2004 Computer Connection Presentations
The CCCC Computer Connection Presentations
Rick Branscomb "Using Comment for Peer Review"
Comment, Bedford/St. Martins' web-based peer-review program, enables students and teachers alike to comment on each other's drafts. This presentation shows how to use Comment in both classroom and online writing classes.
Robert Cummings and Christy Desmet: Working with Markup: New Perspectives on Reading and Writing with EMMA
Robert Cummings: "The Machine as Reader: How (and Why) to Put Coding at Heart of the Composition Classroom"
This semester I completely rearranged my First-year Composition class at the University of Georgia around one basic principle: that computer coding was not only analogous to traditional composition, but that coding could inform the composition process, so much so that it should be a fundamental part of my writing class. Coding, or writing for the machine audience, prepares one for the act of writing for a human audience. When coding we know that the processor has a certain set of strict requirements before it will process our programming, and the act of shaping our thoughts according to these rules can serve us as a preparation for writing for human readers and their rules.
So I taught my class the basics of XML programming. After our reader-response sessions, we now regularly work as a group to write a class DTD, the Document Type Definition used to establish the parameters for any given assignment and to judge individual student productions. The DTD reflects our (collective) rhetorical choices concerning which elements of the current writing project are essential for its particular goals; we then tag our essays. The machine's act of processing/"reading" helps us to be certain that we have met these goals. The presentation first establishes the relationship between machine and human readers with EMMA, or an XML editor; then discusses the effect of writing for the machine as well as for human readers on the composing process; and concludes with analysis of specific examples of assignments, DTDs, and student products from the class described above.
Presentation URL: http://www.english.uga.edu/~cummings/CCCCCCC/home.htm
Christy Desmet: "Parsing Poetry with XML: Database versus Text in the Poetics of Markup"
The EMMA project began with the assumption that XML (Extensible Markup Language) would prove to be important for writers, but since then I have become equally interested in the implications of XML for readers. On the face of it, markup seems to offer none of the possibilities for "creative" reading and writing that we associate with hypertext and other forms of new media. The use of XML to create databases such as the phone book has done nothing to challenge this perception. But in fact, XML, and tools like EMMA that are based on markup language, produce a tension between "vertical" and "horizontal" modes of reading that is derived immediately from the dialectic between text and database at the heart of markup technologies. At the same time, this tension has precedents: in the history of reading, writing, and text production and in recurrent debates between formalist and process theories of literature. The presentation will provide a discussion of modes of reading with markup and their historical and theoretical precedents. Within this context, it will then demonstrate the use of particular DTDs for interpreting (dramatic) poetry in two Shakespeare classes, one at the First-year and one at the upper-division level, and finally, attempt to measure some student products against the historical/theoretical framework.
Presentation URL: http://www.english.uga.edu/cdesmet/4C2004/
Peter England: "The Scarlet "W" Takes Notes: Establishing a Data Narrative for a Writing Center"
The Texas A&M University Writing Center has grown from a closet-space operation run by graduate students to a fully-funded, 2,900 square foot facility with four administrative positions and 29 employees. In 1991, the Writing Center began using a FileMaker database assembled by the English Department's technician and run on a non-networked Apple computer. This year, with impending and explosive growth due to expanding services and the implementation of writing-intensive courses across the curriculum, the writing center is shifting to a new system. This new system will have to embrace various technological issues, such as web access, integrating our online appointment calendar with client visit records, staff training, and ongoing technical support after the current graduate assistants leave, as well as generating meaningful reports for administrators and WAC researchers.
Among the technological purposes of this database resides a more political function: to use quantitative data in a globally-accessible format to emphasize the importance of writing centers within academic society. This paper will present our decision-making process, how we modeled our new database, and the difficulties extracting and presenting a writing center narrative from our past and present data.
Matt Forester, Daisy Pignetti, and Anne K. Jones: "Blogs as Professional and Pedagogical Tools"
This short presentation will survey our creation of a professional voice through blogging and our subsequent use of blogs in the classroom. We have created a video that examines how we represent ourselves online and briefly discusses a few of the different uses we have found for student-created blogs. We plan to use the video as a springboard for a discussion of how blogging has improved and allowed for greater freedom in our academic voice as well as how students can experiment with the creation of voice and self online. Each of us will elaborate on our unique blogging experiences and our students' reactions to this unfamiliar online writing experience.
