
ENGL 110: “Intro to Academic Writing”
A first-year writing course, “Intro to Academic Writing” helps prepare students for college-level writing. As is the case in “Interdisciplinary Composition,” this course was developed using the TFT curriculum as outlined by Yancey, Robertson, and Taczak in Writing Across Contexts. Through this curriculum and its focus on learning and applying theories of genre and the rhetorical situation, students developed a theory of writing that describes how people make knowledge and share knowledge through many semiotic resources including—but not limited to—alphabetic text.