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Winter Quarter 2015 sessions

November 5, 2014

C&W 2015 CFP — deadline October 31, 2014

Computers and Writing 2015

Call for Proposals

This year’s theme, Technoliteracy In(ter)ventions, seeks to explore how technological innovation continually forces us to redefine what it means to be a “literate” society in the 21st century.  Personal, professional, and academic spaces are perpetually co-opted by new inventions. At the same time, interventions are often required—for those who fear these new technologies, as well as for those who succumb to digital addiction. 

Potential panel and presentation topics may include (but are not limited to) the following categories: 

  • Literacies – (primary, secondary / multilingual / digital / oral / aural / written / digital / etc.)
  • Technologies – (specific devices, applications, tools)
  • Writing Studies
  • Inventions – (new creations / innovations with professional, personal, academic impact)
  • Interventions – (creating technological buy-in amongst skeptics / dispelling fanaticism)
  • Access – (universal access – economic / physical / etc. – accommodation)
  • Digital Humanities
  • Pedagogies – (instructional strategies, teaching)
  • Gaming
  • Social Media
  • Usability / User Experience
  • Individuals – (investigation of key players, historical figures)
  • Institutional – (examinations of educational / professional organizations)

October 3, 2014

Technology & Contemplation

In 2000, Gloria Mark was hired as a professor at the University of California at Irvine. Until then, she was working as a researcher, living a life of comparative peace. She would spend her days in her lab, enjoying the sense of serene focus that comes from immersing yourself for hours at a time in a single project. But when her faculty job began, that all ended. Mark would arrive at her desk in the morning, full of energy and ready to tackle her to-do list – only to suffer an endless stream of interruptions. No sooner had she started one task than a colleague would e-mail her with an urgent request; when she went to work on that, the phone would ring. At the end of the day, she had been so constantly distracted that she would have accomplished only a fraction of what she set out to do. ‘Madness,’ she thought. ‘I’m trying to do 30 things at once.’

From David Levy, “No time to think: Reflections on information technology and contemplative scholarship.”

October 2, 2014

Autumn Quarter D-WRD Workshops & Sessions

All workshops and sessions are in SAC 300, from 10:00-11:00 a.m.; we have the room until 11:30, however, for people who want to stay around for additional hands-on and one-on-one support:

  • Friday, October 3rd: Integrating multimodal composing projects with critical-thinking components: process descriptions; remediation; remix; Shipka’s “Multimodal Task-Based Framework”
  • Friday, October 17th: Lisa Dush’s workshop on WeVideo 
    Lisa’s workshop can be another example in our series of not only learning new software, but how to learn software. WeVideo is timeline-based, for example, as is Audacity, GarageBand, iMovie, and other platforms that we’ve worked with. 
    • Lisa’s workshop will be hands on: creating a video from still digital images, so if you want to try it out during the workshop, bring some family photos in digital format — on a flash drive, for example, or email them to yourself ahead of time.
    • You can sign up for a free account ahead of time here
    • WeVideo overview
    • Lisa’s review of WeVideo
  • Friday, October 31st: What is the relationship between Vincentian Values and Technology? 10-11 a.m. in SAC 300.
    • We’ll be joined by Fr. Udovic (thanks to Sarah Brown!), DePaul’s Vice President for Teaching and Learning Resources and Senior Executive for University Mission:  
    • Background reading: Levy’s “No time to think: Reflections on information technology and contemplative scholarship” (Levy)
  • Friday, November 7th2014 Fall Forum on Teaching and Learning
    10:00am – 2:00pm | Cortelyou Commons

Autumn & Winter Quarter Possibilities:

— Teaching portfolios? Focus on multimodal work?
— The Multimodal Essay
— Reviewing and practicing some models and methods that foster real, genuine, meaningful interaction and engagement in online courses, focusing on discussion forums and peer review work


September 2, 2014

Call for Digital Pedagogy Posters, CCCC 2015, Tampa FL

The CCCC panels for 2015 in Tampa are set, but the Digital Pedagogy Poster (DPP) organizers are just beginning to look for folks to present at CCCC in March. 

