Thinking about Engaging Difference and the Multicultural Requirement

Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 11.10.46 AM.png

On 9/29 the English department’s own Emily Davis presented on UD’s revised multicultural requirement to a crowd of about twenty instructors, administrators, and graduate and undergraduate students. The presentation was a part of the Center for the Study of Diversity’s Brown Bag series and brought our attention to the work students can do engaging difference in the classroom.

Emily’s talk focused on the history of the requirement’s revision (who was involved, how it moved through university committees, the faculty senate, etc., and the work remaining). She indicated the complexity of this development and the importance of faculty specialists’ involvement moving forward. At first glance, this might not seem relevant to the work of E110, given that the course does not fulfill the multicultural requirement (although, if you do teach another course that does, be sure to submit your course for re-evaluation by Dec. 1). I argue, however, that the general university movement toward active and purposeful engagement of diversity – seen in the revised requirement as well as the inclusion of diversity study in First-Year Experience, not to mention being a general part of UD’s mission – signals that this is important work.

The new criteria for the requirement is published on the Faculty Senate’s webpage. The descriptions of the larger categories of “Diversity Self-Awareness and Perspective Taking,” “Cultural Difference,” “Personal and Social Responsibility,” and “Understanding Global Systems” indicate the stakes of the work at hand. They also indicate the complexity. Engaging diversity in the classroom is work done purposefully and often with training and guidance. The Center for Teaching and the Assessment of Learning often holds brown bags and events on “handling hot topics” and the Center for the Study of Diversity has developed a diversity competency rubric and also holds several events. All of these events are on the Writing Program Calendar. If teachers are interested in bringing this work to the reading, writing, and critical thinking work of E110, there are multiple important resources on-campus as we consider how this might fit into students’ study and the university’s larger goals.

Advertisements

Brown Bag Multimedia Resources

Our first Brown Bag of the semester on teaching multimedia was a roundtable discussion of different ways that instructors currently teach multimodal assignments in English 110, and we addressed concerns about structuring and grading multimodal assignments. The Student Multimedia Design Center’s representative, Hannah Lee, was present to give access to resources and help with practical concerns. We had a lot of materials present in the Brown Bag that we wanted to make accessible as models for all English 110 instructors.
Caitlin Larracey allowed us to look at her materials, which range from prompts such as the Remediation on YouTube, Social (Re)Media, and Proposal Vlog assignments, as well as supporting materials such as how to work with Storify in the Affordances Discussion Activity. Her materials are included below:
I also shared some of my own materials, particularly the prompts and rubrics I’ve used in my classes to teach multimedia assignments. The Website Prompt and Rubric are an assignment I’ve taught several times now, and I think work particularly well for my goals in a remediation assignment. The Multimedia Prompt and Rubric are for a project I ran once and liked but then changed, and I’m trying the blog assignment in the Daily Work and Participation Prompt for the first time this semester. My materials are included as well:
Finally, Hannah Lee sent over links that may be of use to anyone designing a multimedia assignment, which can be found in the Multimedia Literacy Research guide, in the Faculty Resources section.
She highlights specifically:
  • This video journaling template, from the University of Illinois’ ART 250: Writing with Video course, serves as a useful outline for process-based writing about the video production process.
  • This common rubric from Georgia Tech’s Writing and Communication Program can be used to assess multimodal compositions.
  • The RISE model (Reflect, Inquire, Suggest, Elevate) may be helpful for peer-to-peer critiques and instructor-to-student feedback.

She also points out resources that might be helpful when thinking about multimodal assessment:

  • Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation contains a collection of chapters on assessing digital compositions. Published by Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press. The full text of the book is available for free online. 
  • Computers and Composition devotes an entire issue (Volume 31, March 2014) to multimodal assessment.

Feel free to make use of these materials, and continue to share how E110 instructors are using multimodal projects in our classroom!

Handouts and Video from Brown Bag: Alternative Feedback Technologies

In case you missed the first Brown Bag of the semester, “Alternative Responses: New Grading and Responding Technologies” (2/17/15), here you’ll find some resources from the session.

  • Click here to download Carolyne King’s handout on using Jing, free screencast software, to give visual and/or spoken feedback to a student on their project.
  • Click here to download Jill Flynn’s handout on using Speed Grader on Canvas to give feedback to students in multiple forms: comments, drawings, highlighting, audio/video recording, etc.
  • Lastly, click here to listen to  Carolyne talking to the Brown Bag group about the potential uses (and limitations) of Jing. (Unfortunately, the projector stopped working halfway through the session so we weren’t able to record Jill Flynn’s discussion of Speed Grader on Canvas.) We hope to use this feature of the Faculty Commons to make future Brown Bags more accessible to those who can’t be physically present.

