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WRT 302: Digital Writing “Digitally Composed”

Fall 2012, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:50 p.m., HBC 227 Patrick W. Berry, pwberry@syr.edu, office: HBC 235 office phone: 315-443-1912 office hours: Mondays, 9:00-11:00 a.m. and by appointment http://patrickberry.com/wrt302fall12 lore site: http://lore.com/wrt302fall12

Course Overview How often do you stop to think about the medium in which you are communicating? How does using a specific medium affect the way you write? In WRT 302, “Digitally Composed,” we will explore digital writing in terms of the tools we use to make meaning and deliver our message. We will consider how our online productions reflect our ethos as writers and thinkers. The course is based on the belief that the ability to communicate effectively through multiple types of media is a crucial part of literacy in this digital age. You will produce four projects over the course of the semester: 1) a podcast; 2) a visual argument; 3) a video; and 4) a collaborative multimodal Web text. No prior experience is necessary, but creativity and a willingness to experiment are required. Course Goals Students will: • Gain experience with a variety of digital writing tools and platforms. • Explore the rhetorical effects of different media. • Build upon their current levels of experience and expertise with digital writing. • Read a series of texts that explore practical and philosophical issues related to digital writing. Course Texts and Materials Course readings are available on our course management system lore: http://lore.com/wrt302fall12. Additional information is available on the course website, http://patrickberry.com/wrt302fall12. It is recommended that you invest in a USB flash drive or some other portable storage device (8 to 16 gigabytes) on which to save files. Major Assignments and Requirements Students will produce four main projects. Full descriptions will be available as each begins. Project #1 Podcast: For the Sounding Board project, you will create a short (4-5 minutes)

 

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podcast in the style of radio programs and podcasts such as This American Life. Your podcast will be research-based and will make creative use of sound effects, music, silence, and any other audio tools at your disposal to communicate your ideas. 20% Project #2 Visual Argument: For Now You See It, you will design a “movie” poster and blog space related to Davidson’s reading. The project will require you to design a “movie poster” using Photoshop and to create an interactive blog space focused on the reading. We’ll pay attention to issues regarding typography, design, and copyright, as well as the rhetorical work of making a web space. 20% Video Project 20% Web 20%

Project # 3 Project # 4

All four projects must be completed; failure to complete any one project will result in an F for the course. In general, I do not accept late work. Reader Responses, Participation & Attendance Reader responses and class participation account for 20% of your grade. In order to get full credit, you must complete all assigned reading before class, post responses on time, complete all in-class assignments, and participate attentively in discussions and workshops. Online participation on the blogs is also required for success in this class. If you miss a class, you are expected to stay current by contacting me and/or speaking with a classmate. Responses to all assignments are time-sensitive, and assignments cannot be made up. Coming to class unprepared, uninvolved, or more than 20 minutes late will be considered an absence. If you miss more than four classes, you will receive a reduced or failing grade. Student Writing All texts written in this course are generally public. You may be asked to share them with a peer, with the class, or with me during classroom activities or for homework. You will also be asked to sign a consent form requesting the use of your writing for professional development, teacher training, and classroom instruction within the Syracuse University Writing Program. The Writing Center If you need any help with your writing, the Writing Center (http://wc.syr.edu) is an excellent resource. Workshop consultants can help you learn how to improve your writing by offering assistance with planning, drafting, and revising. This resource is free, and I highly recommend it. You are also always welcome to utilize my office hours for help with assignments. Special Needs and Situations If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), http://disabilityservices.syr.edu, located in Room 309 of 804

 

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University Avenue, or call 315-443-4498 for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations and will issue students with documented disabilities Accommodation Authorization Letters as appropriate. Since accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS as soon as possible.

