A SAMPLE “TEXTUAL INTERVENTION” -FOR FELLOW TEACHERS

David Stacey first introduced me to the teaching and learning concept of “textual interventions” in 2002. While taking a course titled, “Rhetorical Approaches to Writing” Dr. Stacey described Rob Pope’s work. Years later, I discovered Stacey’s (1995) review of the primary book through which Pope described the approach. See Stacey’s book review of Textual Intervention: Critical and Creative Strategies for Literacy Studies at JAC Online (archives): http://www.jaconlinejournal.com/archives/vol17.1/stacy-textual.pdf.

Put as simply as possible, a textual intervention requires that a reader change some portion of the original text and then determine the implications of that change.

For years, while teaching first year composition courses (that emphasized writing instruction through the study of literature and poetry), the “poetic intervention” assignment was always one of the most exciting units to teach. In most ways, I think it represented a chance for students to feel a bit rebellious. As most of us probably have experienced ourselves, the reverence and priorities that many teachers demand when assigning literature and poetry often obscures students’ own access to the texts. Interventions, however, offer a small, but meaningful opportunity for students to change that. When assigned, an intervention allows a student to invent a unique relationship to a text. At first they find it confusing, then liberating, and before you know it, they are explaining not just the changes they made to a given text, but how those changes differ from the author’s original work.

There is often a real excitement in the room when you tell students to weigh in to the margins of a revered text, or poem. But, this post is not about the method, or specific teaching strategies, etc. It isn’t a reinterpretation based on Rob Pope’s work, or a conceptual analysis of the practice; instead, I am sharing here one of the more successful examples that I created to introduce the practice and prepare students to conduct their own. Enjoy.

1. INTRODUCE THE POEM

General Script:

Let’s read a poem together. At the end of it, I will introduce you to an exercise that you will eventually do on your own. But before we get there, let’s read a poem that combines mystery and love with reading and writing.

This is a poem, titled “Marginalia” by the contemporary poet Billy Collins.

Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O’Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive –
“Nonsense.” “Please!” “HA!!” –
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
why wrote “Don’t be a ninny”
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls “Metaphor” next to a stanza of Eliot’s.
Another notes the presence of “Irony”
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
“Absolutely,” they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
“Yes.” “Bull’s-eye.” My man!”
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have manage to graduate from college
without ever having written “Man vs. Nature”
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird signing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake’s furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents’ living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
“Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.”

~Poet Laureate, Billy Collins


2. GIVE STUDENTS SOME TIME TO DIGEST THE POEM

General Script: Before we talk about this poem, take a moment (5 minutes) to look at the poem again and write down some of your reactions to it.

3. HAVE AN OPEN CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

General Script:

Ok, now: What are your reactions to this poem?

[Discussion]

Did you expect that ending?

[Discussion]

4. PROMPT A TEXTUAL INTERVENTION (IN SIMPLE TERMS)

General Script: Now, instead of just admiring the poem, what if you jumped into the text and changed it somehow? What would you change?

[Discussion]

But what if they did meet? (the one “whom I would never meet . . .”).

[Discussion]

What if the book wasn’t ‘Catcher in the Rye’ but ‘_____’ instead?

[Discussion]

What if the end-note hadn’t been “Pardon the egg salad stains” but a different sandwich?

[Discussion]

 

5. AND FINALLY, INTRODUCE THIS PREPARED SAMPLE INTERVENTION:

General Script: Let’s look at an example. What if the final line of the poem:

Original:           “Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.”

Was actually this instead?

Intervention:     “Watch out for the chocolate smear, but I dig this cat.”

A. GIVE A MOMENT FOR THEM TO THINK ABOUT THIS CHANGE

General Script: Take a moment (the next 5 to 10 minutes) and write down your immediate reactions to this change.

What kind of things did you jot down just now?

[Discussion]

B. SHARE SOME OF THESE PREPARED REFLECTIONS

  • Immediately it is obvious, this change isn’t nearly as good as the original; however, this simple change to the text made me, for a brief moment, consider more just what I liked about the author’s original, “Pardon the egg salad . . .”. From this brief ‘re-considering’ I realized that we are not entirely sure what the girl is asking us to pardon her for, the egg salad stain, or the fact that she has fallen in love with Holden Caulfield, or perhaps both. In fact, by making it less than certain, she is incidentally suggesting that, “Hey, it is just an egg salad stain. And it is just a little bit of love. You can forgive me for this right?”
  • Love, in this manner, is partially equated with an egg salad stain. She is inadvertently saying that they are similar – pardon the egg salad, pardon the love. Implicitly then, love takes on aspects of an egg salad stain. Love, like an egg salad stain, is a bit messy. It is yummy.
  • And further, I would argue that it is legitimate to go a bit further, that egg salad is usually something that people eat during the summer time. And so, according to this assumption, we can assume the time of year. We can assume it is hot out. And because of this assumption, we can virtually imagine this young ‘beautiful’ woman bounding out of the library, back into the hot-summer world . . . full of this new found ‘Catcher in the Rye’ love-inspiration, ready to do something daring, brave, bold, adventuresome.
  • And speaking of Holden Caulfield, what if she had said, “Pardon the egg salad stain, but I am in love with Holden Caulfield.” No, no this is not nearly as romantic. It is her state of being-in-love that is important. It is the simple fact that she feels love that appeals, I believe, to the narrator’s sensibilities and hence eventually my own (the reader). For if she is just-in-love, the possibility exists that she could eventually love others, like “you”. But if she is specific, if she says Holden Caulfield – is it possible to feel jealous?, considering it is someone that the author has never met?
  • What if it was chocolate smear instead of egg salad stain? Well, chocolate doesn’t have the summer feel to it. It isn’t as fresh, or healthy. It is more something someone would eat because they are gluttonous. They are indulging. Chocolate leads, in this manner, to a whole different feeling about this person. And we do not get the same sense of a specific time of year that the egg salad implies.

“She was a sad girl, I could tell.” Again, different poem, right? Now, practice this with a poem of your choice.

Workplace Literacy: A Short Questionnaire (Under Revision)

Workplace Literacy: A Short Questionnaire (Under Revision)

My question is, is it possible to create a “fun” and short set of questions that can also offer useful glimpses into a professional’s workplace literacy experiences? The goal is to create a short, approachable list of questions that professionals, across many different fields, wouldn’t mind answering.

That is my goal here with the following list of questions that I am currently working to improve and revise. Suggestions and revisions are welcomed in the comments section. See the current draft of the questionnaire below.

The “Turkel” questionnaire: Tell us a bit about you and your workplace

Studs Turkel is well known for offering glimpses into the lives, thoughts, and beliefs of working people. In even more playful formats, Vanity Fair has the “Proust questionnaire”. And “Inside Actor’s Studio” host James Lipton is well known for asking famous actors Bernard Pivot’s list of questions. This is a list of questions asked in a similar spirit –for fun, but also to give us some insight about you and your craft.

We are, of course, not as famous as actors on the “Actor’s Studio,” nor do we have a crowd of adoring fans as fascinated with our answers; still, we want to know: Who are you? What do you do? And what, briefly, is involved in the work that you do?

With this in mind, please take a few minutes and address the following prompts in as much detail as you want.

 

I. Tell us a bit about you:

Briefly, who are you?

What do you do for a living and where do you work?

Of your daily responsibilities, which are the most interesting, or most regularly annoying?

What are the prominent, or interesting features of your workspace(s)?

II. Tell us a bit about your workplace:

1. What is your favorite word in your workplace (or profession)?

2. What is your least favorite word in your workplace (or profession)?

3. Are there an unusual phrases, or terms that you are likely to hear only at your workplace?

4. What are some common mistakes that others make?

5. What technology is most important for your work?

6. What does this technology help you do?

7. What are the most important sources of information at your job?

8. Do you have any “tricks” for finding, or managing information at your job?

9. What from your past prepared you most for the job you have?

10. If you had a minute to advise someone just entering your workplace, what do they need to know about writing, or the process of writing to succeed?

Thank you!

Prompting Students to Introduce Themselves by Documenting Their Writing Workspaces

As teachers, we are always looking for new ways for students to introduce themselves. Most of my professional and technical writing courses incorporate social constructionist perspectives. Now, when I begin my courses, I ask students to introduce themselves by documenting and describing their workspaces (and places). This allows them to start the course by describing something with which they are familiar, but also prepares them to think about writing in terms of a situated activity.

