In my course, I assign the Infographic. I place this project during their final research paper, and it requires students to visually represent different points of view on their selected research topic. Students will need 4-6 secondary sources to complete this assignment, and by the end of the unit they should have a solid grasp of the topic’s key issues.
This coalesces many of the Goals and Practices of E110 here at the University of Delaware. Obviously, this meets the goal of writing both digitally and in print. But, this also asks students to consider audience, context, research, and writing clearly about complex ideas. The outcome of this assignment is to have students visually represent the various viewpoints of their collected sources for a general audience. This differs from the research project, which asks them to write towards a specific, scholarly audience. By asking them to write to a general audience, they should demonstrate a thorough understanding of their sources and how they interconnect. Essentially, they should think of this assignment as a visual summary of students’ selected sources.
Not only does this assignment require their understanding of complex sources, students must also demonstrate the beginnings of discursive and non-discursive rhetoric. Students must consider how and why images, symbols, or colors can help a general audience understand more than what writing can do, alone. They must also think about effective design.
Finally, students, after the infographic has been drafted, must reflect on their goals and purposes. This short reflection asks them to consider their choices in design, presentation, and other important choices they made in their infographic. Their project probably changed dramatically from their first, hand drawn text, so the reflection is a treasure trove of information about their process.