Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alternative Assessment: Student-Centered Grading

Today we'll look at how we assess our progress as individuals, as group members, and as students within the larger context of the classroom and university.  Much of the "changes" we'll be looking at involve how to enter this discussion with our colleagues about personal performance.

This lesson is based largely on Cathy N. Davidson's article Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Examples of Visual Projects

Here are a few examples of visual projects that I've put together over the past year.  These are mostly just to give an idea of what a project might look like.  You'll naturally want to choose your own direction for your project, but I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have on how to use related techniques.

Bear in mind that the way you describe your project is more important than the final product.  I'm looking for your writing process, for how you think about presenting information.

Unit 2 / Genre Conventions - Visual Projects

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Write About Conventions - Some Examples

Here are some examples to help show how to write about genre conventions.  Their taken from a science fiction course I taught in January 2011.

Unit 2 / Genre Conventions - Visual Projects

Monday, September 19, 2011

Narrative from Chaos: Learning to Tell (and Retell...) the Story

Writers create meaning from disparate sources, bringing together ideas from across vast swaths of human experience.  For this unit, we'll be looking at how this process occurs and how you can use it to deepen your writing.

Unit 2 / Music Videos - Parody Videos
Intro to Chaos and Narrative

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Music Videos: Image, Lyrics, and Tone as Visual Literature

Whether you're crafting a documentary or sharing a funny moment from your childhood, photos and videos can significantly affect the audience's experience.  One of the best places to observe this effect is in music video covers, where a single song can be transformed using changes in visual imagery and themes.  In your writing, you can apply these same considerations as you compose the visual scenes within your stories and poems.  By drawing the reader's eye to certain images as opposed to others, you can adjust the way your writing is seen and understood.

Unit 2 / Music Videos - Parody Videos
Intro to Chaos and Narrative
Of Related Interest: Parody and Satire

Video Parody: Bending Visual Genres

The accepted conventions of a given genre are often best seen in parody.  By looking at trailers and "spoof" trailers for Mary Poppins and The Shining, we can see how choices in scene selection and music can drastically change the tone and message of a piece.

Please Note: A few of the video trailers featured here are a bit disturbing.

Unit 2 / Music Videos - Parody Videos
Intro to Chaos and Narrative
Of Related Interest: Parody and Satire

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Workshop Group Rotations

Earlier, we discussed the role of peer review in helping us improve as writers, and then we used the methods of progressive feedback to give constructive help to our fellow writers.  Today we'll use these techniques as we prepare written feedback for our classmates in different groups.

**Note: Since you'll be responding to feedback and completing revisions, tonight's homework assignment is cancelled.  We'll  wait until next week to transition from Blackboard to Moodle.**

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Progressive Workshop Feedback: Four Rules

The success of any writing workshop depends upon the quality of the feedback.  The way we present this feedback is often just as important as the feedback itself.  Here are four "Rules to Live By" when providing feedback to your peers.

Workshop Peer Review - Four Rules of Progressive Feedback

Monday, September 12, 2011

Workshop Peer Review: Helping Writers Improve through Directed Feedback

Today we're going to look at how we provide feedback to help our peers improve their writing.  Receiving feedback can help you better understand how your audience perceives what you've written - giving feedback will help you attune your senses as to what's important in written work.

Workshop Peer Review - Four Rules of Progressive Feedback

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to Create Your Blog in Blogger

Creating a blog can be challenging.  To help you, I've set up a "how-to" blog which illustrates how to create a blog to share your research and your writings.  Simply visit and follow the directions starting from the About tab at the top.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sharing Information Online with Blogger

Research isn't helpful unless we're able to effectively discuss and share our findings.  For today's project, you'll assemble a basic framework for sharing research using Blogger.

Conducting Multifaceted Research

As writers, one of our primary tasks is to bring together disparate types of information, analyze them, and then present them to our readers as a coherent (and complete) narrative.  To do this, we first need research our subjects from several different angles.

Multifaceted Research - Sharing Information Online