Peer Review Schedule

Here are the dates for our two weeks of peer review. Remember that presenters need to upload their projects by 5 PM the DAY BEFORE!

Tuesday, Nov 12: Aaron, Deborah, and Martha

Thursday, Nov 14: Richard, Simone, and Kari

Tuesday, Nov 19: David, Rachel, Nik, and Jess/Sarah

Thursday, Nov 21: Kevin, Molly, and LaShawn

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Reminders and Assignments

As I said in my email, here is the list of things to accomplish by the end of the week:

  • Online writing activities – the last response to a classmate is due Thursday (by 3:30 PM)
  • Visualizing Composition tutorials – all 13 tutorials by Friday 5 PM
  • Experiment in Nonprint Presentation – Friday by 5 PM
  • Peer Review Sign up

Class on Thursday has been canceled to give you extra time to work on these upcoming projects. I will be on campus as usual, and the lab will be available to those who need it.

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Student-led Discussion

Good morning! I had technical difficulties over the weekend (reached my usage max with my domain), but thankfully, those issues have been resolved. As I mentioned in class, I am asking students to be responsible for one reading over the rest of the semester – your comments will start our discussion of that particular reading. So, for your reading, come prepared with a summary/analysis, discussion questions, comments, or anything you think may be helpful to the class.

Below is the list: one student per line. Please respond to this post with your choice; all readings are first come, first served. You will notice that readings are still in flux for the last two days, and I will post those as soon as possible.

Oct 1 – Langdon Winner – TAKEN
Oct 1 – Michael Joyce
Oct 3 – two Kairos pieces (“This is Scholarship” and “words are the ultimate abstraction”) – TAKEN
Oct 3 – NCTE Guidelines (I suggest adding other resources for adjusting education to the 21st century) – TAKEN
Oct 8 – Stuart Moulthrop – TAKEN
Oct 8 – Robert Coover – TAKEN
Oct 10 – Copyright – TAKEN
Oct 17 – Nicholas Carr/James Bowman – TAKEN
Oct 17 – Christine Rosen and Chabris/Simons – TAKEN
Oct 22 – Jay Bolter – TAKEN
Oct 22 – Espen Aarseth – TAKEN
Oct 29 – Hibberd/Stilter – TAKEN
Oct 29 – Dobbs/Yergeau et al – TAKEN
Nov 5 – Course wrap-up with a reading that forecasts future of new media

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Computer Lib/Dream Machines

We will do quite a bit in class today:

  1. Look through the DALN, and get a feel for the narratives that have been uploaded to this database.
  2. Discuss Nelson’s article.
  3. View the TED talk on a next-generation digital book. Is this what Nelson is talking about?
  4. Look through the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012.
  5. Take the “What Kind of Tech User Are You?” quiz (or Thursday, depending on time).
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Punctuate Proficiently (Chapter 10)

Edit the following sentences:

  1. Why don’t you explore the diverse landscapes of New Zealand, where you can see beaches, tropical forests, alpine mountains, fjords, volcanoes, and caves?
  2. Archimedes’s study of levers led him to boast, “Give me a place to stand on and I can move the earth”.
  3. A typical member of Generation Y Emily learned her ABCs from Sesame Street, but learned numbers by playing with her dad’s defunct cell phone.
  4. Students, enrolling in the MBA program, will see their tuition rise by $5000 per year.
  5. Jewelers recommend spending two months salary on a diamond engagement ring. However you might save a little by buying just after Valentines Day or Christmas.
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CFP: Computers & Writing 2014

The Call for Proposals has come out for Computers & Writing, a national conference I try to attend every year. The questions they ask participants to consider are as follows:

* What is at stake in our practices, theories and pedagogies when we choose to engage with the varied challenges of a technological past, present, and future?

* What have been, and should be, institutional responses to technological revolutions?

* How do our engagements with interfaces, texts, and technologies shape our selves, our students, and our communities?

* Conversely, how do individuals and communities work to shape interfaces, texts, and technologies?

* What happens to writers and writing in the “political and ideological boundary lands” of our interfaces, texts, and technologies when we pay attention to issues of race, class, gender, ability, accessibility, sexuality, and political economies?

