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Spring Quarter Workshops

Our Tentative Schedule:

  • Friday, April 4th: 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Using Qualtrics — survey software
  • Friday, April 25th: 1:00-2:00 p.m.: WRD Teaching Online Workshop:
    • Student participation: how to foster it, how to support it, and how to identify and work with non-participating students
    • Designing and managing successful & interactive discussion forums and discussion prompts
    • Students’ relationships with each other in online courses and how those relationships affect peer-reviews
  • Friday, May 2nd: 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Literacy practices associated with reading in print vs. reading on screens
  • Friday, May 16th: 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Friday, May 23rd: 10:00-11:00 a.m.

@ Columbia College: “Discarded: The Afterlife of Everyday Electronics”

January 13 – March 7, 2014
Opening Reception and Performance by Kyle Evans and James Connolly: February 13, 5:30-8:30pm

Many people crave the best technology available, seeking out the newest game system, phone, computer, tablet, programs, and more. Manufacturers are well aware of this demand for technological advances and make the smallest changes to their items in order to sell the “new” model the very next year. Further, many electronics are intentionally built not to last; planned obsolescence in technology is nothing new, but seemingly increased over time. Between the shoddy quality of gadgets and new items coming out annually, people insist they need the next upgrade. There is no slowing down to this hyper consumerism of technology resulting in a surplus of “useless” electronics.

More info here.

Chicago Manual of Style on Facebook

For those of you on Facebook, The Chicago Manual of Style is recommended.  Recent and regular posts on editing, copyediting, proofreading, punctuation, and — they excel at this – computer-mediated communication.

Related: The Subversive Copy Editor.

Winter Quarter 2014 Workshops and Meetings

Friday, January 3rd, 1:00-2:00 p.m.: Library Technology Resources — meet in image titleScholar’s Lab, first floor. We can check out the Scholar’s Lab capabilities and scheduling, MediaScape tables and access, access, and group areas for collaborative and office-hours work, and meet the good folks at the Genius Squad. We’ll be joined by library staff and Genius Squad members. [postponed; to be rescheduled -- stay tuned]

Friday, January 17th, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Workshop dedicated to composing and designing our Teaching Portfolios

Friday, February 21st, 10:00-11:00 a.m.:  
Teaching Online Courses — Principles & Practice

Friday, March 7th 10:00-11:00 a.m.

  • Hermes, Rozzell, Hohenzy: A CCCC digital pedagogy poster presentation on Mediation & Multimodality
  • Screencast-o-matic workshop

Another way to connect with the D-WRD Working group is to subscribe to our low-traffic email list,  where we share professional-development resources, problem-solve tech issues, and brainstorm teaching ideas.

New, free, online book and D-WRD resource: Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation

This new book will serve as a great resource for future D-WRD meetings, discussions and workshops: Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation

Committed to defending the Academic Essay? You might have a moment here.

The proposition: as a teaching community — as a shared inquiry — we consider this possibility: that we can no longer advocate for, defend, or assume that the traditional, conventional academic essay is necessarily more “rigorous” than newer, emerging literacy practices. If proponents of multimodal composing practices are obligated to defend their pedagogical aspirations and rhetorical claims, shouldn’t proponents of the traditional, conventional academic essay be willing to do the same?

Such a process could lead to productive and generative insights into why we teach the traditional, conventional academic essay, and whose interests are served.

To be “rigorous” now includes the need to be self-aware about these choices and why we make them.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to say, down the road a bit, that in First Year Writing at DePaul, we explored the claims, possibilities, and challenges of multimodal composing and, as a result, we came away with new understandings of the academic essay; that we have new insights into the contemporary academic essay, why we teach it, and what it should look like?

From the FYW Autumn Faculty Meeting

Elkins: Writing with Images

James Elkins’s latest project: This is a project to help think about what it means to write with images.

I have been exploring the history, theory, and possibilities of writing with images.

By “writing” I mean fiction (traditional, experimental, conceptual) and sometimes nonfiction (including some more interesting art history, art criticism, cultural criticism, cultural theory, visual studies).

By “images” I mean principally photographs (and charts, diagrams, maps, photocopies, and other graphics) and sometimes drawings and paintings.

Elkins on Facebook.

AQ Teaching with Technology & D-WRD Working Group Notes

Autumn Quarter Planning Your Course & Teaching with Technology Notes

  • If you have any current assignments and projects that you’ve used in the past in conventional print or word-processing formats that you’d like to convert to a digital or an online format, we can do that — or if you have something more complicated and complex in mind, we can do that, too
  • How to use computer classrooms and laptop classrooms productively: activities, file management, and writing-studio method approaches — we can even meet in the classroom where you’ll be teaching and test-drive some activities, for example
  • Using DePaul Library databases for teaching & learning materials — linking, downloading, sharing — to use in your courses
  • Planning for your Digication assignments: introducing digital portfolios, assigning them, reading them, and assessing them
  • Looking at process and product contexts for multimodal composing, including visual rhetoric, remix, composing with audio, and resources for art and images that keep you and students in a safe harbor, copyright-wise
  • Using digital tools for collaborative writing, editing, and peer review
  • For those of you interested in the relationship between literacy practices and any of those possibilities, we can also read some recent scholarship that helps to put them into literacy, composition, and rhetorical contexts; this helps to balance the why and the how of teaching with technology
  • And anything else you want to work on!