Colin Charlton, Jonikka Charlton, Tarez Graban, and Alexis Ramsey: "Rhetoric and Composition eTexts"
eTexts began as a collaborative effort among four graduate students in Rhetoric and Composition to develop an online, searchable archive of key texts, relevant to the Modern period, that are either rare or difficult to access. The result is a site that provides a permanent archival space for aging texts of all periods, creates a central space dedicated to bringing together rhetoric and composition texts, and enables students and teachers to easily access its texts for pedagogical and research purposes. In the documents its collects, eTexts actively demonstrates that rhetoric and composition's present state is continually shaped by various "social, political, geographic, and historical forces" (Goggin 1994).
Unique to eTexts is a productive tension operating between the narrow focus of the site and the broad scope of the texts it compiles. The site brings together key historical ideas as represented in their diverse genres, making room for an intertextual dynamic that enlarges our understanding of how rhetoric and composition has been situated by and within larger historical contexts. Additionally, eTexts offers an easily navigable environment, a searchable archive with paths of interaction between and within texts, and an interface for print-accessible documents as images and continuous text.
The CCCC Mobile Technology Unit allows the developers to present eTexts to the larger rhetoric and composition community, to get direct feedback about usability and relevancy of texts, to theorize about the interactive nature of the environment, and to involve potential users in its design (Nielsen 2001). Showcasing eTexts at the Mobile Technology Unit also makes it possible to elicit scholarly contributions from other researchers in the field that can both shape and extend the scope of this developing project.
Goggin, Maureen Daly. "The Shaping of a Discipline: An Historical Study of the Authorizing Role of Professional Journals in Rhetoric and Composition, 1950-1990." Diss. Carnegie Mellon University, 1994.
Nielsen, Jakob, Pernice Coyne, Kara, and Marie Tahir. "Make It Usable." 6 Feb. 2001. UseIt.com. 9 Nov. 2003. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,33821,00.asp
Lennie Irvin: "MOO as a platform for E-Portfolios"
E-portfolios are becoming increasingly mainstream. This presentation will demonstrate how MOO-in particular, a graphical-interface MOO-is a hospitable tool for collecting and publishing student writing. MOOs make it easy for students to create their own spaces and publish their own work, as well as visit and respond to the work of their peers. In addition, this presentation will show how reflection is at the heart of the portfolio process throughout the semester (and not just at the end).
Please visit AlaMOO and explore the student work within The Write Place to see examples: http://www.accd.edu/sac/english/lirvin/AlaMOO
Cynthia (CJ) Jeney: "If the Apocalypse Comes, Email Me: Online Distance Education and the Buffy Paradigm"
In a keynote talk at CW1999 in Rapid City, Fred Kemp described the not-so-distant future of what sounded to me like dystopian online assembly-line teaching sweat shops. Kemp said, "traditional forms of teaching are about to climb into the ring with something entirely new" - and he was right. But the ring looks fairly dangerous to those concerned with good teaching practices AND good work environments for teachers. Frankly, it's not looking much like the info-tech sparkly nirvana of nano-beauty we were hoping for at all. The more we watch high tech industries throw up online window(s) -dressings for educational institutions and call it the "wave of tomorrow," the more I'm concerned that we've been duped. For almost a decade, industry and educators have been high on the mythopoeic meta-hype of Howard Rheingold's 1993 popular "Electronic Frontier" metaphor. But as I ventured into my first semesters teaching online distance ed., the "frontier" looked more and more like a Hell-Mouth--a phenomenon familiar to fans of my favorite television show-- to me each day. In the end, I learned everything I know about developing a new online course from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Dennis Jerz: "Forced Blogging: Students' Emotional Investment in Their Academic Weblogs"
As an associate professor of new media journalism at Seton Hill University, I set up students in two different classes (an entry-level journalism course and a special topics course in writing for the Internet) with weblogs on New Media Journalism @ Seton Hill University (http://blogs.setonhill.edu/nmj). All students (and a few faculty members) received their own free blogs, thanks to MoveableType; they also all have posting privileges to the main NMJ @ SHU site, and a sidebar displays the 15 most recent posts by any of the 30 or so SHU bloggers. At first, students seemed to appreciate being told what to write on their blogs; a sizable minority only blogged the required assignments, and then some stopped doing even that. But a core group of student bloggers took ownership of their blogs in such a way that they soon began apologizing to their readers when posting homework that had little or nothing to do with the theme they had chosen for their blogs.