Send us your Digital Pedagogy Poster proposals!  

If you are experimenting with digital technologies in your courses or in educational units (i.e., Writing Centers, WAC programs, community media projects, etc.), please submit a proposal via this online form:
Last year’s sessions were both very well attended (over 150 attendees) and wildly interactive. We do our best to provide an engaged audience by setting up two rounds of posters back to back. During the first round, second-round poster presenters are part of the audience. During the second round, first-round poster presenters are part of the audience. Of course many others join in as well. There will be few times when you are not engaged in deep conversations about your project or the projects of others. An additional advantage for those living in the Southeast is that you can involve graduate and undergraduate students in the preparation and delivery of our poster sessions. One goal of the DPP has always been to meet and talk to students from the classes or organizations where digital pedagogies are enacted! 

If you would like to propose a poster presentation (as a team or individually), please fill out the form at this address: The deadline is October 13th. If that URL gives you problems, try 

If you are considering your options, here are answers to the questions most frequently asked about Digital Pedagogy Poster presentations:

  • Your participation this year will NOT count as your “one presentation” at CCCC.
  • We will have our own “room” for these posters, and they will be held on Thurs & Friday, not on Wed.
  • These posters will be reviewed (outside the formal CCCC review process, obviously). After the review, we will provide you by mid- to late-November with an official letter from the 7Cs indicating that your proposal was reviewed and that you will be presenting in Indianapolis. Names will also be in the Digital Pedagogy program (handed out on site) and in the CCCC online program.
  • If you would like to see a list of last year’s poster titles, go to


August 31, 2014

Find Your Scheduled Final Exam Times

Sometimes technology can make things easier.
Visit DePaul’s new online Final Exam Schedule:

August 8, 2014

Ask Big Questions: How Does Technology Change Us?

Ask Big Questions, co-founded by Rabbi Josh Feigelson, develops materials for fostering thoughtful and generative conversations in an era of diminished public discourse:

Can we change the world through better conversation?
We believe we can.

We don’t have many opportunities today to develop relationships with people of different backgrounds who may hold different viewpoints. When we have those opportunities, we are able to see beyond our differences to discover what we have more deeply in common. By having conversations around life’s “Big Questions,” we can create understanding among people on campus, in our communities, and around the world.

A recent example that might interest you if you engage in critical and reflective uses of technology in your courses: How Does Technology Change Us?

The “ask and share” section seems particularly generative, and could be used in F2F discussions, a D2L assignment, or in an online course:

DeVoss: Writing Matters, Matters of Writing

Here are Danielle DeVoss’s presentation slides from her talk at this year’s First Year Programs Writing Showcase at DePaul.

July 15, 2014

Before D2L

From a 1967 book — Teaching by Correspondence — in which Chicago plays a role: “In 1892, Dr William R. Harper, who had already experimented with correspondence teaching to help train Sunday school teachers, became President of the University of Chicago and immediately established a correspondence teaching division of the University’s Extension Department.” (3)

From the chapter on efficiency and organization:

Every step which can be taken to reduce the time between posting to the school and receiving its reply helps to overcome the barrier of time which separates students from their teachers. The American School in Chicago, for example, provides the students with a map showing postal zones and the time taken by mail from each zone to reach the school, so that wherever students live they will know the time they must allow for mail service (Fig. 1).

Time-saving practices

In organizing a correspondence school, there are basic time-saving practices which not only effect economy in the use of staff, but give speedier service to students because they reduce the number of records to be kept and expedite compilation of essential records. (67)

Teaching by Correspondence: UNESCO Source Book. Longmans/Unesco, 1967.

