Wednesday, August 20, 2014

San Jose State University and Writer's Help for Lunsford


Writer's Help Handouts, Guides, and Instructor Manual

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Handouts and Guides 
This Google Drive Folder for SJSU will evolve and update as needed with materials written especially for SJSU professors and students.  Current contents:
  1. Student Access Handout for WH2LH San Jose State
  2. Annotated for Instructors -- Student Access Handout for WH2LH San Jose State
  3. Slide Show for Classroom - WH2LH and SJSU
  4. Tech Support and WH2LH
  5. Email for SJSU Fall 2014 First Year and Transfer Students

Instructors Manual, the platform Writer's Help is on is called LaunchPad. Key refresher pages:

Sign in URL for Writer's Help 2.0 for Lunsford Handbooks:


Guides to Teaching with a Handbook, Articles on Teaching

The table of contents for Teaching with Lunsford Handbooks -- for an overview of teaching ideas the book covers.
Crib ideas too from Teaching with Hacker Handbooks -- some will be similar, some will differ, but the principles are the same as Teaching with Lunsford Handbooks.
Bits Blog Handbook teaching tips -- most from Barclay Barrios -- short, sweet, fun, and eclectic are his contributions. Worth the visit just to read a few

 James Lang on Transfer
"Why Don't They Apply What They Learned,  Part I" and Part II

Paul Krebs "Next Time, Fail Better."

Daniel Willingham, "Why Transfer is Hard." -- from his collection of online articles on how students learn at

"Start Where Your Students Are." and "Know Where Your Students are Going," chapters 1 and 2 from Never Work Harder than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching by Robyn R. Jackson.

Handout on turning essay into list of sentences: Scroll down to entry by Nick Carbone

Side bar: plagiarism resources --

Inventing the University, David Barthlomae :

Trends in Teaching Writing Online: What Things May Come

Up Goes the Triangle, Slowly

At a Computers and Writing conference held in Ann Arbor some years back, I touched on some data Bedford/St. Martin's, as the company I work for was known by at the time, learned from faculty surveys. That's here: We saw a distinction among research universities and two year colleges in what technology was reported used, and we saw that overall, across the board, technologies that folks who attend computers and writing have known about and used for years were making just small in roads in most courses. 

And yet, the trend from 2006 to 2010, the two years spanning the surveys, was up, more technology was being used. We are seeing now, though I don't have the data, that trend continue, with multimodal composition being something programs and professors request support on (scroll down from this post to see an example). 

That said, trends come and move slowly. Wassily Kandinsky, describes in his monograph Concerning the Spiritual in Art, a triangle that moves up a slope, and at the tip, a lone innovator, and the base, folks doing what came before. But as the triangle moves up slowly, at some point the base will be where the innovator once was. I picture it something like this:

Nick's bad art. The red line is slope the triangle moves up. When the bottom line gets to where the top point is, that's when most of the field catches up to where innovators are now. Sometimes progress is so slow, you cannot tell it's a trend.

So What are Some Trends and Changes?

Multimodal composition was a featured topic at Computers and Writing in Pullman again this year, but hitting a kind of perfect storm moment in terms of resources available to support it's growth.

CWPA had a lot of discussion on foreign student enrollment growth and the kinds of support those students need and thus faculty need.
Big data has always been part of composition, at least in big programs and around SACS and QEP time, but technology is making the gathering of data easier for those with the tools such as e-portfolios or home-grown writing systems like EMMA at UGA, MyReviewer at USF, Raider Writer at TTU.

But eportfolio systesm are abloom, and increasingly merging presentation eportfolios designed for good looking portfolios but also tool on the back end for using rubrics, counting page views, and other metrics.
Chalk and Wire
Pebble Pad

The shift in data, however, is not just harvesting rubric scores, but looking for ways to gather engagement and learning analytics, records of student learning actions and choices. Programs exploring this include:

Eli, from MSU's Drawbridge and WIDE team
Writer Key
SWoRD from Panther Learning
MyCompLab Mastering from Pearson, which uses Knewton's adaptive learning engine
Acrobatiq from CMU
LearningCurve from Macmillan
Competency Based Learning Programs
Automated Writing Evaluation, though controversial, is a trend

What's interesting is how these things might converge in different ways. And what they mean going

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

University of Miami - MARE: Multimodal Assignments, Responses, and Evaluations

MARE Workshop Overview

Google Image Search results for "assigning multimodal compositions" on August 19, 2014 9:00 AM

In this workshop, you'll learn more from colleagues than you will from me, but that's as it should be. Many of you are already doing multimodal assignments -- digital assignments where students do more than compose in a word processor a document that could just as well have been composed on a typewriter. Some of you, no doubt, have students write in blog; others perhaps have assignments where students create videos that post to YouTube, or audio assignments that post to SoundCloud, or presentations in Prezi or Wix or Google Sites or Creativist or Medium or . . . well, you get the idea.

So the idea isn't to introduce multimodal composing, to but to see first what folks are doing, and then to see if we can do a bit more.