In what follows:

 

I. First I have archived some examples (from students that have cleared me to post them).

 

II. And second, I have shared a basic version of this assignment.

 

I. ARCHIVE OF WORKPLACE “SNAPSHOTS”

 

1. Alex Adrian, Online English Teacher for Scottsdale Unified School District

 Alex -Snapshot 1

My name is Alex Adrian.  I am the Lead Online English Teacher for Scottsdale Unified School District’s eLearning and SOL programs. 

 

My workspace is very special to me because I spend more time at this desk than I do in my bed. I am seated at this desk for hours upon hours every day, so I needed to make the area not feel like a work desk. The pictures and other small pieces allow me to lean back in my chair and forget about work for a few minutes a day and just reminisce about great memories. It may look to some like a clustered mess, but this is what I like to call my organizational mess. It takes others minutes to find something on my desk that takes me seconds to find.

 

2. Dennis Mitchell, Institutional Research Analyst and Adjunct Faculty at Mesa Community College

Dennis M. -Snapshot 2 

My name is Dennis Mitchell, and I write in a few distinct work and academic roles: in my full-time employment as “Institutional Research Analyst” at Mesa Community College (MCC); as a part-time English composition adjunct faculty at the same college; and as a graduate English Rhetoric and Composition Student, currently at Northern Arizona University.

 

The top left and bottom pictures of my mashup capture my office at MCC. I spend the vast majority of my workdays starring at the two monolithic monitors hanging above my desk; a picture of a favorite place (Chase Field) and other trinkets help the office feel more comfortable. The two monitors help display many data sets and reports at once to assist in the creation of my own work-related texts. Interruptions emanate from my email inbox, coworkers, boss and uncomfortable office temperature, and I occupy this workspace during a typical weekday schedule. While this office is primarily used to construct work-related texts, I do use this workspace to compose faculty-related or student-related texts during breaks or after business hours.

 

My home desk occupies the top right of my mashup image: one monitor with stacks and shelves of papers, books and baseball memorabilia. Creating texts in this environment faces distractions from my dogs (a chubby Chihuahua and a black lab mix), my significant other, household tasks, the TV in the nearby living room or noises outside.

 

3. Ramon Lira, Academic Advisor and ESL Adjunct Instructor at Phoenix College

 Ramon -Snapshot 3

My name is Ramon Lira. I work as an academic advisor and ESL adjunct instructor at Phoenix College. I’m currently taking additional English courses through NAU to be eligible to teach other areas such as composition and creative writing.

 

My workspace is a desk in a spare bedroom, which I share with my wife. The desk is simple, with only “useful” clutter such as paper, pens, a small lamp and computer equipment. To the right is my collection of some interesting things I’ve collected over the years, such as a paper mache replica of a mummy and a Michael Jackson skeleton figurine, both of which I picked up while visiting my wife’s hometown in Mexico. 



 

One thing about this space that makes it special to me is that this is where I wrote “English Speech Production in Insects,” which won the grand prize in this year’s NAU humorous writing contest. The winning entries should be posted soon at: http://nau.edu/SBS/Communication/Student-Work/

 

4. Anthony Garcia, Higher Education at Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University

 Anthony -Snapshot 4

My name is Anthony Garcia and this is my first semester at NAU in the graduate professional writing certificate. I currently work in both the public school and higher education settings teaching English. This fall I will be transitioning exclusively to teaching in the higher education setting at Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University, in the Norfolk/ Virginia Beach area.

 

The picture of my work area is necessarily basic, but arguably complex. This is my work environment in the public school that I teach in. The work area is extremely basic where only the humming of the HVAC system keeps me amused. I do not favor a generic work environment for getting most of my writing done. Instead, I prefer the white noise of coffee shops, kids playing in a pool, or the waves rolling onto the shore. For this reason, I’m returning to higher education in the fall where writing, grading, and conferencing with students offers more flexibility. 

 

5. Kevin Boyd, Graduate Student at Northern Arizona University

 Kevin -Snapshot 5

My name is Kevin Boyd and I am a student at Northern Arizona University in the MA in English program. My workspace for my studies consists of a desk in my bedroom with a computer hooked up to a forty inch television as a monitor. When I am alone, it is a perfect setup to write and complete schoolwork.  The large monitor allows me to write on one side of the screen and have another document or website on the other side for quick reference.

 

Unfortunately, I also have to share my workspace with a four-legged friend. My cat’s food is also on top of the desk. The desk is the only safe place we have been able to find where our dog is unable to get into his food. Sometimes when I am working the cat comes up to eat, paws at the monitor, or tries to rest his head on my hand that should be typing.

 

6. Selina Reid, University Staff Position at Arizona State University

 Selina -Snapshot 6

My name is Selina Reid, and I am in the Rhetoric and Teaching Writing (RTW) program with NAU. This is my first semester as a graduate student, although graduate school is my area of expertise. I currently hold a staff position at Arizona State University in the Graduate College, where I’m a jack-of-all-trades, helping students, applicants and academic units go from application to graduation. I specialize in dealing with international students, international transcripts review, and I issue I-20 documents which allow international students to apply to get their student visas and study in the United States.

My workspace differs according to what tasks I need to accomplish. Much of my reading is done while walking on my treadmill. You can see my makeshift foam and duct tape “desk” that I rest my books on. I studied and read throughout my undergraduate career this way and I am convinced that walking and reading makes me learn more efficiently.

 

The big, brown chair is the latest addition to my reading and studying workspace. This chair is only for lazy, non-serious reading and writing. This is not a schoolwork chair.

 

The kitchen table is the best workspace for writing and doing school assignments. I like being next to the kitchen and family room while I work, but sitting at the table forces me to get down to business, unlike the comfy chair.

 

7. Steven Seamons, Associate at W.L. Gore & Associates

Steven S. -Snapshot 7 

Since I am not permitted to take a picture of my workspace at Gore, you get to see my workspace at home. My name is Steven Seamons. I am an associate at W.L. Gore & Associates, and I attend NAU.

 

At this workspace I am a father of 4 (2 girls and 2 boys) all under the age of 8, and it is very hard to find a free minute, or at least quite free minute.

 

For this assignment you get a glimpse of this workspace in all of its glory. On closer inspection you can see we have a lot of coats. We live in the mountains and we are always in need of an extra layer, my workspace is also the coldest spot in the house. I have to wear socks so my feet don’t turn into ice. This workspace is most commonly used for storage of bottles, crayons, children’s art, and supplies for runny noses.

 

8. Kathryn Johnson, Graduate Student Northern Arizona University, Mother, Business Owner

 Kathryn -Snapshot 8

My undergraduate self of 8 years ago would be shaking her head in disbelief if she saw this. Gone is the idealistic dream of what I thought my home office would one day be like when I became a mother and a teacher. Instead, on what doubles as my dining room table (my favorite piece of furniture, witness to countless family occasions with all the people I hold dear) there sits what appears to be a mess. On the contrary, I promise, it is actually an organized chaos of bills, business paperwork, and now, as evidence of my jump back into the academic world, endless amounts of English classwork. It is a place that is uncharacteristically peaceful for me in the early morning hours and afternoon naptime, knowing the most precious things in the world to me, my twins 3 ½ and new baby boy, 8 weeks, are sleeping soundly in the rooms within earshot. It’s true that this is probably not the most convenient home office for a student, business owner, mother, and former English teacher, however, the views are great and the kitchen (copiously stocked  with cereal, coffee and beer- essentials for every busy mom) is close by, so I can’t complain.

 

9. Steven Maierson – Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation at Northern Arizona University

Steven M. -Snapshot 9 

I work in two separate environments in distinct capacities. The larger and more vibrant image is the space in which I free write and work as a student. It is my game station and link to the world and all its ills. Books and images surround me, things representative of who I am—tiny Batman figurines, a replica of Sting from The Lord of the Rings, and the desktop image of a Black Mage from Final Fantasy. The other half is my workspace at Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation at Northern Arizona University. At this place I maintain an orderly environment with minimal personal conveniences. I keep it neat so that if I need to move it isn’t a hassle. The small flashes of personality are random holiday gifts we receive in the office and, of course, a fantastic image of Tremors as my desktop background. It is here where I write procedural documentation and the occasional essay for school.