July 14, 2014

Lepore’s “Disruption Machine”

From Jill Lepore’s The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong:

Christensen and Eyring’s recommendation of a “mix of face-to-face and online learning” was drawn from an investigation that involves a wildly misguided attempt to apply standards of instruction in the twenty-first century to standards of instruction in the seventeenth. One table in the book, titled “Harvard’s Initial DNA, 1636-1707,” looks like this:

Initial Traits Implications
Small, face-to-face classes High faculty-student intimacy
  Low instructional efficiency
Classical, religious instruction High moral content in the curriculum
  Narrow curriculum with low practicality for non-pastors
Nonspecialized faculty Dogmatic instruction
  High faculty empathy for learners
  Low faculty expertise

In 2014, there were twenty-one thousand students at Harvard. In 1640, there were thirteen. The first year classes were held, Harvard students and their “nonspecialized faculty” (one young schoolmaster, Nathaniel Eaton), enjoying “small, face-to-face classes” (Eaton’s wife, who fed the students, was accused of putting “goat’s dung in their hasty pudding”) with “high faculty empathy for learners” (Eaton conducted thrashings with a stick of walnut said to have been “big enough to have killed a horse”), could have paddled together in a single canoe. That doesn’t mean good arguments can’t be made for online education. But there’s nothing factually persuasive in this account of its historical urgency and even inevitability, which relies on a method well outside anything resembling plausible historical analysis.

June 29, 2014

C&C Digital Press: Stories That Speak to Us

From Computers and Composition Digital Press: Stories That Speak to Us

From the description:

Stories That Speak to Us—a digital collection of scholarly, curated exhibits—is designed to investigate literacy narratives from a number of perspectives: to explore why they are important, what information they carry about reading and composing, why they might be valuable, not only for scholars and teachers, but also for librarians, community literacy workers, individual citizens and groups of people. As the editors and authors collectively suggest, literacy narratives are powerfully rhetorical linguistic accounts through which people fashion their lives; make sense of their world, indeed construct the realities in which they live. Literacy narratives are sometimes laden so richly with information that conventional academic tools and ways of discussing their power to shape identities; to persuade, and reveal, and discover, to create meaning and affiliations at home, in schools, communities, and workplaces, are inadequate to the task. For this reason, the collection focuses on the work of both narrative theorists and literacy educators.

June 28, 2014

From NCTE/SWR: Agency in the Age of Peer Production

From the Introduction:

image titleIn this “age of peer production,” a phrase coined by Chris Anderson, words, images, videos, and sounds can be easily shared, debated, and developed over today’s networked computers. Instead of feeling alone, isolated behind closed classroom doors, focused on books printed five, ten, even twenty years ago, today’s educators can collaborate on documents, pedagogies, and assessments in unprecedented ways with peer-production technologies, asserting a teacherly agency by banding together to create ideas and practices that are better than the sum of what any teacher could have developed alone.

“The age of peer production can mean technological innovations such as wikis, blogs, and video-sharing and social networking sites; but we believe it also needs to include offline efforts such as mentoring programs, orientation meetings, brown-bag luncheons, and the general ethos of a sharing community. If peer production is to assume its own “age,” then it must be more about values than about tools, which are replaceable and easily outdated.

“Of course, things are never as utopian as we imagine they could be. This study tells the stories—both successes and failures—we experienced when we experimented with peer-production tools to fundamentally change the nature of composition teachers’ agency at a large research university. We found that in many instances these technologies did positively affect the experiences of our teachers and students, as well as our program’s standing in our university, but we also found that these tech-driven innovations had to be balanced by serious investment in developing face-to-face community.” (1-2)

Visit book site.

June 27, 2014

Clark U. Seeks to Define ‘Liberal Education 2.0’

 Via the Chronicle of Higher Education:

“The pieces of liberal education that I think have been the great strength in this country—and as someone who was educated outside of the United States, I’m very appreciative of liberal education today. The pieces that I think have been tremendously valuable are what I would call classic liberal education. So things like critical thinking, good writing skills, rigor of analysis in the major. All the things you would associate with great liberal-arts colleges and research universities.”