One particular anecdote suggests the emotional investment that some students place into their blogs. A student posting on textbook censorship prompted me to make what I thought was a very obvious joke -- I wrote that the "Seton Hill University Blogging Review Board" (an imaginary entity, thank goodness) had instructed me to remove her blog entry out of sensitivity towards students whose families may be involved in the textbook censoring business. Some students got the joke, but others responded with fury, causing some who had correctly interpreted my comment as a joke to rethink their position. The issue hijacked parts of two class periods as we dissected the incident and I confessed to the class my own culpability -- I had actually typed a "smiley" at the end of my initial joke, but deleted it just before posting the comment. On a more intellectual level, students who posted angry rants about a textbook they didn't like were surprised to see comments posted by the author of that textbook, who promised to take their complaints under consideration as he revises his book for a new edition. As part of the presentation, I would like to invite participants to contribute their own examples of the way students negotiate between the personal expression that makes blogging enjoyable and rewarding for so many bloggers, and "forced blogging" (which, in my case, was a combination of routine textbook assignments posted to the student's blog mostly for my convenience, and more complex assignments designed to increase the student's capacity for blogging critically). A recent article in The Onion provides excellent context: http://www.theonion.com/3944/news3.html.
Michael Carlson Kapper, and Jennifer M. Consilio: "A Composition Course in Four Easy DVDs, Or, Multi-Media Content Distribution"
Ext. A sunny day. Snow is on the ground. Open on the bustle of a large research university. Close on a woman, in winter coat and sunglasses sitting on the front steps of a building, talking on a cell phone, and busily tapping the screen of a pocket pc.
Int. A university classroom. The same woman, a composition teacher, enters, sunglasses perched atop her head, coat left somewhere else. The lab is full of students. The teacher pulls a stack of jewel cases out of her bag. Then looks at the students for the first time. She pulls down a screen and turns on an LCD projector.
Hi. I'm Jennifer, and this is English 101. We'll go over the course policies in a minute, but first, I want to give you these. [begins distributing the discs.] This DVD contains everything you'll need for the first unit of this course,â€¦
We believe that the face of first-year composition is changing-and that we must change, too. This presentation answers the question of what might be on these DVDs. We will present a single-unit DVD, complete with multi-media "readings," strategies for investigation and inquiry, rhetorical principles, assignment guidelines, and sample student projects based on those guidelines. These various parts of the unit will be presented together in a navigable framework. We will discuss the features of the DVD, what is included, how each element could be used, and the advantages (and disadvantages) of this method as opposed to more traditional methods of content presentation.
Also included for those attending will be a limited edition "making of the DVD" cdrom. This will showcase the processes used in creating the DVD, and it will include advice on creating assignments that include multi-media readings and that encourage students to compose in new media or multi-media formats in their projects for the first-year English classes.
Charlie Lowe and Jeff White: "Introducing Drupal as a course management system: classroom applications of the tool that drives Kairosnews.org"
Introducing Drupal as a course management system: classroom applications of the tool that drives Kairosnews.org
Easily configured as a course management system, Drupal is an excellent, open source alternative to Blackboard and WebCT, and, in our experience, a better collaborative, community-building writing environment. For instance,
- Drupal communication features include not only easier to use discussion forums than Blackboard and WebCT, but both community and user weblogs, a wiki-like collaborative book, a news aggregator, private messaging, and email notification of new content.
- Navigation in a Drupal site is typically fewer clicks than within a Blackboard or WebCT site, and the main navigation menu can be easily customized by the teacher.
- A Drupal site can either be private or public on the Internet, with administrative controls which allow teachers to decide who can read and write to the site.
- The teacher can select which parts of the site to feature on the front page, create static pages with custom, friendly URL's of their choosing, make use of pre-configured or self-create custom blocks (see the right hand column on Kaironews. and ENC 1101 B3 & B4), and, for the HTML and CSS knowledgable, design and implement their own custom site theme.
During this presentation we will discuss some of these features and others by exploring their use in existing Drupal class sites, and we invite any questions about how Drupal might be configured to suit other elearning platform needs.
Kendra Matko: "Teaching Documentation in Composition: the Role of Online Bibliography Creation Tools"
Encouraging composition students to develop literacy in research documentation is one of the key objectives in first-year writing courses. When our students are given the task of creating an academic research essay, it alone can feel both overwhelming and foreign. As we teach research documentation and walk students through research processes, we communicate the message that the act of research is necessary, interesting, and practical, one that is very necessary to their development into more critical readers and writers. Citation conventions for composing bibliographies, annotations, and in-text source references are one of the basic elements inherent in enhancing research skills.
Online bibliography creation tools like easybib.com and noodlebib.com offer students a quick solution to the, "burdensome task of composing a bibliography" (www.easybib.com/main). Sites like easybib.com claim to save students time and energy by eliminating the process of having to "look [sic] up the many different formats to cite [their] individual sources," as well as the "tedious" process of punctuating and formatting the sources within various documentation styles. Easybib.com's interface is useful because it prompts students to enter source information called for in a bibliographic citation, but the site also dismisses students from becoming active producers of their knowledge of documentation in research writing. My presentation will explore how technology from online bibliography tools is changing writing instruction with respect to research documentation, with specific attention to its use a tool for students in computer-based writing classrooms.