 

10. Dennis White, Saint Louis Community College; District Coordinator (4 campuses, 2 satellite locations), Assistant Professor, Reading (Florissant Valley Campus)

 Dennis W. -Snapshot 10

I share an office in the communications building with another faculty member, which is the typical setup; offices are located at each end of the building with classrooms in between. I spend many hours writing in this space, most recently developing student and instructor materials for the college’s new student success course, which just completed its first year of implementation. Sometimes I work through periods of concentrated writing activity, and other times I engage in conversations with colleagues, students, and administrators. I usually place work on the desk to the left of the computer, which I removed in order to give this picture a cleaner look, but I am fairly neat in the way I typically maintain my writing space. I enjoy writing here and the relatively quiet location at the end of a hallway. I also enjoy the close proximity of a window, glancing out of which provides an occasional quick break when needed to reenergize my writing.

 

11. Ashley Salazar, Assistant Director of TRIO Educational Talent Search, Garden City Community College

 Ashley -Snapshot 11

Our office and my desk are hidden away in the basement of the administrative building on campus, but I like it that way. It allows for our small staff to work together without distraction and shields the outside world from the chaos that we often create.  Our writing takes many forms and those texts create action. That action is often noisy, causing the rest of the college campus to appreciate the existence of a “lower level”.  I have a distinct area for my own creative processes, but I share the larger communal space with two other staff members.  I find it both comical and telling that we regularly communicate through text via internet signals and computer screens when we sit within inches of one another.

 

12. Jesse Maloney, substitute High School Teacher at Greyhills Academy High School and Graduate Student at Northern Arizona University

 Jesse -Snapshot 12

My name is Jesse Maloney, I’m a substitute High School teacher at Greyhills Academy High School and graduate student at Northern Arizona University.  The place where I like to conduct my school work now that it’s summer is at the bar in our outdoor parlor. 

 

When I put on some surf shorts and a basketball jersey it’s a serene warm setting even at night and I don’t feel cooped up and stressed.  It helps to lose track of time and get quality reading and writing done with my heavy semester.

 

 

II. [ASSIGNMENT]: INTRODUCE YOURSELF; DESCRIBE YOUR WORKPLACE

 

Hello and welcome to _____,

 

We all, likely, have multiple places in which we work and in which we read, think, and write. This assignment asks you to document and describe the key features of your environment at one of those “places”. I put “places” in quotations because it may be a fluid and dynamic location. You can, and should here, think of work places and spaces as both a physical location, but also as a time-based location. What else is potentially at play? For example, do you share the space with others? Is there anyone else competing for that space? Are there interruptions? Etc.

 

To think about reading and writing as things that happen in spaces, in locations, in specific time periods, is a unique way to introduce yourself to others in the course. Follow these instructions. This firs assignment will also prompt you think about the production of texts as a literal and situated act that happens in real locations. And it will help you get to know your classmates a bit in order to jumpstart the formation of our classroom community.

 

With this in mind, I was recently inspired by the discovery and playfulness of a blog: http://nathanmeunier.com/2012/06/22/shop-talk-freelance-workspaces-volume-1/ that invites writers to send photographs and brief descriptions of the settings and spaces in which they work. As teachers, researchers, and students of writing, we all spend endless hours in these spaces writing and working. See my example at: https://acomposing.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-work-spaces-and-places-of-writing-teachers-researchers-and-administrators/. Consider how my example is primarily playful. Feel free to be playful yourself, but also focus on including some serious forms of analysis about some aspect of your workspace that is worth comment.

 

So, tell us a bit about your workspace.

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

1. Include only one (JPG) photograph (which can be a mash-up, multi-panel photograph) of the setting/space in which you work and write.

 

2. Include the following information: your name, title/job, and the university/school with which you are affiliated.

 

3. And include a short description focusing on what you find most interesting to describe/share about your workspace.

 

4. Post your narrative for the class to see. Remember: Write it in a fashion where you feel comfortable sharing publicly. Do not include details that you don’t want others to know. Do not include details that you might consider too personal for some reason.

How to Acknowledge the Online in an Online Course Syllabus

When I teach online courses, I have come to value the benefits of including a relatively short, but direct statement in my course syllabi about the nature of online learning for my graduate and undergraduate students. Before enrolling, some (most?) students have considered the differences between face-to-face learning and online courses, but it is also the case that many have not. In many cases, students may be taking an online course for the first time. In other cases, even students that have taken online courses before may never have been directly prompted to consider the differences between online and face-to-face courses (let alone hybrid ones) before. In all cases, it is beneficial to remind everyone involved that the nature of a given learning environment (whether synchronous, or asynchronous) plays a primarily role in the processes of learning.

Over the last several years, I have been working on developing a statement that is simultaneously useful, but also general enough to include (without much revision necessary) in all of the online writing courses that I teach. Over time, I have moved this statement steadily up in the hierarchy of my syllabi so that now it generally sits in the first few sections. I now consider it as a key part of the introduction to the online courses that I teach and thus tend to place it immediately after my course description and course goals.

Of course there are many variables involved in drafting such statements such as the student population that you are teaching, the type of course management system involved (in my case BBlearn with some supplemental outlets), teaching styles, and the nature of distinct courses, etc. But, as of this particular blog post, here is what I have constructed and refined over time. Maybe it will be of us to you, or just as likely, you will have something similar in your own syllabi.

The relative success that I have had with versions of this particular statement stem from several characteristics:

  • It is written, ultimately, as an invitation to students prompting them not just to consider the nature of an online learning environment, but also how they must be active participants for success across the course.
  • It addresses aspects about not just being a student in an online learning environment, but also introduces the nature of my role as a professor across it.
  • The statement is short enough to include in a syllabus.
  • And the statement is general enough to include, without much revision, in any given online course that I teach.

_________________________________________________________________

HERE IS THE RELEVANT EXCERPT FROM MY CURRENT ONLINE SYLLABUS

III. About Online Learning in This Course: 

This is an online course. I have come to appreciate the value of opening online courses with a simple and direct reminder: this is an online course. The differences between face-to-face and online courses are significant. Put simply, face-to-face courses and online courses ARE NOT THE SAME and they cannot be. It is not a matter of one learning environment being better than another (opinion is often divided depending on individual student’s circumstances, learning styles, and preferences), but it is a matter of being aware and intentionally adjusting, as a student, to the learning environment (in this case online) that you have chosen. As you will have experienced, or might expect, the convenience of working through technology and from a distant location has significant benefits and real trade-offs. Interestingly, what is a trade-off and what is a benefit in an online learning environment varies sometimes significantly between students’ preferences and learning styles.

The most important thing to realize, if you haven’t already, is that “meaningful” online learning environments often require MORE time and effort for both students/teachers than face-to-face classes. It is a common misconception that online courses somehow save time and are more efficient. But consider how the online “environment” only exists in as much as you interact with it. Or, put another way, in a face-to-face class, the classroom “happens” when you attend a given class; however, in an online course, it is your responsibility (as with your classmates) to “make things happen” one person at a time, one login at a time, one response at a time. This is the primary distinction whereby a face-to-face course is synchronous (occurring at the same time) and an online course is asynchronous (not occurring at the same time). Let me say it in another way. In a face-to-face class, discussion, lectures, etc. happen collectively and naturally because, in such a learning environment, everyone is present together for all such interactions. In an online course, however, everything is experienced with a delay. This is a constant battle for everyone in all online courses –teachers and students alike. There is a “shared space” online, but no matter how an online course is structured, it requires everyone as individuals from different locations (in both place and time) to create and leave something meaningful for others to find later. It can feel like lonely work sometimes, but with some patience it won’t feel like work done alone.

This corresponds directly to the second most important thing to realize (if you haven’t already) about working on a course from a distinct location –it requires you to be a more independent and self-motivated learner than when attending a face-to-face class. For some of you, this may fit with your natural proclivity. For most of you, however, you will have to work at it. In this course, you cannot be a passive learner and I will not simply be feeding you information (as you might have experienced in the past). In order for this course to work you will need to interact and to be a “knowledge-generator”. You will need to be responsible for constructing and managing your own learning. You will be both teacher and student. The success of this course (and ultimately your valuation of it) depends upon the work you are willing to put in –not just for yourself, but with and for your classmates too. This is why reading and responding to (at least 3) classmates’ work is required each week. Given this requirement others, of course, will likewise be responding to your work. In this manner it is important to understand that interacting and discussing, etc. is as much part of completing every assignment as a specific assignment itself.