* What are the evolutions, revolutions, and convolutions that result from ever-increasing interactions between Computers and Writing and the Digital Humanities?

Given our discussions in class, I thought these questions were especially timely. The full call is can be found here.

Students who took this course in Fall 2011 allowed me to use their work for my presentation at Computers & Writing 2012. If you want to submit your work for consideration or want to put together a proposal for a mini-workshop, roundtable, or panel, please let me know! Proposals are due October 31.

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Speaking to Your Entire Audience

1. To start, I want everyone to cast a critical eye on his or her blog in terms of Chapter 4:

  • Headings – should distill content, make stories easy to scan, and break up text into readable chunks.
  • Sentences – should be strong, concise, and informative that compel people to keep reading.
  • Paragraphs – should be short, simple, and on one topic.
  • Lists – should simply complicated steps, organize ideas for your readers, and add welcome white space to a page.

Now, with a partner, examine someone else’s blog in terms of these “building blocks” of content.

2. Writing for the World – first, we will complete an audience exercise, then I want everyone to do the “Tip” on p. 82. Remember the five best practices on p. 81!

3. Making Your Site Accessible – try to answer the 10 questions on pgs. 108-112. The Top 5 Steps on p. 112 are worth noting.

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Writing for an Online Audience

Janet Murray says one of the defining qualities of the computer is that it is participatory – the digital medium is interactive, giving the user a sense of agency.

We will spend today’s class working through Section I of the Yahoo! Style Guide to test the theories and ideas from Murray and Manovich.

  • First, complete the “Tip” on page 5.
  • Then, test your copy’s readability, p. 10-11.
    • Make sure you are labeling things (p. 13).
  • Next, develop your site’s voice, p. 31-43, by choosing four or five descriptors that sum up your intended voice.

To help you get a better sense of how to write a blog, check out the competition (p. 17 and 23). Compare your blog to one or two that you like and/or enjoy.

Finally, since everyone should have access to Visualizing Composition, complete the “Alignment” tutorial. Make sure you send your responses to me!


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Proposed Heuristic for Online Writing Activities

We talked about this briefly last week, but here are the proposed evaluation criteria for online writing activities.


  • Content is more important than length (still, try to aim for a well-developed paragraph/idea – long enough to get the point across)
  • Analysis is more important than summary (engage with the ideas)
  • Posts should be thought-provoking and relevant
  • Content must be informed as well as opinionated
  • Passion is fine, but “rants” are not


  • Do you have a “big fish” of an idea?
  • Are you engaging with the content?
  • Can your post be misinterpreted or misunderstood?


  • Include specific references to the text you are using – i.e. quote the text or include a page number
  • Include links for sources outside of the required reading
  • When in doubt, include some form of citation


  • Write for a specific audience, even if it is a general audience
  • Keep in mind the “unintended” readers – this is a public blog!

Grammar and Mechanics:

  • Proofread for readability
  • Remember that this is a 500-level writing class!
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Working with WordPress

To start class, we will continue to work on your WordPress blogs:

First, go through this checklist to make sure your blog is ready for the semester.

  1. Double check your blog options in Settings
    1. “General”- enter the name of your site, the tagline, your email address, and default language
    2. “Date/Time” – Eastern! click “save” at the bottom of any page where you set new options.
    3. “My Profile” within Users menu – add as much or as little information as you feel comfortable with
    4. “Personal Settings”(also in Users menu) – make choices about options such as editor, color scheme, keyboard shortcut, browser connection, primary blog, and proofreading
  2. Organize your blog by subject (“Categories” link under Posts menu) – consider creating categories for your posts, assignments, responses, etc.
  3. Know the difference between posts and pages
  4. Create and categorize your blogroll – this is the list of links you will display on your blog (Links menu)
  5. Set the discussion options for your blog – click the Discussion menu to make sure you are allowing users to comment

Once you have done these things, feel free to enhance your blog with themes, widgets, and/or upgrades. I’m happy to answer questions if you need help!

Second, add (or, in some cases, edit) the “About” page.

Third, create a new post that gives me your answer to the question “What is new media?” Here are some links to get you started:

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