Brown Bag, Tues. 11/11: Teaching in the Internet Age

The final Writing Program Brown Bag of the semester is upon us, and you really don’t want to miss it! This Tuesday, November 11 at 11:00 am, Lauren Hornberger will discuss a professional practice that is increasingly in demand: online writing instruction. Lauren’s session will be particularly useful because she approaches the subject in terms of both pedagogy and praxis. You can be sure you’ll walk away from the session with a better understanding of why and how writing is currently being taught online, as well as some practical, concrete strategies and resources for doing so. (See the Fall Brown Bag  flier for more details.)
Pearson Hall
Because of the technological components of this session, we are moving from our usual location to the lovely Faculty Commons in 116 Pearson Hall (click on the map to the right). Light snacks will be provided as usual.
Please contact Kiley Dhatt (kileynd@udel.edu) or Jane Wessel (jwessel@udel.edu) with any questions. We hope to see you there!

Brown Bag, Wed, 10/08: Don’t Wait, Remediate!

Unbelievably, the second Writing Program Brown Bag session of the fall semester is already upon us! This coming Wednesday, October 8, at 11:15 am, Michael McCamley, Janel Atlas and Caitlin Larracey will lead us in a roundtable discussion of “remediation” assignments for the writing classroom.

In contrast to its historical meaning in education, “remediation” is a term that has been taken up in recent years by compositionists interested in how, in our increasingly digital age, writing and rhetoric translates across media (that is, how it can be “re-mediated”) to new genres, audiences, and purposes. Our panelists will share remediation assignments they have used successfully in their own English 110 classrooms, and invite you to bring any questions or ideas you may have for bringing this kind of work into your teaching.

As usual, we will hold our Brown Bag session in the Memorial 3rd floor lounge, and snacks and beverages will be provided. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email Kiley Dhatt (kileynd@udel.edu) or Jane Wessel (jwessel@udel.edu).

We very much hope to see you there!

Follow Up: Jay Dolmage Brown Bag on Universal Design

Last week, the UD English Department was extremely fortunate to host Jay Dolmage, Associate Professor of English at the University of Waterloo and scholar of disability, rhetoric and writing. In addition to his fantastic talk, “From ‘Disabled Upon Arrival’ to Academic Eugenics,” and the many other ways he gave his time, Jay led the first Composition Program Brown Bag session of the year on Universal Design.

As a substitute for those who missed the excellent session, or as a supplement for those who attended, you can download the notes from Jay’s Brown Bag here.

Also, as promised, Jay has shared his Tipsheet for Universal Design for UD writing teachers to use in their classrooms. This document has also been posted as a permanent link under the “Resources” tab of the Composition Program website.

Our gratitude goes out to Jay for his sheer generosity in sharing his expertise, ideas, and time with all of us at UD. Thanks, too, to those who attended the first Brown Bag and came with thoughtful questions and comments for Jay. Don’t miss our next Brown Bag session on “re-mediation” this Wednesday, October 8 at 11:15 am (Memorial 3rd floor lounge)!

Brown Bag Lunch Discussions

Fall 2014: Writing Program Brown Bag Series

All sessions held in the Memorial Hall 3rd-floor lounge. Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

Places to Start: Moving Towards Universal Design in the Classroom

Tuesday, September 23rd, 11:00-12:00

For the first brown bag of the 2014-15 academic year, Jay Dolmage, professor of rhetoric, composition, and disability studies at the University of Waterloo, will facilitate a conversation about the concept of “Universal Design” (UD) as a means of creating more accessible and inclusive ways to move pedagogically. The starting point of the conversation will be a “list” of Universal Design suggestions across teaching modes and student engagements.

Don’t Wait: Remediate!

Wednesday, October 8th, 11:15-12:15

Over the past few years, “remediation” assignments have sprung up in first-year composition courses, both at UD and nationally. Such assignments challenge students to rewrite their research papers in new modes and genres and for new audiences. This brown bag lunch will be run as a roundtable, in which Michael McCamley, Janel Atlas, and Caitlin Larracey talk about their remediation assignments, how they engage students in multimodal writing, and what E110 course outcomes these assignments support. Come learn about “rewriting” research papers as video projects, magazine articles, and Tumblr posts, and share some of your own ideas and experiences!

Teaching in the Internet Age: What’s On (the) Line?

Tuesday, November 11th, 11:00-12:00

In this era of rapidly evolving internet and communication technologies, online learning in higher education is booming. In this brown bag session, Lauren Hornberger will lead a discussion about online writing instruction in particular. Topics may include why and how writing is currently being taught online, available technologies for delivering course content and facilitating interaction, types of assignments and activities that work particularly well in the online environment, and strategies for ensuring student engagement. We will also explore possibilities for implementing the best of traditional writing instruction in the online classroom as well as how online teaching strategies may inform our approaches to face-to-face instruction.

Any questions, thoughts or suggestions for brown bags? Contact Jane Wessel (jwessel@udel.edu) or Kiley Dhatt (kileynd@udel.edu).