My job, as your professor, is to provide a structured series of assignments/prompts with supporting mini-lectures, content, and materials that facilitate the realization of the course goals. In this capacity, my primary role is as an expert facilitator. But keep in mind that any given assignment and content won’t take on meaning, or “come to life” until you interact with it. More so, the electronic environment does not expand, nor become more interesting and rich until you add your reflections, comments, thinking, responses, ideas, beliefs, arguments, etc. The success of this course relies upon your steady, consistent, and active involvement. The success of your own learning across it does, of course, too.

The Work Spaces and Places of Writing Teachers, Researchers, and Administrators

Our Workplace Snapshots

I was recently inspired by the discovery and playfulness of a blog: <http://nathanmeunier.com/2012/06/22/shop-talk-freelance-workspaces-volume-1/&gt; that invites writers to send photographs and brief descriptions of the settings and spaces in which they work. As teachers, researchers, and administrators of writing, we all spend endless hours in these spaces writing and working. Many publications in our field (like “Local Literacies” and  “Worlds Apart”) investigate the literate settings of community activists, architecture students, etc. These are, of course, in-depth, serious publications.

But what of our own? What I am inviting here are playful, fun, and short “workspace snapshots” from fellow WPA’ers, teachers, and researchers of writing.

Open Invitation: Share your work space/place:

  1. Include only one (JPG) photograph (which can be a mash-up, multi-panel photograph) of the setting/space in which you work and write.
  2. Include the following information: name, what you teach, and the university/school with which you are affiliated.
  3. And include a short description (no more than about 160 words) of what you find most interesting to describe/share about your workspace.
  4. Email to: Damian.Koshnick@nau.edu. I will collect and host these “workspace snapshots” on my professional, academic blog: <https://acomposing.wordpress.com&gt;.
  5. See current blog post to which your contribution will be added: <https://acomposing.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-work-spaces-and-places-of-writing-teachers-researchers-and-administrators/&gt;.

An Archive of Snapshots

_____________________________________________________________


Workplace Snapshot 1: Damian C. Koshnick’s Workspace, [Teaches Professional Writing at Northern Arizona University]

Damian notes: It is a convenience to have a real home office. It is a space I share, as so many of us do, with a trusted pet who sits beside me without complaint for hours. The desk was a gift from my father, a big object and I’ve put the effort in moving it around the country as I have pursued degrees and teaching opportunities. I appreciate having “old” feeling things near me while I write -wood desk, and perhaps most particularly a vertebrae and a native rock scraping tool both of which I found while hiking. The vertebrae in particular reminds me, as the hours pass, that life is short. Ideally, this keeps me pragmatic about what I try to accomplish when I write. It doesn’t always work of course. And the rock tool reminds me that not everything happens on a computer.

Thoughts on: primitive mind, literacies, landscapes, and writing classrooms

My own introduction to the notion of “information literacy,” in the broadest sense, came from my appreciation of nature writers and nature writing. When reading Roderick Nash’s (1982) Wilderness and the American Mind for the first time, I was struck by his conceptual description of human cognitive development as it corresponded to the perception of moving through changing physical environments with a primitive mind. This was, of course, a description of the broad forces that shape human history, much like the ever-popular writing of Jared Diamond. The passage that struck me and has continued to fascinate me for years:

We might begin with the anthropological axiom that until roughly twenty million years ago our prehuman ancestors dwelt in an arboreal environment … At this distant point in time, as noted above, there was no dichotomy between prehumans and wild country. But about fifteen million years ago it appears that climatic changes and fire began to reduce the area of forest in central Africa and other seedbeds of man. Prehumans gradually left the shrinking arboreal habitat and began to adapt to life on the plains and grasslands. (preface, Nash)

First, the notion that at a certain point in time “there was no dichotomy between prehumans” and the wild landscape is a key notion. Certainly, we have since changed this in radical ways. We live and work now, for example, in virtual worlds and with thousands of tools assembled great distances from our immediate environment. But in inchoate forms of the earliest human histories, we were living completely in the environment, certainly solving problems like other animals do, but solving problems only within the confines of the environment near-hand, with tools derivative primarily of the surroundings in which we lived.

Shifts in landscape, shifts in perspective -photo: Damian Koshnick

Second, we do not often think that the literal changing of a landscape directly impacts our physiology and therefore our cognitive functions. Climatic changes led to a change in our immediate landscape, pushed us from the forest to the plains and, as a result, was a primary factor in changing the kinds of thinking required for survival. As Nash continued:

In the open, spacious environments vision assumed an importance it lacked in the dense, dark wilderness. Adapting, prehumans developed remarkable visual ability. In part this compensated for the superior sense of smell and hearing and the speed, size, and strength of other animals. Good vision was early man’s competitive edge. Coupled with a developing brain, it enabled humans to plan ahead. A lion a mile away across open country, for example, was a solvable problem; one hidden in dense cover (classic wilderness) often meant death. With their eyes prehumans bought time to think. Sight, height, and openness meant security. What came to be known as wilderness was scary. … It followed that for millions of years our distant ancestors preferred open environments, where the eye and the brain could function, to the dark primeval forest. Once early man left the thickets he was loath to return to an environment that neutralized his visual advantages. Indeed, when he could he burned forests in order to convert them to open grassland. Edges of clearing and heights of land became favored living and hunting locales. (preface, Nash)

New distances to a horizon, and our changing ability to perceive it fundamentally, therefore, changed our identity as nascent humans. Presumably, the visual cortex became an even stronger component of the neural circuits that guided our thinking. Planning became possible; it was the direct result of our ability to see to a horizon. Our new environment -with distances- allowed us to scan for danger and opportunities, and to plan our routes to avoid, or find them. Beyond developmental sciences which certainly tell a more intricate and complex history of this, I am always -personally- intrigued when I can consciously recognize lived moments that incorporate the most primitive aspects of my brain. This happens frequently to me when I am hiking in the woods, and I am simultaneously startled and comforted by the sharp smell of wood smoke. I know, consciously, why this must be such an energizing and pleasing experience. Wood smoke brings the awareness that there are other humans nearby with warmth and safety. It brings the assumption that they are probably preparing to cook food. The smell of wood smoke has to be one of the most direct paths to decision-making processes that have kept us alive over centuries. The same seems true, to me, of those opportunities to stand at a vantage point, to look out over the ocean, or the valley, or a great plain. Very little, in my view, biologically satisfies a person as much as those moments when we gain critical perspectives on the environments in which we stand. Sure, the Grand Canyon is pretty, but this to me is the real, primitive reason we are drawn to it by the millions every year.

What of our current situation then? With this question, I have two scenarios in mind. What of global warming and the way it will steadily change our environments? Certainly we are very good now at adapting, but there is something about storms, large storms in particular, that still surprise us. Storms narrow down our fields’-of-vision (electricity goes out for example), push us back -despite our cognitive and technological advances- back into the immediate just like heavily forested-environments required of us. Our attention shifts perceptively from planning, and anticipating, to reacting. But, more appropriate to my professional interests in the teaching of writing, I am thinking of the other constantly encroaching environments -primarily virtual- in which we now work –and plan. What sort of visual and therefore planning advantages are we afforded with technology on a daily basis?

As a teacher, I am often most interested in this question as it corresponds directly to the classroom. Conceptually, and pedagogically, the work across “information literacies,” and particularly “literacy landscapes” are currently key, motivating concepts in the teaching and learning of writing. Between them, we try to capture and take advantage of our deepest orienting perspectives biologically and socially through technology. Biology and social orientations and habits change, but change slowly. And it is important to remember that these orientations and habits often do not convincingly correspond to the technological and virtual worlds in which we now write, plan, and organize our lives.

I am struck by the idea that we are approaching the technological-interface equation from the opposite direction that we have interactions with natural settings. With the natural setting, in prehuman history, we were intractably a part of our environment. Our steady evolutionary shift was to conceptually, and physically, separate ourselves from it. With technology and virtual worlds, it is the other way around. We went from a situation where we were not an intimate part of those “platforms” to a scenario where we are increasingly a part of them (or they are us). A great reminder of this is to watch some of Steve Jobs first -now humorously clumsy- launches of the Mac from the 1980’s. The crowd was enthralled with fonts appearing on a screen and a digital voice that was able to read it aloud [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=762035792437485705]. With his pioneering work, and others like him, we have come a long way. How much of our day is spent now, not looking to the horizon to plan, but looking to our ipads, our iphones, or laptops, our blackberries?

