One of my goals this summer is to redesign English 350 for fall 2013. The course is Intermediate Expository Writing, subtitled Rhetorics of Place. It’s taken mainly by junior and senior English majors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I want to better incorporate multimedia and digital composing in the course projects and thus better help students write and publish for the 21st Century.
Right now, I’m playing around with ten tools that I might introduce in the course to help my students better invent, write, and circulate their ideas and experiences about place.
- screen captures
- Google Docs
- social media
The trick will be to learn the tools well enough that the students and I don’t get bogged down in technical problems; the other trick, of course, will be to keep the focus on writing and place rather than on technology. For right now, I’m just trying to learn the tools myself and try them out in my own writing; I’m also searching far and wide for good examples of multimedia and online writing about place that could be used to model and inspire my students’ writing.
After that, I want to re-think the timeline and nature of the course projects, at least as I’m imagining them now:
As I write those down, I’m thinking all that may need to be changed. I’m sure I’ll be blogging about this as the summer progresses . . .
For a link to my fall 2012 syllabus, click here.
(And thank you to everyone associated with the 2013 Summer Immersive Course on Multimedia Composing at the Plangere Culture Lab at Rutgers for their help with this project!)