Megan Gianfagna's blog

Student PUBLIC-ation

Stop sign with the word WHOA in place of STOP

I’m teaching RHE 309K - Rhetoric of Going Viral this year, a course dedicated to the study and design of digital texts in the public realm. The final project asks students to create a digital text designed to participate in a particular online conversation and publish it in an appropriate venue. Last semester, I had a student with the digital composition skills to create any number of smart and engaging final projects. Instead he opted to write a product review and post it to an online retail site. The review was thoughtful and tailored well to the rhetorical situation.

The Many Upsides of the Student Conference

Photo of red, sun-shaped sign with the word Yay!

Even for a small class, student conferences take a lot of time and energy. I often hold conferences to discuss a plan for revision of their essays. That means that 6 hours of conferences (15 minutes each x 23 students) usually follow long nights spent grading the essays that are the basis of our discussion. I’ve often left the campus coffee shop after I’ve met with half the class in and felt like I’ve been stuck on repeat—drained from keeping my enthusiasm up during so many different versions of the same basic conversation.

Inventing with Images

Photo of car exhaust pipe with text STOP BLOWING SMOKE.

I’ve often had students work with images in past semesters, but in those activities I’ve used them as texts for analysis or tools for organization, as when students constructed visual-verbal-aural outlines in Animoto to help them prepare for their formal essays. This semester I decided to have my RHE 306 class focus on using images to aid in invention and construction of a succinct argument.


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