Certainly I am not the first here to wonder, or ask –what does this mean? But, set against Nash’s description, I think this takes on a thrilling, more intimate and immediate hue. Despite the fact that we are talking about virtual platforms, there is, inevitably a real-world impact both biologically and in the physical environment. No matter how virtual we become, it is always the immediate environment –physical and social– that determines the value of a technology. This, to me, explains why however brilliant a virtual platform, or technology, now matter how much personal, professional, or social advantage it gives us, we may never have the technological-degree of deep satisfaction that comes from looking out over a valley from above, or the Grand Canyon, or smelling wood smoke in the woods. Will we?

If –information visualization– is the, “the use of computer-supported, interactive, visual representations of abstract data to amplify cognition” (Card, p. 7, 1999), then the visualization technology must be able to a) read the data, and b) amplify it in a manner that aids the learners’ focus and purposes. Within this human-computer interaction, there exists the “gap” –that data is lost in the “telescoping” process, between the contextualized, embodied-knowledge goals of the learner, and the data transforming  work of a visualization technology.

As a teacher, even something as basic as “brainstorming” or “concept-mapping” can be surprisingly difficult (and time-consuming) to effectively and convincingly recreate on a virtual platform for a wide-variety of students. This is especially true for classrooms with 20+ students, each with varying degrees of access to and familiarity with computer systems and software.

The problem? –how can a visualization program meet and “amplify” the complex tasks and socially embedded practices of a student? From my perspective as a teacher, and based upon my frustration as a –finder of, and reviewer of free information visualization software, I have concluded that for a virtual platform to help/work in a class, (with even something as simple as “concept mapping”) this requires:

-low-end implementation requirements; there must not be too much training involved, or the program will likely seem superfluous (an added burden)

-flexibility, since all classes enact a wide-range of tasks, the program(s) utilized must be  either numerous, or very flexible (this will reduce the acuity, but increase the conditions for usability and application)

-readily translatable data transfer, the program must be able to utilize data from applications that are common, accessible to students and faculty such as word, excel, etc. or they must be user-enhancing and user-friendly to produce (or reproduce) within the applications’ platform (Google Sketchup as one example)

I have had varied success introducing “concept mapping” options within Excel, in simple and familiar applications like Word, and with somewhat more advanced (and less familiar) programs like VUE. So much potential exists with far more complex software. If the goal of a course in writing is to amplify perception and understanding, we have to keep pushing these boundaries, but as a –teacher– we are often the realists that confront the inevitable obstacles. If we want to amplify our students’ thinking and learning, technology is one of the most promising ways to accomplish this, and yet it is never as easy as it should be, or as it may appear it should be to those working outside the classroom.

Too often, the software which appears ready to use from the language on the supporting website, is not easily manipulated, downloaded, or readily interactive. Most information visualization software that is currently available on the web is the stuff of engineers, or created specifically by and for scientists within specific research institutions. It is clear, as a teacher, that most “free” visualization software, and indeed, most all software requires considerable amount of time and energy to access and utilize. In the end, it may be just as useful to manually “re”present data and other resources to que students’ into the complexities of their “literacy landscapes” until these kinds of virtual technologies will be more context-responsive and individualizable.

My primary conclusion for the moment is that more grants must be made available to support teachers to buy, introduce, and adapt technology into classrooms in realistic and sustainable ways.

Some software under review:

1. Info Vis Wiki: http://www.infovis-wiki.net/index.php?title=Main_Page

2. Google Visualization API: http://code.google.com/apis/visualization/documentation/gallery.html.

This gallery lists JavaScript visualizations built on the Google Visualization API. Some of these have been written by Google, and some have been written by third parties. Links below point to instructions for and demonstrations of each visualization. Including (potentially, though less immediately applicably) Google Sketchup: http://sketchup.google.com/ which is software that you can use to create 3D models of anything you like. Most people get rolling with SketchUp in just a few minutes.

3. This Google Visualization also includes (bought in 2007) GapMinder, specifically, “Trendalyzer”: http://www.gapminder.org/about-gapminder/.

Within GoogleMaps exists one of the most interesting visualization options particularly with respect to teaching. This tool allows anyone to chart and mark a “journey” within or along a journey. At GoogleMaps http://maps.google.com/, click on “My Maps”. For a sample, type in “Chris Mccandless”. Google maps incorporates place markers, lines attaching locations, with the ability to post photos and notes at each location. Within this tool exists some fascinating options particularly for teaching.

4. There is also a Text Content Analysis Tool: http://www.usingenglish.com/resources/text-statistics.php. Which is similar to: TagCloud: http://www.tagcrowd.com/ and Wordle: http://www.wordle.net/. And a free Concordance analysis website: http://www.lextutor.ca/concordancers/text_concord/.

5. There are other sites that function much like what can be done with Excel, such as “ManyEyes” which performs: scatterplots, bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, with the additional functionality of word trees, and what is widely known as http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/. Another problem with this site for education is that it requires that all uploaded data, results are publicly viewable.

6. This site, which is interesting, but I have not downloaded the software: http://nwb.slis.indiana.edu/index.html which is a, “Workbench for network scientists”. This software can be used to map knowledge domains and seems to have a functionality that exceeds excel, and word clouds, tags, etc. Though I have not tested its ease of use, nor its functionality (nor the data sets it accepts) –it does have many interesting samples online that are intriguing at the outset.

7. And these sites with which I am interested, but have had less luck for the moment: visualizing data as a city: http://www.inf.unisi.ch/phd/wettel/codecity.html; Moose -Analysis Technology: http://moose.unibe.ch/tools?_s=xdc6Q8T7zS07ybSe&_k=0YIUk9KD&_n&14; Leyesdorff: http://users.fmg.uva.nl/lleydesdorff/software.htm; the SSEC Visualization Project: http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/~billh/vis.html.

8. InfoZoom: http://www.softlakesolutions.com/index.php/products-a-services/infozoom/architecture.

You can “feed” InfoZoom virtually any data, provided it is in a structured form. From ASCII, TXT, CSV and Excel files via databases up to and including complex ERP systems – as a customer once remarked, InfoZoom accesses anything that doesn‘t resist.”

9. Visualizations for Education: http://www.edcenter.sdsu.edu/visualize-education/index.html.

This site includes a considerable list of sites that incorporates “visualization for Education”. Many of these links are “galleries” and not software for producing visual displays. But it is worth some time (depending upon intention, focus and purposes). At the end of this site is a list of visualization “Software, Hardware, and Organizations”.

10. The Science/Engineering Visualization Challenge: http://www.sciencemag.org/vis2008/.

Of course the variety and number of such options are nearly limitless and depend largely on the class, the goals, etc. of a given assignment and writing course. As a teacher, I am often frustrated by the seeming potential and the gap between teaching, classroom, student access, and technological realities.

References

Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind. Yale University Press: Binghamton, N.Y., 1982.

Stuart Card, J.D. Mackinlay, and Ben Shneiderman (1999). “Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think”. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco

A Directory of Blogs (and other resources) on Writing

This directory of blogs (and other resources) corresponds to those of us that teach and study writing across English; Composition; Rhetoric; Writing Studies. This particular directory started from an aggregation of two sources:

1. KairosNews [http://kairosnews.org/node/3719];
2. Traci Gardner’s  excellent and recently updated list [http://www.tengrrl.com/blog/]

I was inspired to start aggregating and editing this directory because given those blogs that I follow currently, I am convinced that there is a great deal of valuable work and thinking happening across these publishing platforms. Please note that I am intentionally casting a wide net given the resource list below and therefore relying on a very loosely defined (non-technical) notion of “blog”.

I am also working on an a list of broader resources according to an organizational schema that will continue to evolve, but here are the current categories listed via the tables below:

I. Web/Blogs Listed by Name
II. Open Publication, Institutional, & Field Resources
III. Job Search Sites
IV. Historical Figures & Research in Composition/Rhetoric
V. Language Parsing (Open-Source Research Tools)
VI. Bibliographies
VII. Longitudinal Writing Research

This directory is, at present, being actively edited and revised (last: Thursday, May 23rd 2011). Please email me with suggestions or additions [koshnick@umail.ucsb.edu]. *And finally, I cannot be held responsible for the information linked from these web/blogs.

