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D-WRD notes: assignment workshop


We had another good turnout at yesterday’s D-WRD assignment workshop. Kristen Rozzell showed us good examples of interactive chats in D2L in her hybrid (online/F2F) course, and talked about revising her research project in WRD104 next term, giving it a multimodal context.

Sarah Brown told us about her own WRD104 assignments, which draw on remediation, remix, and multimodality — she also showed us this very interesting program, Screencast-O-matic — — which is useful for creating tutorials, processes, and feedback on your computer to share with others.

Blair raised some productive problems in visual rhetoric and the role of PowerPoint in students’ composing processes, and we brainstormed a range of alternatives. (I’m also putting this short reading by Edward Tufte, “The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within In” in the D-WRD Lending Library — just inside 206 McGaw, right outside of Julie’s door. 

And in this context, Sarah recommended Larry Lessig’s Ted Talks:
Also see “The ‘Lessig Method’ of presentation” at

Jennifer Finstrom shared her multimodal literacy narrative assignment, which is nicely iterative and also integrates remediation as a meaning-making activity.

We talked about the visual structuring of assignments — purpose, audience, outcomes, deadlines, integrating the St. Martin’s Guide early and often — and Margaret Poncin confirmed many of our suspicions that students might be looking for that kind of information early and explicitly in an assignment.

I hope that at the end of the term people will update us on how it went!


I heard about only a few problems during optional mid-term portfolio submissions. One reminder: to view which students have successfully submitted mid-term portfolios (i.e., when the mid-term entry by a student’s name turns from blue to yellow) you must click on the assignment named WRD Digital Portfolio: Clicking on the assignment named WRD Digital Portfolio *expands* that column into two columns, revealing both mid-term and final submissions.

Looking ahead to WQ digital portfolio planning, assigning, collecting, and grading, please let me know if you need any help or resources. For example, if last term was your first time using Digication, note that both the FYW assignment ( *and* the scoring guide ( are flexible and revisable for your own sections and course goals. You can emphasize some aspects and deemphasize others, depending on your goals and pedagogical aspirations.

Reading across multiple assignments, essays, and projects at the end of the term in a digital format — with “reflection” as an organizing principle! — can be a disorienting process if you’re used to more stable and static single final exams or essays. We are now looking at a pretty diverse set of rhetorical forms and digital composing processes. I’ll send out another planning note at the beginning of Week 9 that focuses on the submission-and-collection process, but if I can help you plan and prepare beforehand — organizing, reading, responding, grading — please don’t hesitate to holler.

And if that wasn’t enough (it was), Digication just yesterday released a new social-media mobile app — for the iPhone and iPad —
— On iTunes:
— More info at
— On Facebook:

It has a Twitter look and feel (updates, images) and you need to log-in via Facebook currently in order to use it, although that may change.