Gina Merys Mahaffey, Kathleen St. Peters, and John Paul Walter: "Using Comment in the Composition and Literature Classroom"
Our presentation would be a demo and discussion of the pedagogical uses of Bedford/St.Martin's Comment, "a Web-based tool that allows students and teachers to share and respond to writing," which is scheduled for general release in Fall 2004. One of our group tested Comment with a literature class in Spring 2003, and we will be testing Comment in composition and literature classes in Spring 2004. Moreover, in addition to testing Comment as instructors, we are testing it as users by using it to support our own writing group. Comment's Web site may be found at http://comment.bedfordstmartins.com/.
Margie Monforton: "Shouldn't they already know this? Teaching Technology as Concept, Not as Tool"
In professional and technical communication, there's an ongoing debate: Are instructors responsible for teaching students how to use technology? My response is that instructors are responsible to help students understand technology's role in our lives and our communications - technology as a concept. When technology skills are required within a course, these skills can be taught conceptually, rather than as local actions.
In this presentation I will use the examples of MS Word and other commonly available software to introduce a variety of teachable concepts and discuss their value to our students (and us). For instance, what is word processing software? What are its capabilities and limitations? Where does it fit into the spectrum of products available to us? How might we simplify and complicate it, both practically and critically?
By teaching technology as concept, we do not take responsibility for our students' skill sets, but rather for their understanding of the what, why, when and how of computer technology. We also challenge our students to develop a more substantive and critical understanding of the tools they use.
Liz Monske and Kristine L. Blair: "Computers and Composition Online"
This session will feature Computers and Composition Online, the web-based companion journal to the international refereed Computers and Composition. As part of our session, we would like to promote new readership and new submissions, discussing with potential authors submission guidelines when it comes to web-based journal articles and tips on how to go from print to screen.
Mike Palmquist: "The Writing Studio"
The Writing Studio (http://writing.colostate.edu/studio) is a Web-based writing and learning environment for writers and teachers of writing. It provides a private, password-protected space for writers to work and offers support in the form of writing tools, a course management system, special collections of resources (or "rooms") for specific genres, disciplines, and courses, and a commenting system. The writing tools allow students to work on formatted text (they can copy and paste into and out of other applications, retaining formatting, or use the formatting tools in the Studio) and save, print, or email their work. The writing tools allow writers to keep track of ideas, take notes, create a reading log, compile a working bibliography (supported styles include MLA, APA, and Chicago), manage projects, and write drafts. The class management system includes the standard array of course management tools and is designed to be integrated into larger systems such as WebCT, BlackBoard, and Syllabase. It is based on a writing classroom metaphor, rather than a lecture-class metaphor, and appears to support writing classes more naturally than some other systems. With student permission, teachers can view and comment on student work completed using the Studio. The commenting system allows writers to request comments from teachers, other writers, and writing center consultants, and to make comments on projects. The Writing Studio is available for use (free of charge) by all writers and teachers, regardless of institutional affiliation (or the lack thereof). This presentation will provide an overview of the Studio and will explain how to set up an account and create and manage classes.
Donna Reiss: "Instant Hypertext: Learning through Language Links"
Instant Hypertext http://wordsworth2.net/myhyprtx/ is a simple workshop activity for faculty or students new to Web page construction or new to using hyperlinks as a way to learn with language. Instant Hypertext also offers an easy way to link Web pages using accessible tools such as a word processor or simple Web editor. More important for writing classes -Â or any class that recognizes the ways language facilitates learning -- is the use of students' own writing and thinking -- not the technology itself -- as the emphasis for the activity. Hypertext and hypermedia offer a variety of opportunities to link information, ideas, images, and media in meaningful ways. By composing and communicating multiple layers of meaning through hypertext, students can generalize, particularize, analyze, and synthesize.
Rich Rice "Using InSite for Composition Programs"
An online solution for both instructors and students, Wadsworth's InSite can be used as both an electronic portfolio tool and a peer review program. InSite is a powerful tool which stores writing online in a Web database and distributes or "publishes" writing in spaces that are available to readers immediately and globally through the Internet. This ease of publication in a pedagogically guided manner means that student writing is, at all stages of the writing process, available for informed review, repeatedly and continually.
