Jeremy Smyczek's blog

Anonymous Whispers: Silence and Voice in the Digital Classroom

I owe particular thanks for this post to Beck Wise, who gave me the this idea in the first place.

Online Reviews Part II: Reviews as Interpretive Communities

As many literary archivists know, reading societies were a prominent feature of the 19th and prewar-20th century American social scene. They provided a valuable and oft-overlooked service giving women and people of color a voice in literary and cultural affairs in the days before the academy had been more fully opened, and, the story goes, largely faded away once it had.

The Great Beyond: Teaching Technologies from an Inexpert Perspective

Hermes typewriter

As a teacher a generation older than most of my students, I begin to increasingly find myself in the role of “digital immigrant” to their “digital native” status. Most of us tend to be more familiar with technologies of our youths, inevitably falling behind the curve a bit as new media resemble the ones of our earlier days less and less.

To Poll or Not to Poll

Screenshot of a sample poll from the website SurveyMonkey

*The final unit of my RHE 309K: Rhetoric of Animal Rights course features an oral presentation based around a multimedia advocacy project that each student must design. As the major part of the evaluation, I create and use online polls (using tools such as SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics) that the students complete in real time after every presentation. Each poll asks four trait-centered questions, followed by a holistic evaluation, allowing for a variety of data combinations to see how students respond to each other’s work.

Reading, Rhetoric and Reviews Online

My Rhetoric 309K class, “Rhetoric of Animal Rights,” features three unequal units respectively emphasizing description, analysis, and production of argument. The second unit culminates in a book review of a text germane to the course topic.

Bad Searches and Cultivating Healthy Ambivalence

Champion tag-team wrestlers

Students seem to arrive in my rhetoric classes (RHE 306 and 309K so far) with a polarized understanding of how to use the internet's two most common research tools: Google and Wikipedia. They've either not been clued in (or at least pretend) that both resources are problematic in terms of reliability, or they've been told that both are the devil, to be avoided by any serious scholar.


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