June 25, 2014

Two models: Faigley & Shipka

“Images and words have long coexisted on the printed page and in manuscripts, but relatively few people possessed the resources to exploit the rhetorical potential of images combined with words. My argument is that literacy has always been a material, multimedia construct but we only now are becoming aware of this multidimensionality and materiality because computer technologies have made it possible for many people to produce and publish multimedia presentations.” — Faigley, “Material literacy and visual design.” (175)

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 8.45.13 PM

“As an alternative, I propose a goal-directed multimodal task-based frame- work for composing that I have been developing in classes since 1997. Based in part on Walter Doyle’s definition of academic tasks, the framework is geared toward increasing students’ rhetorical, material, and methodological flexibility by requiring them to determine the purposes and contexts of the work they produce.” Shipka, “A Multimodal Task-Based Framework for Composing.”

“Take, for instance, an objective often associated with first-year composition programs, asking students to use course readings or outside sources as the basis for an argument. Rather than requiring students to produce a thesis-driven, linear print essay that is, more often than not, intended for the instructor alone, students approach this objective by contextualizing it in ways that are of interest or importance to them. They decide how, why, where, and even when that argument based on specific readings will be experienced by its recipient(s). Following these decisions, they begin generating the complex action sequences leading to the realization of their final product(s).” — Shipka


June 22, 2014

D-WRD Commons D2L Site

Our D-WRD D2L Commons site is up and running. We can use it to practice setting up modules, creating assignments, and experimenting with different strategies for managing good, robust discussion forums

I can add you any time as a “Teaching Assistant,” which gives you good observing status, or — even better — I can add you as an Instructor, which allows you to edit the course, create modules, and administer the course along with the rest of us. Also, as an Instructor, you can export any materials that we develop here and import them into your own course! Email me your preference — Teaching Assistant or Instructor. 

June 21, 2014


Via the The New Yorker.

June 20, 2014

Integrating the critical terms and vocabulary from the course

One challenging transfer-and-reflection activity in a course is helping students to integrate the critical terms and vocabulary from the course in their Digital Writing Portfolios.

Possible solution: during one of your concluding classes, ask students in groups of 3-4 to brainstorm critical terms and vocabulary from the course — what methods, ideas, concepts and tools did you learn about? Invite a reporter from each group to share them on the whiteboard: 


June 19, 2014

“So too for electronic portfolios …”

From Davis & Yancey:

As important, the genre of the scrapbook fosters such an approach: as a vernacular genre, it is relatively unregulated, and its open-ness invites meaning-making for both composers and readers. Composers are free to select texts and to make texts, including photos, inside a scrapbook frame; the experience of the making of the scrapbook composition is enacted by readers, tracing their own and others’ meanings emerging from the reading, a tracing through which meaning is created. Such a reading lends itself to multiple interpretations—is the Charles Moore scrapbook about the San Francisco earthquake, the family’s experience, and/or the composing practices of the time?

So too for electronic portfolios. In some ways, electronic portfolios, although often based in school settings, are the 21st century version of scrapbooks in their newness, their open-ness, their ability to provide space for many different kinds of artifacts and modalities, their ability to point readers to many different paths, their ability to incorporate and inter-relate and layer the modalities of the age—layout and design; word and image; video and audio; rendering and voice-over. Moreover, they are not bound yet by expectation or school restrictions, not nearly fully conventionalized as a genre, at least not in the EWM major. Accordingly, students use the space to roam from personal compositions to school writings and back, providing multiple possible readings and interpretations through the interaction of multiple artifacts, tracing the connections they make across multiple sites of literacy, in the process using the screen to represent more fully embodied composing. Here Lester Faigley’s (1999) argument “that texts are not transparent and that reading and writing are situated acts” rings true both for us and for the composers we study (p. 174).

And interestingly, the physical—the felt sense of touch—haunts the eportfolio, which through its display on the screen tends to flatten three-dimensional composing processes and texts. Despite the fact that materiality is different for eportfolios and scrapbooks – and “in the face of claims that computer-mediated language and images have broken with the past and have lost reference to the perceived world” – these texts show that students still compose with an eye to the “material consequences” of their work (Faigley, 1999, p. 197). In other words, through the eportfolio’s ability to welcome artifacts and commentary, EWM students have demonstrated that they compose in and across three dimensions, that they evoke the senses in describing their composing, that they use the resources of the digital to show us what capacious, material-rich composing is like for them. What’s missing here is the handling that defines the materiality of the scrapbook—for both composer and reader.

