Course Assignment & Description

COURSE
ENG 224, Digital Rhetoric and Compositon: Composing Words, Images, and Sounds

University Catalog
Students will analyze and produce digital multimodal compositions that integrate words, images, and sounds. No prior web or digital writing experience required.

Syllabus Description
In this writing course, you will explore ways in which writing practices are changing in light of emerging digital technologies and their online and networked environments. Recognizing that the act of writing can no longer be confined to the production of printed words alone, you will engage in the analysis and production of digital multimodal texts that blend alphabetic, visual, and aural components for online audiences. You will learn key rhetorical concepts (e.g., argument, arrangement, appeals, audience, context, delivery, invention) which can guide both the reading and writing of digital multimodal texts for specific online audiences.

This version of the class is completely online. As a result, we will be exploring how digital rhetoric and writing works in online and networked environments. What does it mean to reach audiences via social networks, blogs, or websites? How do these contexts shape how we communicate? Ultimately, the goals (or outcomes) of this course are for you to:

– Employ fundamental rhetorical principles to analyze the persuasive strategies of digital multimodal web texts.
– Consider critically the unique affordances and constraints of diverse modalities of writing (alphabetic, visual, aural).
– Identify how digital technologies and contexts influence multimodal writing processes and products.
– Analyze how digital multimodal genres draw from and remediate older forms of writing.
– Adapt digital multimodal composing to address audiences’ unique needs, beliefs, experiences, abilities, and aesthetic tastes.
– Revise writing in light of feedback from peers and learn to give useful feedback to peers.
– Engage in discussions of the rhetorical effectiveness of various digital multimodal texts
– Reflect on writing processes for inventing, drafting, and revising digital multimodal texts.
– Consider the ethical and legal responsibilities of writers in a digital age, particularly when publishing to the World Wide Web.
– Employ effective practices of design and rhetoric to compose and publish multimodal texts (on the Web) for audiences beyond the classroom.

No prior web authoring or multimedia composing skills required.

ASSIGNMENT
Multimedia Extravaganza – Composing Multimodally

Premise

The final project is an opportunity for you to use and develop the skills and knowledge from previous assignments and work. This is your chance to design a multimodal argument or arguments any way you choose about your focal topic with an audience of your choice. The goal here is to have fun while aiming for professional quality that will push and extend your learning and writing (including your knowledge of your focal topic, rhetoric, and digital technologies).

Instructions

The genre and form of the project is wide open, allowing you to choose the “available means” for your particular purpose and audience. You can use the same genres we’ve used thus far, mix them, or try new ways of making your argument. Your project must include alphabetic text, visual images (still and/or video), and audio (music, sound effects, voice), and it must evidence principles of effective rhetoric and design for the audience, purpose, and context of your argument. You may choose to leave out a mode, but there must be a rhetorical reason which can be explained in your writer’s reflection. In addition, your project should have a significant research component that can be implicit or explicit. In other words, you need to make use of your research blog and show this by either citing your sources in the project or discussing your use of research in the reflective essay.

That said, creating a video is the easiest way to incorporate all that we’ve learned in this class thus far. I recommend that most of you do some sort of video for this project, though if you would like to try another genre, like a website, I am open to these options. Here are some ideas you might consider:

Develop your slidecast further and add a sound component. You could even splice in video. This will require you to screen record your slidecast.

Develop your sound project further and add visual components, i.e. pictures, video, slides, etc.

Create a completely new video that incorporates these elements in new ways.

You can choose any software you like for this project with the understanding that I may not be familiar with it. I can lend support to iMovie, Moviemaker, WeVideo, and any other program we’ve used in class so far. If you choose something else, be prepared to do your own tutorials, use the tech lab at Miami, or otherwise find help for the software.

Length will be determined in the proposal process, but videos should be no longer the 5 minutes. Drafts for this assignment will be posted in Google Drive, with the appropriate file name convention: [Last Name].Final Project, [Last Name].Final Reflection, etc.

Proposal

You will be required to write a proposal for this project, which usually ranges between 300-500 words. Your proposal will include the following:

Description of project: key argument(s), audience(s), and purpose of your project

Rationale for chosen genre and/or elements: how they fit rhetorically or argumentatively

Purpose: why is this project important?

Questions and Concerns

Qualification as a Major Project: how will you qualify length? what makes this a major project?

Reflection

There will be several reflection assignments as you construct this project that will both detail the process of making your project and your thoughts about digital writing and rhetoric. This will lead to your final reflection which will detail how your project or the construction of your project has contributed to your learning about digital writing and rhetoric, specifically addressing 1-3 of the course outcomes. This should be a formal essay that makes a clear argumentative statement about how this project (and class) has played a role in your development as a digital writer.

Criteria

We will discuss criteria both in groups and individually, but many of the same criteria from previous projects will also apply here.

Participation and Process 15%

Research / Focal topic 25%

Extended Writer’s Reflection (900-1200 words) 20%

Project 40%