The Directory

I. Web/Blogs Listed By Name

Name Blog Title Address
A
ACM Writing Dialogues on RhetComp ESL http://dialogueonwriting.blogspot.com/
Akassi, M. English CompRhet Forum http://moniqueakassi.wordpress.com/
Altbach, P. An Anthology for My Readers http://dilogueonanthology.blogspot.com/
Anderson, D. Writing Pusher http://www.thoughtpress.org/daniel/
Austin, W. Ideawarehouse http://ideawarehouse.typepad.com/
B
Ball State Univ. repurposed http://repurposed.posterous.com/
Baron, D. The Web of Language http://illinois.edu/db/view/25
Bedford BITs Bits Ideas for Teaching Weblog http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/devenglish/
Bedford, Barrios Emerging, a Blog http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/bbarrios/
Bedford, Bernhardt Help Yourself http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/sbernhardt/
Bedford, Bernstein Beyond the Basics http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/devenglish/
Bedford, Carbone Tech Notes http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/ncarbone/
Bedford, Dolmage Advice from How to Write Anything http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/jaydolmage
Bedford, Gardner Teaching in the 21st Century http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/tgardner/
Bedford, Lunsford Teacher to Teacher http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/alunsford/
Bedford, Pappas FYC: Community College Style http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/hpappas/
Bedford, Pitt Instruct Teaching with Ways of Reading http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/pinstructors/
Bedford, Reynolds Resources for Teachers of Writing http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/nreynolds/
Bedford, Solomon Teaching Popular Cultural Semiotics http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/solomon/
Bedford, Wardle, Downs Write On: Notes on Teaching Writing About Writing http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/ewardle/
Bedford, Zobel Adjunct Advice http://blogs.bedfordstmartins.com/bits/author/gzobel/
Bérubé, M. American Airspace http://www.michaelberube.com/index.php
Blackmon, S. Dr. B’s Blog http://blog.samanthablackmon.net/
Bleck, B. bleckblog.org http://bleckblog.org/
Brooke, C. Collin vs. Blog http://collinvsblog.net/
C
Cadle, L. Techsophist http://techsophist.net/Techsophist/Blog/Blog.html
CandC Blog Computers & Composition Online Blog http://candcblog.org/
Carter, S. Shannon Carter, PhD http://www.shannoncarter.info/
CBW Council on Basic Writing Blog http://cbwblog.wordpress.com/
CCC CCC Blog http://cccc-blog.blogspot.com/
CCR Composition & Rhetoric Graduate Circle http://www.ccrcircle.net/
CF Blog Composition Forum Blog http://compositionforum.com/blog/
Chamcharatsri, P. Composition & Multi-Lingual Writers http://bee-l2writing.blogspot.com/
Ching, K. Scrivel http://scrivel.wordpress.com/
CLiC Converging Literacies Center http://convergingliteraciescenter.wordpress.com/about-clic/
Cline, A. The Rhetorica Network http://rhetorica.net/
CompRhet@KU Composition and Rhetoric at KU http://kucomprhet.wordpress.com/
Crane, M. Technoliteracy http://technoliteracy.blogspot.com/
D
Dad, D. Confessions of a Community College Dean http://suburbdad.blogspot.com/
Degenaro, B. Bill Degenaro http://bdegenaro.blogspot.com/
Dilger, B. CBD http://wrecking.org/cbd/
E
EC English Companion http://englishcompanion.ning.com/
Edwards, M. Vitia http://www.vitia.org/
EMAC Emerging Media & Comm. Blog http://emac.utdallas.edu/blog/
Emmons, K. Information for Graduate Students http://www.case.edu/artsci/engl/emmons/rhetcomp/
F
Faris, M. A Collage of Citations http://michaeljfaris.com/blog/
Fireside Learning Fireside Learning: Conversations about Education http://firesidelearning.ning.com/profiles/blog/list
Fish, S. Opinionator http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/stanley-fish/
Fitzpatrick, K. Planned Obsolescence http://www.plannedobsolescence.net/
G
Gardner, T. Pedablogical http://www.tengrrl.com/blog/
Gossett, K. The Forgotten Canon http://www.kathiegossett.com/forgottencanon/
H
Harris, J. In My Idiom http://josephdharris.wordpress.com/
Hawhee, D. Blogos http://dhawhee.blogs.com/d_hawhee/
Highberg, N. Nels Highberg http://drnelsresearch.blogspot.com/
Highberg, N. Pennies in a Jar http://penniesinajarblog.blogspot.com/
Hosterman, A. Hyperreal Blogging http://alechosterman.com/WordPress/
Howard, R. Writing Matters http://www.rebeccamoorehoward.com/category/blog
I
If:Book Institute for the Future of the Book http://www.futureofthebook.org/blog/
Is There a There There? Is There a There There? http://isthereatherethere.wordpress.com/
J
Jacobs, A. Text Patterns http://text-patterns.thenewatlantis.com/
Jean, A. Media Praxis http://aljean.wordpress.com/
Jenkins, H Confessions of an Aca/Fan http://henryjenkins.org/
Jerz, D. Jerz’s Literacy Weblog http://jerz.setonhill.edu/
Johnduff, M. Working Notes http://mikejohnduff.blogspot.com/
Johnson-Eilola, J. Datacloud http://people.clarkson.edu/~jjohnson//datacloud/
K
Kemp, F. Musings about Teaching and Technology http://fredkemp.wordpress.com/
Kirschenbaum, M. Matthew G. Kirschenbaum http://mkirschenbaum.wordpress.com/
Knight, A. Aesthetically Good http://aimeeknight.com/
Koshnick, D. Acomposing https://acomposing.wordpress.com/
Krause, S. Steven Krause’s Official Blog http://stevendkrause.com/
Krista, K. Arete http://www.slimcoincidence.com/blog/
Kyburz, B. Kind of … http://blkyburz.blogspot.com/
L
Lafer, S. Stephen Lafer’s Blog http://firesidelearning.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=0ycabjolgrmq1
LaVecchia, C. et. al. http://clavatuc.blogspot.com/
LaVecchia, C. Investigating Writing Program Assessment http://ucwpassessment.wordpress.com/
Lessig, L. Lessig Blog http://www.lessig.org/blog/
Long, R. 2River http://www.2river.org/2RView/default.html
Losh, E. Virtualpolitik http://virtualpolitik.blogspot.com/
Lowe, C. Cyberdash http://kairosnews.org/blog/14
Lynch, J. Rhetorical Researcher http://jennlynch.wordpress.com/
M
Mascle, D. Metawriting http://masclemetawriting.blogspot.com/
Matsuda, P. Paul Kei Matsuda http://dissoilogoi2.blogspot.com/
McGinnis, M. Michael L. McGinnis http://www.mlmcginnis.com/
McNely, B. 5000 http://5000.blogspot.com/
Meloni, J. Academic Sandbox http://www.academicsandbox.com/blog/
Moere, A. Information Aesthetics http://infosthetics.com/
Moffett, J. James Moffett Consortium http://jamesmoffettstudies.ning.com/
Montfort, N. Post Position http://nickm.com/post/
Moore, M. Composition and Rhetoric II http://composing.org/wrd104sq2011/
Mueller, D. Earth Wide Moth http://www.earthwidemoth.com/mt/
N
Noon, D. Borderland http://borderland.northernattitude.org/
O
Opipari, B. Writers on Process http://www.writersonprocess.com/
P
Pace, S. Diary of a Writing Teacher http://www.beaumontrhetorica.blogspot.com/
Parry, D. AcademHack http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/category/blog/
Pigg, S. Pidoubleg http://pidoubleg.com/blog/teaching
Priest, J. Border Work http://priestjesse.wordpress.com/
Q
R
Ratliff, C. CultureCat: Rhetoric and Feminism http://culturecat.net/
Ravitch & Meier Bridging Differences http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/
Reid, A. Digital Digs http://alexreid.typepad.com/digital_digs/
Remirez, C. Mestize Rhetoric http://mextizarhetorica.blogspot.com/
Rettberg, J. Jill/txt http://jilltxt.net/
Rhetoric, Society Blogora http://rsa.cwrl.utexas.edu/
Rice, J. Yellow Dog http://ydog.net/
Richards, D. Resident Pragmatist http://danielrichards.net/
Richardson, W. Weblogg-ed http://weblogg-ed.com/
Riley, B. Digital Sextant http://www.curragh-labs.org/blog/
River, N. Pure Sophist Monster http://pure-sophist-monster.blogspot.com/
Rodgers, M. Intent/Effect http://www.meaganrodgers.com/intenteffect.html
Rodrigo, S. Confessions of a Committed Technofile http://committedtechnofile.com/
Rose, M. Mike Rose Blog http://mikerosebooks.blogspot.com/
RTB Radical Teacher Blog http://radicalteacherblog.wordpress.com/
S
Sample, M. Sample Reality http://www.samplereality.com/
Santos, M. Insignificant Wranglings http://insignificantwrangler.blogspot.com/
Sayers, J. Listening to Repeating http://www.jenterysayers.com/
Schaffner, S. Metaspencer http://metaspencer.blogspot.com/
Schell, E. Eastcoast-Westcoast http://eastcoast-westcoast.blogspot.com/
Schirmer, J. Against Multiphrenia http://betajames.net/
Schott, B. Schott’s Vocab http://schott.blogs.nytimes.com/
Skallerup, L. College Ready Writing http://collegereadywriting.blogspot.com/
Smith, K. Weblogs in Higher Education http://www.mchron.net/site/edublog.php
Spangenberg, L. IT: Instructional Technology http://www.lisaspangenberg.com/it/
Spinuzzi, C. Spinuzzi http://spinuzzi.blogspot.com/
Stedman, K. Transmedia Me http://transmediame.wordpress.com/
Strate, L. Lance Strate’s Blog Time Passing http://lancestrate.blogspot.com/
Sullivan, J. Free to Write http://freetowrite.com/
T
Taylor, K. Fragment/Framework http://trauthke.wordpress.com/
Trauman, R. Digital Bibliography http://ryantrauman.com/blog/
Tryon, C. The Chutry Experiment http://www.chutry.wordherders.net/wp/
Ttrettien, W. Diapsalmata http://blog.whitneyannetrettien.com/
U
V
W
Walter, J. Machina Memorialis http://www.jpwalter.com/machina/
Ward, J. This Public Address 3.0 http://www.thispublicaddress.com/
Williams, G. WorkBook http://workbook.wordherders.net/
Wittig, & Marino WRT: Writer Response Theory http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/
Wolff, B. Composing Spaces http://williamwolff.org/
X
Y
Z