Central Goal

To create a new, or amend an existing, multimodal assignment which does the following:

  • Enriches, if possible, the multimodal assignment. Enrichment may come from adding more multimodal elements (audio to something that only uses images, for example), the scope and purpose of the assignment in the course, or some other change that makes the assignment more central.
  • Draft the assignment to meet these three criteria:
    1. Makes clear to students how the assignment fits in with and meets course goals.
    2. Makes clear to students how the assignment is to be done -- its requirements, resources, procedures, and process.
    3. Makes clear to students, if you grade individual assignments, how the assignment will be graded. What criteria, rubric, premise for summative evaluation will be used. Or, if you contract grade or portfolio assess and do not grade individual assignments, makes clear to students how you and they will consider the assignment when coming to the final grade for the course.
Google Image Search results for "assigning multimodal writing" on August 19, 2014, 9:10 AM

Discussion Questions -- We'll Use the Blog Comments to Record Thoughts/Sketch Assignments

What's your next step? What will it take to layer in more to an assignment? How will your students respond to it, to each other in peer review? How will you respond to their work?  And a different question, how will you evaluate it -- both in the economy of the course grade and as an assignment that needs to fit into the ecology of the course goals and outcomes?

These are fun questions, open ended, and premised on the idea that what is doable is possible, given a first step and the joy of experimenting with teaching and learning.

Multimodal Teaching and Writing Resources

Resources for Teaching Multimodal Writing, 
Followed by Some Good Teaching Advice Links

Some Free Multimodal Composing Tools 

Wix  -- Easy to use site/service for creating visually rich Web sites.

Creativist  -- Multimedia projects for apps, ebooks, and the Web.

Jing  -- Easy to Use Screen Capture Software -- record up to five minutes of video by TechSmith

Audacity -- Sourceforge's fee recording and audio editing software

SoundCloud -- online audio recording and audion annotation of those recordings.

Multimodal Theory and Practice

"Multimodal Instruction: Pedagogy and Practice for Enhancing Multimodal Composition
" by Sherry Rankins-Robertson, Tiffany Bourelle, Andrew Bourelle, and David Fisher at

TheJUMP: The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects, edited by Justin Hodgson

Kairos, A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, edited by Cheryl E. Ball

Arola, Kristin; Sheppard, Jennifer, & Ball, Cheryl E. (2014, Jan. 10). Multimodality as a frame for individual and institutional change. Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved from

A Pedagogy of Multi-Literacies: Concepts of Design, from The New London Group

Speaking with Students: Profiles in Digital Pedagogy interviews by Virginia Kuhn

Because Digital Writing Matters by Danielle Nicole DeVoss, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Troy Hicks

Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives -- OSU English and DMAC

Special Issue: Making the Implicit Explicit in Assessing Multimodal CompositionTechnical Communication Quarterly, Volume 21, Issue 1, 2012, edited by Susan M. Katz and Lee Odell

Assessing Multimodal Compositions. Kent State Writing Program

Ed Tech's Assessment Page, includes rubrics and other ideas for assessing all kinds of digital projects

McKee, Heidi A., and D├ánielle Nicole DeVoss DeVoss, Eds. Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2013. Web.

Journet, Debra, Cheryl Ball, and Ryan Trauman, Eds. The New Work of Composing. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital P/Utah State UP, 2012. Web.

Borton, Sonya C., Brian Huot. "Responding and Assessing." Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers. Ed. Cynthia L. Selfe. Cresskill: Hampton Press, Inc., 2007. 99-111. (Word Doc)

"Ideological Foundations of Formative and Summative Assessment Processes in English 303: Visual Rhetoric and Document Design," by Kristen Dayle Welch, Longwood University -- a well-done conference paper account of one teacher's assessment choices for multimodal assignments used in her course.

Liz Losh's YouTube Description of her Digital Rhetoric Course

From Bedford/St. Martin's, now an Imprint of Macmillan Education:

Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects by Kristin L. Arola, Jennifer Sheppard, and Cheryl E. Ball. (see citation below from authors in Hybrid Pedagogy for theoretical framework that informs this book.)

Integrating Multimodality into Your Teaching by Danielle Nicole DeVoss, Michigan State

Sample Chapter from Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Write by Elizabeth Losh, Jonathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon. (Chapter 4: Argument, Beyond Pro and Con -- not about multimodal composition, but useful as a prelude to the video below, which explores how multimodal projects can radically alter the writing/creative process.)

The Making of Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing  by Bedford/St. Martin's

Not multimodal specifically, but important thoughts on teaching:

Andrea Lunsford on the Myths of Digital Literacy:

Paul Krebs's "Next Time, Fail Better."

"Start Where Your Students Are." and "Know Where Your Students are Going," chapters 1 and 2 from
Never Work Harder than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching by Robyn R. Jackson.

Peter Elbow. "Ranking, Evaluating, Liking: Sorting Out Three Forms of Judgment." College English 55.2 (1994): 187-206. Available at:  

Peg Syverson, "The Five (or Six) Dimensions of Learning," Learning Record Online at