 

Syracuse University and I are committed to your success and to supporting Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This means that in general, no individual who is otherwise qualified shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity solely by reason of having a disability. Academic Honesty The academic community requires ethical behavior from all of its participants. For writers, this means that the work we claim as ours must truly be ours. We are not always expected to come up with new ideas; we often build our thinking on the ideas of others. We are expected, however, to credit others with their contributions and to clearly indicate the boundaries of our own thinking. In cases where academic dishonesty is detected (the fraudulent submission of another’s work, in whole or part, as your own), you may be subject to a failing grade for the project or the course, and in the worst case to academic probation or expulsion. For a more detailed description of the guidelines for adhering to academic honesty in the College of Arts and Sciences, go to: http://academicintegrity.syr.edu.   Religious Observance SU’s religious observances policy, found at http://supolicies.syr.edu/emp_ben/religious_observance.htm, recognizes the diversity of faiths represented among the campus community and protects the rights of students, faculty, and staff to observe religious holy days according to their tradition. Under the policy, students are provided an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirements that may be missed due to a religious observance provided they notify their instructors before the end of the second week of classes. For fall and spring semesters, an online notification process is available through MySlice/Student Services/Enrollment/My Religious Observances from the first day of class until the end of the second week of class.

 

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Course Schedule for Project 1: Sounding Board
Date WEEK 1 Tuesday, Aug. 28 In class What is digital writing? Introduction to course and first unit. Create blogs. Thurs., Aug. 30 Discuss writing technologies with a particular focus on audio. Listen to these three short podcasts and consider their effectiveness. What are some of the components they share? “The Cruelest Cut (gulp)”: http://soundbeat.org/episode/the-cruelestcut-gulp/ “Under the Roller Coaster”: http://soundportraits.org/onair/under_the_roller_coaster/ “Crazy with the Blues”: http://soundbeat.org/episode/crazy-with-theblues/ WEEK 2 Tuesday, Sept. 4 Explore the Belfer Audio Archives. Special guest: Patrick Williams Visit Belfer archives with Jim O’Connor and Dr. Jenny Doctor Discuss Fair Use. Review Lessig. Peer revision of podcast proposals. Listen to recordings. Workshop Workshop Select an audio track or two from the Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection that you might want to work with. See if you can find out a bit more about your subject. Post your link(s) and informal reflections on Lore.   At home (due the following class) Read “The Dark Side of the Web,” a selection from Baron’s A Better Pencil (available on Lore). Complete your blog and email me your link. Your blog should include a 150-word bio and photo.

Thurs., Sept. 6

Send me proposals by email.

WEEK 3 Tuesday, Sept. 11 Thurs., Sept. 13 WEEK 4 Tuesday, Sept. 18

Submit revised proposals if necessary. Begin drafting your script. I’d like you to record 30-60 seconds of your podcast, drawing on your introduction.

 

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Thurs., Sept. 20 WEEK 5 Tuesday, Sept. 25

Workshop

Presentations by Lindsay, Taylor, Erica, Matt, Bianca, Kali, Jacqueline, Jamie, Courtney Please send me your mp3 and complete script by 11 a.m. Presentations by Chelsea, Mary, Tenaysia, Danielle, Christiana, David, Ken, and Nicole. Please send me your mp3 and complete script by 11 a.m. Read Davidson selection and post 600-word response to Lore.

Thurs., Sept. 27

 

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Course Schedule for Project 2: Now You See It
Date WEEK 6 Tuesday, Oct. 2 In class Discuss Cathy Davidson’s reading At home (due the following class) Pick one image that you believe could be a cover for your Davidson “movie poster” and post it to Lore along with a brief rationale. The image should be from Creative Commons, archive.org, or an image that you took yourself. If applicable, post a link to your image as well. Read second selection of Davidson and post response to Lore. Revise your podcast cover. Submit credits for podcast.

Thurs., Oct. 4

Visual Design and Photoshop Workshop podcast movie posters.

WEEK 7 Tuesday, Oct. 9

Davidson continued Workshop Podcast “movie” posters

Create one version of your Davidson “movie poster” and post your Project 2 proposal before class on Thursday.  

Thurs., Oct. 11

Developing a blog presence for this project Workshop

Post draft of your project to Now You See It blog.