II. Open Publication, Institutional, & Field Resources

AAAL American Association for Applied Linguists http://www.aaal.org/
ACH Web Association for Computers & Humanities http://www.ach.org/
ACJ American Communication Journal http://www1.appstate.edu/orgs/acjournal/index.htm
AEPL Assembly of Expanded Perspectives Learning https://www.sworps.tennessee.edu/aepl/index.html
AERA American Educational Research Association http://www.aera.net/
Assessing Writing Assessing Writing international Journal http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620369/description#description
ATD Across the Disciplines http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/archives.cfm?showatdarchives=atd
AWE Acedemic Writing in English http://sana.tkk.fi/awe/
BALEAP British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes http://www.baleap.org.uk/
Basic Composition BasicComposition.com http://www.basiccomposition.com/
Basic Writing E-Journal Basic Writing E-Journal http://orgs.tamu-commerce.edu/BWe/index.htm
Bazerman, C. Charles Bazerman http://education.ucsb.edu/bazerman/
BBC BC British Council on Writing http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/writing
Bedford Take 20 Taylor’s: 22 Writing Teachers Film http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/catalog/static/bsm/take20/
BSU Word Works Word Works: Short Essays on Teach Writing http://www.boisestate.edu/wcenter/wordworks.html
BUOWL Bogazici University Online Writing Lab http://www.buowl.boun.edu.tr/
CAI Center for Academic Integrity http://www.academicintegrity.org/
CASDW Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse & Writing http://www.cs.umanitoba.ca/~casdw/
CATE California Teachers of English http://www.cateweb.org/
CCCC Conference on College Composition Comm. http://www.ncte.org/cccc/ccc/
CCCOA The CCC Online Archive http://www.inventio.us/ccc/
CCCS Communication & Critical Cultural Studies http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713684641
Changing English Changing English Studies in Culture & Educ. http://www.tandfdc.com/journals/titles/1358684X.asp
CiEL Currents in Electronic Literacy http://currents.cwrl.utexas.edu/
CIER Contemporary Issues in Education Research http://www.cluteinstitute-onlinejournals.com/archives/journals.cfm?Journal=Contemporary%20Issues%20in%20Education%20Research
Citation Project The Citation Project: Preventing Plagiarism http://citationproject.net/index.html
CITE Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education http://www.aace.org/pubs/cite/
CLJ Community Literacy Journal http://www.communityliteracy.org/index.php/clj
CMC Computer Mediated Communication http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/
Composition Forum CompForum http://compositionforum.com/
Computers & Composition Computers & Composition Online http://www.bgsu.edu/cconline/
Computers & Writing Computers & Writing http://computersandwriting.org/
CTech. Campus Technology http://campustechnology.com/home.aspx
Currents in Electronic Literacy Digital Writing & Research Lab http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/currents/
DHC Digital Humanities Conference https://dh2011.stanford.edu/
Diagramming Sentences Sentence Diagrams: by Moutoux, E. http://www.german-latin-english.com/basicdiagrams.htm
Digital Culture Books Digital Culture Books http://www.digitalculture.org/
Digital Ethnography Digital Ethnography at Kansas State http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/
Discourse & Society Discourse & Society http://das.sagepub.com/
Discourse Processes Journal for the Society of Text & Discourse http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/0163853X.asp
Discourse Studies Discourse Studies http://dis.sagepub.com/
DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals http://www.doaj.org/
Doctoral Consortium in Rhetoric and Composition Doctoral Consortium in Rhet’Comp http://www.cws.illinois.edu/rc_consortium/index.html
E4.Thai English for Thai.com http://english-for-thais-2.blogspot.com/
EATAW European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing http://www.eataw.eu/
ECAC Electronic Communication Across the Curriculum http://wordsworth2.net/projects/ecac/ecacbk1.htm
ELTeCS English Language Teaching Contacs Scheme http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/eltecs
EM English Matters http://englishmatters.gmu.edu/
Enculturation Enculturation http://enculturation.gmu.edu/
ESP Journal Journal of English for Specific Purposes http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=PublicationURL&_cdi=5986&_auth=y&_acct=C000022859&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=521817&_pubType=J&md5=f2cfafa7fa21a35ef7640b956227997d
EWCA European Writing Centers Association http://ewca.sabanciuniv.edu/eng/
FYHC First Year Honors Composition http://www.fyhc.info/index.htm
GCIL Georgia Conference on Information Literacy http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/conted/infolit.html
GMU Inventio Inventio: Creative Thinking on Teaching http://doit.gmu.edu//inventio/
Hacker, D. Research and Documentation Online http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/resdoc5e/
HDG Humanist Discussion Group http://www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist/
IEEE IEEE Professional Communication Society http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/pcs/
IJOC International Journal of Communication http://ijoc.org/ojs/index.php/ijoc/index
IMD Interactive Media Division http://interactive.usc.edu/
InkShed: CASLL Canadian Association for the Study of Language & Learning http://www.stthomasu.ca/inkshed/
Inside HigherEd Inside Higher Ed. http://www.insidehighered.com/
ITESLJ The Internet TESL Journal http://iteslj.org/
IWCA International Writing Centers Association http://writingcenters.org/
IWCA: Videos IWCA: Videos & Podcasts http://writingcenters.org/links/podcasts/
JAC Journal of Advanced Composition http://www.jacweb.org/
JACR Journal of Applied Communication Research http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rjac
JDC Journal of Design Communication http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JDC/
JEAP Journal of English for Academic Purposes http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/622440/description#description
JoTW Journal of Teaching Writing http://www.iupui.edu/~jtw/
JOWR Journal of Writing Research http://www.jowr.org/current.html
JSLW Journal of Second Langauge Writing http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620372/description#description
JTWC Journal of Technical Writing & Communication http://www.baywood.com/journals/previewjournals.asp?id=0047-2816
Kairos Kairos http://english.ttu.edu/Kairos/
KB Journal Kenneth Burke Journal http://www.kbjournal.org/node
Language in Society Journal of Language in Society http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=lsy
LILAC GROUP Learning Information Literacy Across the Curriculum http://lilac-group.blogspot.com/2009/03/invitation-to-participate-lilac-project.html
LLC Journal of Literary & Linguistic Computing http://llc.oxfordjournals.org/
LORE Journal of SD State “Practitioner Lore” http://rhetoric.sdsu.edu/lore/lore.html
MLA Modern Language Association http://www.mla.org/
NCTE National Council Teachers of English http://www.ncte.org/
NCTE, CE College English http://www.ncte.org/journals/ce
NCTE, CNP Classroom Notes Plus http://www.ncte.org/journals/cnp
NCTE, EE English Education http://www.ncte.org/journals/ee
NCTE, EJ English Journal http://www.ncte.org/journals/ej
NCTE, ELQ English Leadership Quarterly http://www.ncte.org/journals/elq
NCTE, LA Language Arts http://www.ncte.org/journals/la
NCTE, National Gallery NCTE National Day of Writing Gallery http://www.galleryofwriting.org/contribute.php
NCTE, RTE Research in the Teaching of English http://www.ncte.org/journals/rte
NCTE, ST School Talk http://www.ncte.org/journals/st
NCTE, TETYC Teaching English in the Two Year College http://www.ncte.org/journals/tetyc
NCTE, TP Talking Points http://www.ncte.org/journals/tp
NCTE, VM Voices from the Middle http://www.ncte.org/journals/vm
NetPoetic NetPoetic: Digital Poetry & Electronic Literature http://netpoetic.com/about/
NewJour NewJour: Directory of Electronic Journals http://old.library.georgetown.edu/newjour/toc.html
NOORDSTER University of Groningen: Communication Skills in Higher Education http://www.rug.nl/noordster/index
NWP National Writing Project http://www.nwp.org/
NWP E-Voice NWP’s: Journal E-Voice http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/doc/resources/e_voice.csp
OWJ Open Words Journal http://www.pearsoncomppro.com/open_words_journal/index.php
OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
Pedagogy Journal of Pedagogy http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ped/
Philosophy & Rhetoric Journal of Philosophy & Rhetoric http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/par/
Plagiary Plagiary http://www.plagiary.org/
Pre/Text Pre/Text: The First Decade http://books.google.com/books?id=BbOyc31qUckC&pg=PA312&lpg=PA312&dq=vitanza+pre/text&source=bl&ots=AXQJTDPFtR&sig=_kcugC4pV6jxNY1RgPz2DaEm2Pc&hl=en&ei=z-fWTabKF8HIgQeMgLnBBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
Present Tense Present Tense: Journal of Rhetoric in Society http://www.presenttensejournal.org/
Programmatic Perspectives Programmatic Perspectives http://www.cptsc.org/pp/index.html
Prose Studies Journal of Prose Studies http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/01440357.asp
Rethinking Schools Rethinking Schools http://www.rethinkingschools.org/index.shtml
RhetNet RhetNet http://wac.colostate.edu/rhetnet/
Rhetoric & Public Affairs Journal of Rhetoric & Public Affairs http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/rap/
Rhetoric Review Rhetoric Review http://www.rhetoricreview.com/
Rhetorica Journal of the History of Rhetoric http://ucpressjournals.com/journalSoc.asp?j=rh
RSQ Rhetoric Society Quarterly http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t716100769
Russell, D. David R. Russell http://www.public.iastate.edu/~drrussel/drresume.html
Scholars Interviews and Workshops http://www.basiccomposition.com/SCHOLARS.html
SCWCA South Central Writing Centers Association http://www.ualr.edu/scwca/
TCQ Technical Communication Quarterly http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/1057-2252.asp
TEI Text Encoding Initiative http://www.tei-c.org/index.xml
TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/index.asp
TESOL Quarterly TESOL Quarterly http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=209&DID=1679
TEXT TEXT Journal of Writing & Writing Courses http://www.textjournal.com.au/
TFJ The Fibreculture Journal http://fibreculturejournal.org/
The Chronicle THe Chronicle of Higher Education http://chronicle.com/section/Home/5
The Chronicle ProfHacker ProfHacker http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/
The Chronicle Wired Wired Campus http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/
The Commons Academic Commons http://www.academiccommons.org/
The JUMP Journal for Undergrad. Multimedia Projects http://jump.dwrl.utexas.edu/about
Transliteracy TransLiteracy: Electronic Literature http://nlabnetworks.typepad.com/transliteracy/
TWI The Writing Instructor http://www.writinginstructor.com/
UEfAP Using English for Academic Purposes http://www.uefap.com/
WAC AW Archives Academic.Writing Archives http://wac.colostate.edu/aw/
WAC Clearinghouse WAC Clearinghouse Colorado State http://wac.colostate.edu/
WLL Journal of Written Language & Literacy http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_seriesview.cgi?series=WL%26L
WPA Council of Writing Program Administrators http://wpacouncil.org/
WPA Journal Journal of Writing Program Administration http://wpacouncil.org/node/1812
WRAB Writing Research Across Borders Conference http://www.writing.ucsb.edu/wrconf11/
Writing Centers WCRP Writing Centers Research Project http://casebuilder.rhet.ualr.edu/wcrp/
Writing Lab Newsletter The Writing Lab Newsletter Archives http://www.writinglabnewsletter.org/new/
Written Communication Written Communication http://wcx.sagepub.com/
WWoB Words Without Borders http://wordswithoutborders.org/
Xchanges Xchanges Newsletter http://infohost.nmt.edu/~xchanges/
Young Scholars Gallery Young Scholars in Writing Gallery http://www.galleryofwriting.org/galleries/50359
Young Scholars Writing Young Scholars in Writing http://www.bk.psu.edu/Academics/Degrees/26432.htm
Zeitschrift Zeitschrift Schreiben http://www.zeitschrift-schreiben.eu/cgi-bin/joolma/

III. Job Search Sites

AcademicJobs Academic Jobs Wiki http://academicjobs.wikia.com/wiki/Academic_Jobs_Wiki
ADE Association of Departments of English Job List http://www.ade.org/jil/index.htm
California CC’s California Community Colleges http://www.cccco.edu/
Community College Community College Jobs http://www.communitycollegejobs.com/
HASTAC Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Collaboratory http://www.hastac.org/forum/23
HigherEd HigherEd Jobs http://www.higheredjobs.com/
IWCA International Writing Centers Association Jobs http://writingcenters.org/category/positions/
The Chronicle of HigherEd The Chronicle of Higher Ed. Jobs http://chronicle.com/section/Jobs/61/
WPA WPA Job Board http://wpacouncil.org/job-board

IV. Historical Figures & Research in Composition/Rhetoric

Comppile Composition Founders http://compfaqs.org/CompositionFounders/HomePage
Moffett, J. James Moffett Consortium http://jamesmoffettstudies.ning.com/

V. Language Parsing (Open-Source Research Tools)

Concordance Text Based Concordances http://www.lextutor.ca/concordancers/text_concord/
Reed-Kellogg Reed-Kellogg Sentence Diagrammer Online http://1aiway.com/nlp4net/services/enparser/
Sen-Draw Sen-Draw Sentence Diagrams http://www.sendraw.ucf.edu/
Thomson Rueters HistCite http://thomsonreuters.com/products_services/science/science_products/a-z/histcite/
UsingEnglish UsingEnglish.com http://www.usingenglish.com/resources/text-statistics.php
Wordle Wordle http://www.wordle.net/

VI. Bibliographies

Bedford Bibliography The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/catalog/static/bsm/bb/contents.html
CompPile WPA-CompPile Research Bibliographies http://comppile.org/wpa/bibliographies/index.php
Howard, R. Bibliographies for Composition and Rhetoric http://wrt-howard.syr.edu/bibs.html

VII. Longitudinal Writing Research

Denver Denver Longitudinal Study of Writing http://www.du.edu/writing/ls.html
PAW Professional Academic Writing in a Global Context http://creet.open.ac.uk/projects/paw/
PIL Project Information Literacy http://projectinfolit.org/about/
Stanford Stanford Study of Writing http://ssw.stanford.edu/