InSite is more than Blackboard and WebCT in that the program allows teachers to tag comments in its word-processor, in other words. There's an originality checker that, properly used, can be an effective "teachable moment" strategy. And the cost is reasonable, especially if you package the tool with Wadsworth texts. This demonstration is sponsored by Wadsworth, and is worth checking out.
Jim Ridolfo "Teaching the Fundamental Principles of Online Document Evaluation"
- â€œWhere did you go to find the answer?â€?
- â€œGoogle,â€? the class replied unanimously.
Sound familiar? I don't think I'm alone when I believe that, from my classroom experience, todayâ€™s first year student is more likely to turn to Google â€“ particularly at 3:00 AM - for information on the 2004 election than, say, peer-reviewed library holdings. However, teaching print-based research techniques in a first-year writing class is, more often than not, the preferred mode of practice. Ideally, we want students to become independent thinkers, critically informed researchers and autonomous writers. But what research techniques might help to empower the 3:00 AM Google researcher?
This presentation will outline a set of six â€œadvancedâ€? Internet skills that help anyone at any level of education critically and more effectively evaluate web-based texts. The six skills I will cover allow Internet users to become Internet researchers: to confront issues of online authorship critically and directly. The methodology I present will help to answer such questions as: who is the author? What conversation is the website situated in? Who pays for the website? How has the website changed over time? And more.
For more information visit: http://www.mips4.com/CODE/
Robert Samuels: "Electronic Classrooms and the Possibility of a Democratic Educational Environment"
This presentation examines my use of WebCT at UCLA. My particular focus will be the various ways that new electronic discussion technologies can be employed to create a more democratic classroom environment. In my presentation, I will analyze student discussions about class participation, standardized testing, large lecture classes, and competitive grading systems. I will also discuss the positive and negative aspects of using anonymous chat rooms and discussion boards. Finally, I will argue that student blogs offer an important form of new student writing
David Sheridan: "Multimedia Composing in the Writing Classroom: Contributions from the Writing (Multiliteracy) Center"
New media like the Web, PowerPoint, and digital video encourage composers to communicate not just through words, but through images, sounds, animations, and other media components as well. As new media composing is increasingly integrated in writing and writing-intensive courses across the curriculum, writing centers will need to think about the kinds of support they offer to students who are working on multimodal compositions. Should peer consultants engage their clients in conversations about the rhetorical uses of photographs, voice-over narratives, navigation schemes, and interactive components? Or should they continue to focus narrowly on the written word? The multiliteracy pedagogy of the New London Group offers a way for writing centers to reconceptualize their missions to include visual and multimodal communication. This session examines four key questions that writing centers will need to confront as they contemplate transformations to what John Trimbur calls "multiliteracy centers":
- How broadly should we define "writing" or "composing"?
- Should writing centers lead or follow as their home institutions implement multiliteracy pedagogy?
- How should we conceive of the relationship between technological issues and rhetorical issues?
- What kinds of expertise and skill sets should we prioritize in our "multiliteracy" tutors?
Deepa Sitaraman and Shelley DeBlasis: "The Kairotic Moment in Collaborative Kairos Work Online"
In our presentation, we would like to focus on how online access differs from face to face meetings with a group. As a couple of techno-neophytes, we have been attempting to familiarize ourselves with the technology work expected of graduate students in Rhetoric and Writing. Kairos has been one way to enter the discourse community online. Deepa started out with Kairos in 2002 and Shelley in 2003. While with Kairos, we have both encountered a phase wherein we phase out the emails we receive simply because you can--there's always an excuse available--I did not get it, I did not see it, it got lost in the mass of mails, I do not have time to deal with this now, and so on. And it is certainly easier to procrastinate online than when you know you will be bumping into that person in the hallway, or in the department, or the library. It then becomes an effort to work yourself out of that morass. Kairos, fortunately, has a community network core group that is very supportive, perhaps without even being aware of it. In this way, it is a great platform for graduate students as it affords us the space to get acclimated to the pace we need to work at and the supportive editorial team makes it an easy transition. Using our experiences as a case study, we'll examine how the development of similar technology support-structures can improve graduate student-faculty interaction and consider the implications for any online learning environment.
Jeff White: "Using Flash Communications Server in Distance Education"
Flash Communication Server is a powerful server technology that manages multiple user connections and interactions via Flash-based web-pages. In this demonstration, the presenter will first show an interface he has developed for distance education, and then invite participants to use the system for video conferencing, video captures, and retrieval of files from a video archive. Users will also experiment with synchronous discussion and multi-writer revision of a shared essay. Finally, the presenter will demonstrate with a the "behind-the-scenes" view how simple constructing an interface with Flash MX's drag-and-drop Communications Components can be.