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516.1 Teacher-Innovator Cookbook (50%, 50 points)

Phase I

A teacher-innovator cookbook consists of a variety of small pieces--a pedagogical bricolage--you will draft, collect, and assemble throughout the semester. You can follow the cookbook genre as closely as you like. Successful cookbooks will have at least one new item for each week of the semester, which means you will have at least 14 pieces by semester's end. If you prefer shorter pieces, there should be more of them. Average entry length will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 words. They might include any of the following:

Throughout the semester, your teacher-innovator cookbook will unfold in a public blog (which you may make anonymous or psuedonymous if you have concerns about online identity as relates to this project). I recommend you leave comments open on the entries so that readers can respond to what you are doing. We will have opportunities to read and comment on each other's work in class occassionally, and we may even have chances to create entries in class.

The teacher-innovator cookbook does not have to adhere to an especially narrow focus, but themes and patterns will probably emerge over time. Keep tabs on those patterns when you notice them because you will eventually write an overview/introduction in Phase II.

Phase II

Sometime in March, you will prepare and submit a brief proposal (200 words) that will express a plan for a slightly more organizd and coherent version of the cookbook. That is, by March, many different ideas should be steeping in the blog. In this phase, you will begin to think about selecting up to four pieces (a micro-anthology of your entries, some of which will not have been written yet). You will also begin working on an overview/introduction that sheds light on the selections while also establishing connections to one of two theoretical frameworks from the course.

You may select the four pieces using whatever rationale you choose, but you will write an overview piece (of 1500-1800 words) that introduces the collection and that situates it in relation to either 1) Stuart Selber's Mutliliteracies or 2) Grammars A, B, and <A>.

Later in the semester, I will provide further guidance concerning submission guidelines, formatting, and so on. Both phases of Project One are due on Monday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m.

The Call to Write
You might be thinking, Wow, this is too open-ended! What will I write? Why? The call to write is foremost a question of rhetorical invention: where do ideas come from? How can I come up with something? In addition to the suggestions listed above, you might want to spend some time reading other blogs, looking into how teachers, graduate students, faculty, rhetoricians, and other smart folks are using blogs.

Ignite Presentation (10%, 10 points)
Project One culminates with a presentation you will deliver to the class. Your presentation will introduce your work and share the most salient qualities of the cookbook. Presentations will accompany a Powerpoint slideshow consisting of twenty slides each set to rotate automatically after 15 seconds. Individual slides may not include more than eight words. Slides should include carefully selected, carefully sized images (i.e., these are visually intensive presentations, not text heavy slide-documents). As you present, you may use up to five index cards; however, you are strongly encouraged to present extemporaneously, working informally from memory rather than reading from a script. Watch a few Ignite presentations at the O'Reilly site or Ignite Ann Arbor.

What does an exemplary teacher-innovator cookbook reflect?

1. Evidence of rigor (e.g., inquisitive thinking about course readings, about writing done by colleagues, and about self-selected materials)
2. Evidence of a sustained, regular rhythm (e.g., intervals, such as weekliness and dailiness)
3. Evidence of connective thinking (e.g., hyperlinks and citation)
4. Evidence of experimentation (e.g., pushing at the edges of what is familiar and what is possible)

Use these four criteria to frame your account of this project in the end-of-semester Learning/Activity Inventory. If you find it helpful to do so, you can relate the criteria to the following scale:


EX: Exceptional. The writer has applied the criterion with distinction.
AC: Acceptable/meets expectations. The writer has applied the criterion to a satisfactory degree.
NI: Needs improvement. The writer has minimally applied the criterion in the project.
NA: Not applied. The writer has not applied the criterion in the project.

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2019 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"In a digital universe, word, sound, and image share a common notation. They are, at a fundamental level, convertible into one another" (465). Richard Lanham, "Implications of Electronic Information"

"These days all technology follows computer technology" (159). Kevin Kelly, What Technology Wants

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