Scaffolding to Multimodality (Inq. 4)

The below Google Presentation – see Powerpoint – provides ideas and activities to help you begin planning for Inquiry #4. It details multiple small, single- or two-class period activities that can help you introduce particular literacies, composing practices, or genres that will build directly into the literacies, composing practices, and genre knowledge students will need to complete Inquiry #4’s.

We suggest first figuring out exactly what you intended to do for your Inquiry #4 – be it a single genre or mode or open-ended – and then go through this presentation and find the activities that build into those modes and/or genres.

(Click on image to access presentation)

Scaffolding Multimodal Work - DWC Digital Pedagogy Poster Session - Google Drive


Storify (Digital Pedagogy Fair- Bridget)

At yesterday’s Digital Pedagogy Fair, Bridget Gelms introduced us to a new tool, Storify. Students (or teachers!) can collect, arrange, and share media for a number of different purposes. Check out her handout below for some more information on how to incorporate Storify into your classroom!

Storify Handout

google docs commenting instructions

Assessing Multimodal Projects (Digital Pedagogy Fair–Leigh)

Yes, rubrics can be your friend!

Many students have not composed in multimodal genres before, and are unsure of the expectations they will face come grading time. At the same time, if you are new to teaching multimodal assignments, you might be unsure of how to assess them fairly. Rubrics have a bad rap (they can be reductive and constrictive) but choosing to use one can make it easier for both you and your students: you’ll be able to more clearly articulate your goals, and your students will have a better sense of how to meet those goals. Continue reading ‘Assessing Multimodal Projects (Digital Pedagogy Fair–Leigh)’

Open-Ended Technology Approach to Inquiry 4 (Jon)

Can’t decide what particular technologies to teach for Inquiry 4? Feeling unsure of how well prepared you are to teach students how to compose in a particular medium?

You might want to consider an open-ended approach that allows students to select their own technologies and media for composing for Inquiry 4. At first, this can seem scary: Will class be disorganized and chaotic? How will I structure useful activities for the entire group if everyone is working with different media? Also, a draw back of the open-ended approach is that you cannot be expected to support and be knowledgeable about every technology that students might choose to compose with.

However, an “open-ended approach” does not mean an “unstructured approach.” For this inquiry, whatever medium or technology chosen, think about grounding your class conversations around these core concepts:

  • Developing awareness of relationships between media and messages
  • Thinking rhetorically about affordances and constraints
  • Thinking reflectively about the writer’s own composing processes

Below are some ideas and questions to help you begin thinking through each of these concepts in an open-ended approach.

Awareness of Medium and Message:

An open-ended approach is particularly helpful here precisely because students are composing with different media.

  • Students select media appropriate to their arguments
  • Students have to think not only about what they are composing but why their selected media/technology are best suited to it
  • Student’s invention processes are deepened, allowing them to think about how their arguments are affected by different media and technologies

Whereas one student finds a particular rhetorical move incredibly effective in one medium, another student may find the same move unavailable in their chosen medium. One student may find different technologies better suited to composing for particular audiences and venues. Such differences can really help foster an understanding of how medium affects message (and vice versa).

Affordances and Constraints:

This may be the most important rhetorical knowledge generated through Inquiry 4. You may not feel confident about Prezi or iMovie yourself, but you can certainly engage your students in critical conversations about the affordances and constraints of these technologies.

  • What audiences and venues are appropriate for particular media?
  • What arguments are available in this medium and which ones simply will not work?
  • How do multimodal components affect rhetors’ usages of the rhetorical appeals?

Thinking Reflectively about Composing Processes:

One great outcome of Inquiry 4 is it allows for a retrospective understanding of how their invention, composing and communication was affected by the media they have been composing in all semester, such as Word or google docs.

  • Point out that they have been similarly working in a medium all along, making the same kinds of choices, though perhaps more intuitively than when in a new medium.
  • Ask students to consider how their processes of composing (such as invention and drafting) changed between the new medium and producing alphabetic texts.
  • Prompt students to speak from a point of experience as a composer in that medium, talking about the rhetorical decisions they made as well as offering advice to other creators in that medium.

Whatever your vision for the project, consider the following questions to help you focus your approach to Inquiry 4:

  • What do you hope your students learn through this experience?
  • What rhetorical moves do you hope students will enact?
  • What rhetorical knowledge do you expect to transfer from previous inquiries?
  • What skills do you hope students will take with them to future writing and rhetorical situations?

Teaching with Video (Digital Pedagogy Fair–Jon and Jason)

Making use of video editors can open discussions about rhetorical affordances and constraints of media. Click on this Prezi, Affordances of Video in the ENG 111 Classroom, for some of Jon Bradshaw’s explorations with the medium. All examples here are produced with combinations of iMovie and Audacity, though other video editors can create similar products.

Also, check out Jason Palmeri’s Designing/Assessing Video Composing Assignments for heuristics, curricular materials, sample student videos, and resources for incorporating video composition into your own pedagogy!

Finally, we will be demo-ing a new online video editor,  We Video. Wevideo works entirely within your web browser and it also integrates with google drive. Wevideo has much of the same functionality as iMovie (including multiple audio tracks and many useful effects). When you finish editing, you can export your video to youtube or your own computer. The free version limits you to exporting only 15 minutes of video a month with a small “We Video” logo. The inexpensive pay version allows for exporting longer, higher quality video without the logo. While we are still testing wevideo, we think it could be a great alternative to moviemaker for PC users (or for collaborative groups). Solo author mac users will still likely prefer imovie.

Teaching with Wix (Digital Pedagogy Fair- Leigh)

Wix, a free web publishing software, helps writers create great-looking Flash websites. Although it can have a bit of a learning curve, I’ve found students generally enjoy working with it (customizing templates rather than starting from scratch is a good option for overwhelmed students, too). Although Wix can have many applications in the composition classroom, here I’ve included two different assignments for our 111 curriculum that ask students to compose in this space: