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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

Teaching Email Courtesies

posted: 3.31.15 by Traci Gardner

I receive a lot of email from students. Sometimes it’s messages that I have requested, like links to their work. Other times, students are asking questions about assignments or telling me why they will miss class.

More often than not, these messages are not students’ best writing. I don’t care that the messages are informal. That’s fine with me. At times, however, they wander into telling me far more than I need or want to know. Worse yet, the messages can leave out the crucial details or attachments that would have made the message successful. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Audience, Classroom Challenges and Solutions, Purpose, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

Multimodal Mondays: Makin’ it Funky at the 4Cs

posted: 3.30.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Kim Haimes-Korn.

It is clear that Multimodal Composition is “alive and well” in the field and in our writing classrooms.  I just got back from a great teacher experience at our annual, national Conference on College Composition and Communication — 4Cs — in Tampa, where digital writing is central to the conversation.  In his Chair’s address, “Funk, Flight, and Freedom,” Adam Banks spoke about the ways that the field of composition engages in the “funk.”  By that, he means that we are willing to “sweat and that we will look at all that pains us and still dance.” He extends to talk about the ways flight and freedom have always also been part of our discipline as we continually redefine ourselves in relation to the changing world in which we live. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Professional Conferences, Professional Development & Service
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The Other March Madness

posted: 3.26.15 by Andrea Lunsford

I’m just back from Tampa and the 2015 CCCC meeting—what I always think of as “the other March Madness.”  If I’m counting correctly, this was my 45th Cs, consecutive except for 2012, when I was on a round-the-world Semester at Sea adventure.  The earliest meetings I attended were quite small and relatively brief:  it truly did seem as if everyone there knew everyone else.  This year, over 3000 scholar/teachers coursed through the Marriott Harborside and Convention Center from Tuesday evening through Sunday morning.  I felt as though I’d been there a month as I rushed from session to session and met with friends and former students from across the country.  [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Professional Conferences, Professional Development & Service
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Horizontal divider Barclay Barrios

A Sequence on Sequencing: How? (Part II)

posted: 3.25.15 by Barclay Barrios

Last time I talk about forming a sequence around a particular reading, but one of the things I love most about this approach to my teaching is that it allows me to respond to things going on in the world right now.  And so a second approach to sequencing is to start with a current event or topic and then build a sequence that explores that issue.  Not only does this method help students to see how what we do in the classroom connects to the world around them but it also offers me the chance to bring in any number of small supplemental texts from the media. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Emerging, Pedagogy
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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

Ten Visual Collaboration and Sharing Ideas

posted: 3.24.15 by Traci Gardner

Have you ever asked students to brainstorm without words? Thanks to a recent discovery, I’m imagining new possibilities for visual collaboration and sharing using Padlet.

Padlet is a free, online white board tool, which can be used anonymously and collaboratively. I typically set up a board for each class, and students then brainstorm ideas related to recent projects or readings. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Planning, Traci Gardner
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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

Multimodal Mondays: Prezis and Source Use: Engaging in a Multimodal Annotated Bibliography

posted: 3.23.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Jessie Miller is a Master’s Candidate in Written Communication at Eastern Michigan University, where she teaches first-year composition and consults in the University Writing Center. In her Master’s project, she uses discourse analysis to analyze the language First-Year Writing instructors use in assignment sheets where they ask their students to compose digitally. Her research (and her Master’s degree) will be completed in April 2015. 

Since I began teaching, I have been increasingly interested in the role technology plays in the composition classroom. Last year at Cs, I presented a digital pedagogy poster on how I engaged with social media and technology in my classroom. For one of the large projects of the semester I assigned a multimodal transformation of my students’ research essays. They had to re-envision their essay on a social media platform of their choosing (i.e. Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.). As I worked through this assignment with my class, I found myself negotiating the affordances and limitations of each platform with my students. Digital multimodal projects, I had realized, could easily become unwieldy. [read more]

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Categories: Digital Writing, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Presentations, Research
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Horizontal divider Jack Solomon

What Color is This Dress?

posted: 3.19.15 by Jack Solomon

A few weeks ago the Internet was lit up by one of the most earth shaking questions of our times:  Was a widely disseminated photograph of a woman’s dress an image of a blue- and-black or of a white-and-gold garment?  A lot of A-list celebrities weighed in on this weighty matter and the outcome was a lot of clicks on a lot of story links that certainly resulted in a lot of successful data mining.

But while a semiotic analysis of the power of celebrity Tweeters could ensue from this story, (you may find the beginning of such an analysis here) that’s not what I want to explore.  What I want to look at is a far, far deeper problem that this amusing little episode points to.  I will call this problem the question of “whatness.” [read more]

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Horizontal divider Andrea Lunsford

SpeakOut!

posted: 3.19.15 by Andrea Lunsford

On March 9, I had the great good fortune to visit Colorado State University, where my friend and former student Sarah Sloane has been directing the writing program. Her graduate seminar on composition studies was meeting that evening from 4:00 to 7:00, and since they were reading an article of mine, I got to drop in on the class as a “special mystery guest.” Then I got to hear about the work these grad students are doing—on everything from disability studies to multimodal projects to curricular design. They were GREAT. While I was there, Professor Tobi Jacobi said, “I have a present for you,” and handed me a slim volume of writing published by incarcerated men and women. [read more]

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Horizontal divider Barclay Barrios

A Sequence on Sequencing: How? (Part I)

posted: 3.18.15 by Barclay Barrios

Last post I talked about why I choose to sequence assignments.  In the next several posts I’d like to offer some techniques I’ve found useful in designing sequences so that you can create your own.

One of the methods I use is reading centered.  I start with a reading I really want to teach and then I build out the sequence from there.  Given the shape of our semester we can usually cover four readings.  I like to use the following pattern for assignments: [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Barclay Barrios, Emerging, Pedagogy
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Horizontal divider Traci Gardner

When Class Doesn’t Meet

posted: 3.17.15 by Traci Gardner

What do you do when a class you are teaching has to be cancelled at the last minute? Maybe you are sick or your car’s battery is dead. Perhaps you are dealing with a family emergency or a foot of snow. Even the best planners among us sometimes find at the last minute that we cannot (or should not) meet students in the classroom. So how do you let students know? [read more]

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Categories: Classroom Challenges and Solutions, Teaching Advice, Traci Gardner
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