If you’d like to meet before classes start, don’t hesitate to email Michael.

D-WRD 2013-14 Notes

We’re canceling the D-WRD Working Group for the Autumn Quarter to make room for the Portfolio Pedagogy Task Force, and we’ll pick up in the Winter Quarter and Spring Quarters. We can make good use of this pause by scheduling one-on-one sessions if you want to learn any new software, work on any of the possibilities from the above list, or read some scholarship together.

Some planned sessions for the Winter Quarter and Spring Quarters:

  • A session on teaching online courses, for which we have some great local and disciplinary materials, methods, and expertise available
  • A session on using tags in Digication and the metadata structure behind them
  • A session dedicated to another Student Writing Portfolio Roundtable
  • A  session on the relationship between multimodality and our x-sections, so that we can explore the relationships between multimodality and multilingual contexts
  • A session dedicated to strategies for responding to and commenting on student work — drawing especially from Teaching with Lunsford Handbooks and The St. Martin’s Handbook Instructor’s Notes – in the new comment feature in Digication
  • A session dedicated to composing and workshopping our Teaching Portfolios

There’s plenty of room for additional workshops, sessions, and discussions; if you’d like to add one, just email Michael.

That’s how the D-WRD Working Group works, just as a reminder: we learn, practice and explore what you want to learn, practice, and explore. D-WRD is primarily designed for the professional development of part-time and full-time colleagues who may not be on campus regularly enough to take advantage of the many workshops, events, and other forms of support that DePaul offers to its faculty. We focus on practical, pedagogical work and collective expertise in an environment of mutual support that you can use in your classroom; we read widely and situate teaching-with-technology scholarship in local contexts; and we help you develop your own Teaching Portfolios where you can reflect on and showcase your teaching & learning expertise. We’re also pretty informal: you can come and go as needed.

You need not be technology giddy to participate in D-WRD. We’ve had plenty of folks who are firmly embedded in print literacies and those who are highly skeptical of all things digital. We’re a big tent, and the wider range of perspectives we have, the more likely we are to adjudicate productively some of the claims about teaching with technology.

Another way to connect with the D-WRD Working group is to subscribe to our low-traffic email list,  where we share professional-development resources, problem-solve tech issues, and brainstorm teaching ideas.

Computers & Writing Conference

The Computers & Writing Conference is a yearly conference where teachers interested in literacy and teaching with technology meet for presentations, workshops, networking, and sharing both practice and scholarly research. The 2013 conference was held at Frostburg State University and the 2014 conference will be at Washington State University.

For people who can’t travel to the conference, a range of online, streamed, archived opportunities are available, including an active online conference component. A good example of conference resources is the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative’s excellent 2013 collection of keynote and session reviews:

” … check out reviews of keynotes and individual sessions that delve into what it means to write digitally, teach composition with and through technologies, collaborate across curricular boundaries, and develop and extend methodologies for research.  In their keynote addresses, Gee, King, and Stolley discuss digital writing as making across boundaries–making at times difficult and complex, but necessary and rewarding.  Individual sessions focus on a range of topics related to computers and writing, including the intersection of race and the digital, MOOCs and their impact on our work, composing with aural and fan rhetorics, and evolving pedagogies for the 21st-century writing classroom.”

Related and useful resources:

Literacy in Composition Studies — #1

image title

From the Editors’ Introduction: “The socio-cultural and economic changes attending new technologies and globalization—not to mention the response to such changes—suggest to us that now is the right time for this journal. Teacher-scholars are questioning prevailing methodologies for analyzing literacy practices, revisiting foundational theories of literacy, and unpacking the ideological meanings of literacy at work in educational policy and scholarship. It is a transformational time for Composition—as Allan Luke asks in this issue, “Can the field keep up?” We believe more conversation between Literacy and Composition scholars can help provide generative ways to meet this challenge head-on.”

Read the journal online (PDF)

Digital Rhetoric poster from CCC

Click for shareable PDF:

Friday, June 1 notes and plans for 2013-14

We began Friday’s session by noting that D-WRD has had regular attendance at every single session since we began four years ago, in AQ 2009. I think that not every professional development unit and initiative on campus can claim that. I think it’s great and am always so grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a teaching community and for the collegiality and collaborative problem solving.