Notes toward the Role of Materiality in ComposingReviewing, and Assessing Multimodal Texts.” Computers & Composition, 31.1 (2014). 13-28. 

June 17, 2014

Meet your Common Core students

Via Common Core State Standards Initiative

Production and Distribution of Writing:

 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

D-WRD Background Readings

June 15, 2014

How do we approach text?

“… how do we approach text? Do we read linearly (from start to finish), or do we seek out snippets (using a table of contents, an index, or the “Find” function for searching an online text)? Do we skim or engage in “deep” reading? Do we read quickly or slowly? Answers to these questions are often shaped by the character of the text. Is the material familiar or new to the reader? How complex are the words, the syntax, and the concepts? Functionality is also a consideration in defining reading (reading for information, for conceptual understanding, for enjoyment, or to kill time), as is the physical medium (a scroll, a paperback, an iPhone).”

— Naomi Baron, “Redefining Reading: The Impact of Digital Communication Media.”

June 7, 2014

Lauren Greenfield: Fast Forward

May 22, 2014

CFP: Social Media in Pedagogy and Practice: Networked Teaching and Learning

Call for Papers
May 2015 Special Issue of
Journal of Faculty Development

Guest Edited by:
Russell Carpenter, Eastern Kentucky University

Theme: Social Media in Pedagogy and Practice: Networked Teaching and Learning

While many forms of social media are no longer considered “new,” their instructional uses continue to both inspire and challenge faculty and students. A variety of social media permeate the classroom whether used for pedagogical or personal purposes. Many instructors also use social media in their personal lives, but its role and potential in the classroom are still evolving. While the dynamic nature of social media provides a number of pedagogical opportunities to engage students in productive ways, integrating social media into class sessions and projects also presents new challenges not faced with other instructional technologies. This special issue invites scholars to highlight the most successful and promising strategies for integrating social media into the classroom while also considering the challenges these technologies present for teaching and learning. Authors might consider the best practices for integrating social media into the classroom for instructional purposes, theories and principles that support the decision to incorporate social media into classroom settings, challenges faced and approaches for overcoming these challenges, and projects that incorporate social media along with learning outcomes. Submissions might also explore, theorize, and assess innovative concepts, approaches, and strategies for classroom instruction using social media.

Framing questions can include but are not limited to:


May 19, 2014

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
March 9, 2014

@ 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.

January 13, 2014

December 9, 2013

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.

December 8, 2013

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.

December 2, 2013

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

October 5, 2013

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

August 30, 2013

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.

August 24, 2013

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.

August 15, 2013

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:

August 3, 2013

June 17, 2013

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:

June 10, 2013

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:

  • Feenberg’s Transforming/Critical Theory of Technology
  • Selber’s Post-critical Framework
  • Normal Research Collective (from the journal Social Epistemology): “Postmodern Pedagogies and the Death of Civic Humanism”


June 2, 2013

MOOCs and the Humanities

From the New Yorker: “LAPTOP U: Has the future of college moved online?”
image title
“’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.”

May 15, 2013

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!


May 14, 2013

Digication portfolios at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago

April 19, 2013

“… 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.

April 13, 2013

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

April 10, 2013

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. 

March 24, 2013

New from DePaul University Libraries

March 16, 2013

Grading the Digital School

From “In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores”

Many studies have found that technology has helped individual classrooms, schools or districts. For instance, researchers found that writing scores improved for eighth-graders in Maine after they were all issued laptops in 2002. The same researchers, from the University of Southern Maine, found that math performance picked up among seventh- and eighth-graders after teachers in the state were trained in using the laptops to teach.

A question plaguing many education researchers is how to draw broader inferences from such case studies, which can have serious limitations. For instance, in the Maine math study, it is hard to separate the effect of the laptops from the effect of the teacher training.

