Learning How to Teach Tech

I’m wary of giving up on my current tactic of encouraging students to use unfamiliar programs and actively seek out the acquisition of new technical skills, but I worry that I am unwittingly embracing the myth of the digital native.

Video Feedback for Advanced Students

I knew as soon as my students turned in their first papers this semester that I would need to come up with a new style of feedback for them. The juniors and seniors in RHE 309: The Rhetoric of Tourism write very differently from the freshmen and sophomores I worked with in RHE 306. I've spent very little of this Fall semester working on MLA format, grammar, and organization, and lots of time being impressed with how insightful, critical, and articulate these older college students are about the complex issues that come up in discussions about travel and tourism.

"Don't Feel So Down": When Your Students Don't Understand Your References

I recently had a teaching experience I could only compare to being on a sinking ship—like the band on the Titanic, I played my song dutifully as I sunk into the murky waters. With every word I spoke, attempting to explain the material I prepared, I could sense the students’ disinterest, disengagement, and utter confusion. This wasn’t the first time I experienced this sinking feeling of a total misfire while teaching, nor do I expect it to be the last time. And do you know whose fault it was? Julian Casablancas. 

Practicing Rhetorical Analysis with Music Videos

Picture shows Taylor Swift about to stab a cake, an image from her video for "Blank Space."

Digital Feminism and the Bachelor

Throughout the Bachelor Finale and the "After the Final Rose" episode, Chris Harrison promised us, the "Bachelor Nation" an "unprecedented announcement." After much speculation on Twitter and at home, Jimmy Kimmel's gift of a steer named Juan Pablo and the coerced promise that Ashley S. would appear on Bachelor in Paradise, Chris Harrison revealed the big announcement: there would be two Bachelorettes next season instead of one, and the men would get to vote which Bachelorette would stay to the finale based on who would be the best wife.

Show Students Your Own Work

Guinea Pig

The best thing I did last semester was to show my students some of my own shitty writing. Previously, I had avoiding putting up any of my own work, not out of some kind of fear of student reactions, but because I didn't want to make the class all about me.

Still, about halfway through last semester, I got the impression my students were feeling all downtrodden and dismal about their writing. I wanted them to see that even though we grade "final" drafts, none of us, their teachers, think about writing purely in terms of product, either.

Digital Dialogs: On Being an AD in the DWRL

"I love the ADs" on neon geometric background

In the Fall of 2014, DWRL Assistant Directors (ADs) and AD alums conducted this roundtable discussion on their experiences of administrating in the Digital Writing & Research Lab. We posed and answered questions about why we became ADs, how being an AD changed our own teaching and research, what it’s like to supervise our peers, how we set the DWRL’s research agenda, how we host a welcoming environment for the lab’s members, and we pass on what we’ve learned through institutional memory. We're sharing our discussion here with the hope that current and future lab members can learn from our experience!

Discussing Stereotypes in the Classroom

One of my primary aims in a rhetoric classroom is to equip students with the skills to thoughtfully respond to the world around them. What that means, as fellow instructors know well, is that sometimes it is appropriate to discuss rhetorical arguments that make the audience uncomfortable—a discomfort that could potentially halt or hinder discussion in the classroom.

Live Tweeting as Pedagogical Practice

Bird icon with text bubble saying, "live tweet with purpose!"

While I've grown fairly accustomed to live tweeting at academic conferences, I took those practices into my classroom this week with surprisingly delightful results. Not only did it yield a better sense of what my students were thinking, but they also inspired at least two or three future lesson plans.

6 Tips for Making the Most of Your Class Blog

We [Heart] Blog
For several semesters I have had students engage in digital conversations using discussion boards on class management sites such as Blackboard and Canvas. This semester, wondering if writing for a public audience would increase their investment in participating in these kinds of digital conversations, I decided to set up a class blog.



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All materials posted to this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We invite you to use and remix these materials, but please give credit where credit is due. In addition, we encourage you to comment on your experiments with and adaptations of these plans so that others may benefit from your experiences.


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