WEEK 8 Tuesday, Oct. 16 Thurs., Oct. 18 WEEK 9 Tuesday, Oct. 23

Complete blog project by Tuesday, October 23 before class.

No class meeting

Share projects

 

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WRT 302: Digital Writing “Digitally Composed”
Fall 2012, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:50 p.m., HBC 227 Patrick W. Berry, pwberry@syr.edu, office: HBC 235 office phone: 315-443-1912 office hours: Mondays, 9:00-11:00 a.m. and by appointment http://patrickberry.com/wrt302fall12

   
Project #1 Sounding Board For this project, you will compose a short (3 minutes) audio essay in the style of radio programs and podcasts such as This American Life (a hipper version, perhaps) or from the Sound Portraits site: http://soundportraits.org/on-air/northlandz/. In the essay, you may make creative use of sound effects, music, silence, and any other audio tools at your disposal to communicate your ideas. Your essay can draw on material in the Belfer Audio Archive at SU, with the possibility of having your piece considered for production on Sound Beat. It can also draw on original interviews or on material available for public use. (We’ll discuss issues of copyright more in class.) Your podcast can be satirical, investigative, or humorous. Think of your piece as something that might appear on NPR. In other words, your essay should be relevant to an educated audience beyond campus. You’ll be constructing a story, one that draws on research and interviews. You should demonstrate the mixing of sound—by using at least two sources. Your essay needs to be written in a style that will translate well into speech, and I will try to demonstrate in class how you can adjust a written piece into something more “talky” — a vocal performance, if you will. If you have any questions about your ideas, feel free to contact me. Proposals are due Tuesday, September 11, for an in-class workshop. Your proposal needs to outline the theme of your project. It should be approximately 200 to 300 words. You should indicate why you believe this would make an engaging podcast. I will respond to your proposal. Your next step will be to produce a script that outlines your podcast plan. You will present your podcast on September 25 or September 27. At that time, you will submit your mp3 and your script. Grading guidelines Your podcast will be evaluated on its originality and technical execution. Please keep the following questions in mind:

 

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Did you submit a detailed proposal? Is your project an audio essay in the style of This American Life? Did you make creative use of sound effects, music, silence, and any other audio tools at your disposal to communicate your ideas? Does you podcast mix together at least two audio tracks? Did you write your essay in a manner in which it could be naturally spoken? Did you use your voice rhetorically? Did you present your project on the assigned date? Did you participate in class discussion and provide peer feedback? Was the technical production of the essay excellent? Was it clearly delivered and recorded? Did you provide a detailed script of the podcast?

 

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WRT 302: Digital Writing “Digitally Composed”
Fall 2012, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:50 p.m., HBC 227 Patrick W. Berry, pwberry@syr.edu, office: HBC 235 office phone: 315-443-1912 office hours: Mondays, 9:00-11:00 a.m. and by appointment http://patrickberry.com/wrt302fall12

   
Project #2 Now You See It (Visual Argument) Your second project will focus on your taking a reading—selections from Cathy Davidson’s Now You See It—and producing a digital space that visually bring to life central components of the text and that features a “movie poster.” Your audience will be other college students. I’ve selected readings from Davidson’s Now You See It because it offers a powerful argument on how digital media is changing our lives in school and at work. The objectives of the assignment are: 1) To develop an understanding of Davidson’s work and to engage with her ideas. 2) To design an interactive blog space. 3) To produce a “movie poster” that captures Davidson’s reading. The specific pieces you will produce during this unit are on the schedule but include a revision of your podcast movie poster; responses to Davidson; a draft of your Davidson movie poster; a proposal for your blog space; and a draft and final of your blog space. Grading guidelines Your movie poster and blog space will be evaluated on its originality and technical execution. You will also be evaluated on the extent to which you meet all the required deadlines. Please keep the following questions in mind: Did you meet the deadlines for all of the tasks? Did you produce complete drafts that fulfill the requirements of the assignment? Did you present your work on the assigned date? Did you participate in class discussion and provide peer feedback? Was the technical production excellent?

 

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