Educators would like to see major trials years in length that clearly demonstrate technology’s effect. But such trials are extraordinarily difficult to conduct when classes and schools can be so different, and technology is changing so quickly.

February 25, 2013

The New Work of Composing

February 20, 2013

C&C: Exploring the Digital Divide on the U.S.-Mexico Border Through Literacy Narratives

From the most recent issue of Computers and Composition (December 2012):

“Exploring the Digital Divide on the U.S.-Mexico Border Through Literacy Narratives”

Building upon the work of Scenters-Zapico’s (2010) Generaciones, this article examines the digital literacy development and practices of two students passing through three different educational institutions on the U.S.-Mexico border. The author makes the argument that literacy narratives such as the ones shared here are vital for complementing the work done by broader quantitative studies on the digital divide, as they document differences that may be otherwise overlooked. In exploring the very different narratives of two students transitioning through high school and into a two-year college or four-year university, this article complicates understandings of the digital divide by exploring technological divides between educational institutions and the role that gateways, external sponsors, and self-sponsorship play in students’ technological literacy development, especially when confronted with limitations on access. The discussion and findings have implications for writing program administrators as well as composition teachers and researchers, including those teaching in online environments.

DePaul Library full text link.

Fonts And Their Subliminal Messages

” … the subliminal messages fonts in design sometimes give their viewers.”

CFP: Multi-Modal Writing: Theory, Labor, and Medium

Edited by Robert T. Koch, Jr., Tammy Winner, and Nicholas Mauriello


It has been ten years since Gunther Kress (2003) argued that “a linguistic theory cannot provide a full account of what literacy does or is; language alone cannot give us access to the meaning of multimodally constituted message; language and literacy now have to be seen as partial bearers of meaning only “(p. 35).  How has Composition Studies addressed this need for a theory or theories of multimodality, and what media, processes, and pedagogical elements have emerged that seek to answer Kress’s call?

A cursory look at the recent job advertisements within the field of English shows clear distinctions between digital literacy, digital humanities, technical writing, and professional or workplace writing.  What are these distinctions?  Are they arbitrary classifications, or are they all calls for varying forms of multi-modal writing?  If they are calls for multi-modal writing, what does this mean for the development and place of multi-modal writing in Composition Studies?  Is it a genre in and of itself, something to be held separate alongside technical, creative, and academic genres?  Or is it perhaps a style of writing that cuts across, and is insinuating itself into, traditional departmental classifications, despite the job announcements?


January 16, 2013

Debates in the Digital Humamities

This new online and open-access publication — Debates in the Digital Humamities — has a section on Teaching the Digital Humanities (Part V), in which pedagogy, writing, and academic essays play a major role.

January 14, 2013

Winter Quarter 2013 Digication & Digital Portfolio Notes

Winter Quarter beginning-of-the-term notes:

  • Your First Year Writing sections have been linked to Digication, and you can confirm that — always a good idea — by logging into Digication, clicking on Courses, and noting that your course is listed there. You can also look under People in your course, and see students listed there. If they have any previous and accessible portfolios from other classes, you’ll be able to view them.
  • We will confirm later this week that our First Year Writing Portfolio assignments are also linked — a midterm portfolio (optional) and a final portfolio (required)
  • We have a shared, programmatic First Year Writing Digital Portfolio assignment here — — where you’ll find both specific, concrete prompts for reflection and more open-ened generative prompts. Please let Michael know if you’d like any help deciphering or using them.
  • We also have a DRAFT assignment for an alternative “curated model” digital portfolio here — — in which students compose a portfolio based on a selection-and-reflection process but not anchored by a reflective essay. Again, let Michael know if you’d like to talk through those possibilities.
  • Finally, if you’re newish to digital portfolios — or even if you have experience — and would like to read some background into the writing-pedagogy and critical backgrounds for digital portfolios (student/writer identity formation, the ethics of disclosure, how reflection gets taught, the problem of performance vs. reflection), we have a small D-WRD library on those topics to help fill in some of the blanks.
January 13, 2013