We spent some time on Friday reflecting on the notion of “professional development” and how our version of it — which looks to mutual support and collective expertise rather than only to institutional imperatives — values the personal, pedagogical, and professional aspirations of our participants.

We briefly reviewed a couple of our initial 2009 readings that continue to inform the D-WRD ethos — sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly:


MOOCs and the Humanities

From the New Yorker: “LAPTOP U: Has the future of college moved online?”
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“’Humanities have always been cheap and sciences expensive,’” Ian M. Miller, a graduate student who’s in charge of technical production for a history moocintended to go live in the fall, explained. ‘You give humanists a little cubbyhole to put their books in, and that’s basically what they need. Scientists need labs, equipment, and computers. For moocs, I don’t want to say it’s the opposite, but science courses are relatively easier to design and implement. From a computational perspective, the types of question we are asking in the humanities are orders of magnitude more complex.’ When three great scholars teach a poem in three ways, it isn’t inefficiency. It is the premise on which all humanistic inquiry is based.”

2013 Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing

From the organizers of the 2013 Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing:

The University of Minnesota will be hosting the 2013 Great Plains Alliance for Computers and Writing in St. Paul, MN. Feel free to pass this information along to department colleagues. See the link below for more details and let us know if you have any questions. We hope to see you in November!


Digication portfolios at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago

“… a complex process of metacognition and metadiscourse”

What effect does our portfolio assessment method have on our
students’ perceptions of writing?

Our portfolio assessment method invites students to engage in learning on a variety of levels. Students are invited to extend their view of writing beyond the closure of “term papers” and the artificial boundaries of semesters, to see writing as involving recursive processes of critical thinking, expression, rethinking, and revision. The portfolio encourages students to consider the responses of various readers-the professor in the original course, a Writing Center peer consultant, the portfolio evaluation committee-in their revision processes; writing becomes collaborative and interactive, a dialogue with the ideas and voices of others. Students are encouraged to demonstrate the range and variety of “voices” of social and ideological languages that they have learned to manipulate.

As James A. Berlin observes, “The portfolio in a postmodern context enables the exploration of subject formation. As students begin to understand through writing the cultural codes that shaped their development, they are prepared to occupy different subject positions, different perspectives on the person and society” (65). The annotation students write invite them to engage in a complex process of metacognition and metadiscourse, to situate their discourse for a specific audience, engendering the “self-reflexiveness about writing” that Kathleen Blake Yancy identifies (104). Most important, the portfolio requirement invites students to claim ownership and authority over their writing, to review the papers they have written in college, to decide which ones they think are best, and to articulate their writing strengths. In Karen Greenberg’s words, portfolio assessment “sends the message that the construct of ‘writing’ means developing and revising extended pieces of discourse, not filling in blanks in multiple-choice exercises or on computer screens. It communicates to everyone involved—students, teachers, parents, and legislators—our profession’s beliefs about the nature of writing and about how writing is taught and learned” (16).

From  Harrison, Suzan. “Portfolios Across the Curriculum.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 19.1-2 (Fall/Winter 1995): 38-49.

Spring Quarter 2013 D-WRD Sessions & Workshops

 Friday April 19th: Composing with Audio I: Audacity, Garage Band, and SoundCloud

 This I Believe
“Words, Audio, Video: Composing and the Process of Production”
“Tuning the Sonic Playing Field: Teaching Ways of Knowing Sound in First Year Writing”

 Friday May 3rd: Composing with Audio II: Listening and Assignment Workshop

 Friday May 17th: Student Portfolio Roundtable
– Background Reading: “Politics and Perils of Portfolio Grading”
– SQ Survey Responses

 Friday May 31st: Technology & Literacy Professional Development:
– Reading and discussion“Technological Ecologies and Sustainability
– How to respond to job ads with descriptors such as “teaching with technology,” ” digital composition,” “multimodal composing,” and “electronic portfolios”
– How to discuss your teaching with technology and D-WRD participation on your CV and in your cover letter

New from NCTE/College English

In the March issue of College English, two articles address the subject of “digital spaces.” The same issue also includes a second entry in the “What Is College English?” (WICE) feature that was introduced in our November issue. Enjoy these two articles and more in the College English March issue.

[If you have any problems with the NCTE links, you can access these articles via the DePaul library's full-text database:]

“Occupying the Digital Humanities” questions the digital humanities’ dependence on interpretation and critique as strategies for reading and responding to texts.

“Digitizing Craft: Creative Writing Studies and New Media: A Proposal” identifies and examines a digital arm of creative writing studies and organizes that proposal into four categories—process, genre, author, and institutionality—through which to theorize the “craft” of creative production, each borrowed from Tim Mayers’s (Re)Writing Craft: Composition, Creative Writing, and the Future of English Studies.