Description and Overview
WRT 302 Advanced Writing Studio: Digital Writing (3 credits)
Practice in writing in digital environments. May include document and
web design, multimedia, digital video, weblogs. Introduction to a range
of issues, theories, and software applications relevant to such writing.
With the shift from the page to the screen, "writing" opens
to expanded possibilities for mixing images, text, sound, animation
and video, often in fragments. In WRT 302, we will assemble new media
texts while engaging with these exciting options available at the nexus
of composition, digital technologies, and social networks. Emphasizing
techniques of collection, cut/paste, and visual arrangement, we will
undertake a series of digital writing projects exploring specific web
sites and software, not limited to weblogs, wikis, podcasts, iMovie,
and social tagging systems such as Flickr, del.icio.us, and Facebook.
Opening lines of inquiry involve the following questions:
What is gained and lost in the transition from the page to the screen?
What are the practices and techniques we might associate with digital
writing? How do digital texts circulate? How are they read and
by whom? How are acts of digital writing implicated with choices
about navigation, links, and code? This course will also foreground
matters of invention, design, usability and accessibility.
Goals for WRT302
|Students in WRT302 will
- use new and emerging networked applications for research and writing;
- explore, analyze and use Web 2.0 applications in the composition
of digital texts;
- explore and enact the logics of collection, layering, remix, juxtaposition,
and annotation as they pertain to both ongoing and event-oriented
new media projects;
- understand the rhetorical dimensions involved in the production
and circulation of digital texts consisting of words, sounds, images,
and video, often in combination;
- adopt the conceptual framework of network studies while interacting
in a variety of digital environments and applications.
Texts and Materials
A course reader is available at The
Copy Centers in Marshall Square Mall. The reader number is 1055;
refer to this number when inquiring at the counter. Selections included
come from Camera Lucida; Small Pieces, Loosely Joined; Writing
New Media; Critical Mass; and Internet Invention.
Additional resources, PDF content and applications are available via
Other online hubs for the course can be accessed at http://electracuse.com
You will be provided with an FTP username and password early in the
Responses to Work
You will receive some form of response to all of your written work this
semester. You will also have ample opportunities to confer with me about
your projects as they develop, and I'll respond to drafts of your work
as often as you like (I'll also collect drafts from everyone periodically,
according to our course schedule). Responses are ordinarily meant to
be generative, constructive and candid; if ever the notes or marks you
find on a piece of writing seem to you to be anything less, we should
meet to chat about it.
Feel free to visit any time during posted office hours. We'll meet for
a formal conference early in the semester and, depending on the pace
and flow of the course, we'll likely meet a second time during the last
half of the semester. I generally prefer for you to set the agenda on
such occasions, although I will also have questions for you, things
to discuss, etc.
Meetings Outside of Class Time
When you are working on collaborative projects, it might be necessary
to arrange meetings outside of class time. Meeting on your own time
with group members involves flexibility and cooperation. You are welcome
to involve me if at any time you find it impossible to meet with group
members or if you feel like scheduling obstacles are interfering with
your projects and coordination.
Email and AIM
We will also use Mymail
for communicating outside class. While you may call and leave a phone
message, it's best to use email or AIM to contact me about your coursework,
to set up an appointment to meet with me outside class, or to ask a
question. With rare exceptions, I will respond to all email inquiries
within 48 hours.
Workload and Evaluations
The work involved with the course breaks down as follows:
Events - Standalone Projects (55%)
Web 2.0: App.atomies (15%)
A detailed analysis and critique of a Web 2.0 application with an
explicit focus on its function as a site of digital writing activity.
Focal sites/apps: del.icio.us, Bloglines.com, Technorati, Cite-u-like,
Logics: Database, links, design, modularity.
Writing Digital Spaces: Image and Map (20%)
A visual rendering that applies mapping techniques to a text of the
student's choosing or layers photographs and maps.
Focal sites/apps: CMap Tools, Wayfinding.com, Flickr, Rrove.
Logics: Visual/spatial arrangement, juxtaposition, geographies,
Viz/Vox Project (20%)
A collaborative documentary project involving a combination of video
and audio authoring.
Focal sites/apps: iMovie, Odeo, Audacity, Garageband, Flash, YouTube.
Logics: Time, aurality, re/mix.
Rhythms - Distributed/Ongoing Work (45%)
Weblog and Related Web 2.0 Apps (20%)
An individual or group weblog consisting of regular entries throughout
the semester. Entries will be referential; they will make gestures
of attribution, that is, through hyperlinks, formal citation, and
direct quotation. Runs for eleven weeks, from Monday, Sept. 11
through Sunday, Nov. 26.
Focal sites/apps: Blogger, Wordpress, Movable Type, Bloglines.com.
Logics: Aggregation, collection, layering, iteration and annotation.
V. Installments (15%)
A series of brief writing assignments responding to assigned readings
and evaluating online applications and resources. Included here is
a periodic contribution to the wiki for the course.
Focal sites/apps: Technorati, Google, PMWiki.
Logics: Digital ethos, network sense, collaboration, annotation.
VI. Presence, Involvement, Leadership (10%)
While attendance is a basic expectation in any course, presence, involvement,
and leadership in WRT302 is an assessment of the role you take in
class as an active, prepared, contributing member. This portion of
course credit accounts for your activity and involvement as a peer,
as a prepared and inquiring reader, and as one whose stance toward
the work of the class reflects leadership and rigor.
On Handling Multiple Pieces of Work Simultaneously
One dimension of WRT302 is learning to handle multiple project at the
same time; therefore, you will find that some of the projects overlap
and the wiki and weblog projects are ongoing--distributed throughout
the semester. This means that you will encounter at least a few organizational
challenges. Early in the semester, we will talk about systems for optimizing
the organization of a personal workload.
All graded work will be assigned a letter grade corresponding to a
Writing studios are courses in language learning, and language is learned
in communities; therefore, it is essential that you attend class. Absences
will affect your classmates' work as well as your own. Our syllabus
is only a projection and may be subject to changes and revisions as
it seems appropriate, necessary, or just interesting. That is another
reason why your attendance is vital. As a general rule, you do not
need to explain reasons for absence unless you anticipate an extended
If you anticipate an absence, you are welcome to inform me in advance,
but it is ultimately your responsibility to contact your peers and to
visit the class schedule, check email, and visit Blackboard, to inform
yourself about the work underway during the missed class session and
subsequent sessions. Missing presentations and scheduled conferences
will dramatically lower your grade.
The Rule of Ask Three
If you must miss a class, you are responsible for work assigned
or missed, so it's a good idea early in the semester to get acquainted
with three peers who will share notes or recaps of missed class
sessions. Please realize, however, that class time cannot be reconstructed
or made up, and that your performance, your work, and your final course
grade will be affected by absences.
Special Needs and Situations
Students who need special consideration because of any sort of disability
or situation should make an appointment to see me right away. You should
also refer to the Office
of Disability Services for additional information.
Use of Student Writing
It is understood that registration for and continued enrollment in this
course constitutes permission by the student for the instructor to use
any student work composed for the course.
The Writing Center
Nearly all writers benefit from interchanges and discussion; as noted
above, all forms of thoughtful feedback inform your understanding of
the ways written texts perform for various readers and, therefore, such
feedback is valuable throughout the writing process. Consultants in
the University's Writing Center are available to consult with you at
any stage of the writing process. For more information about The Writing
Center's hours of operation and instructions for scheduling an appointment,
check out the Center's web site: http://wrt.syr.edu/wc/wcintro.html.
Computers, Multimedia and Technologies
Most of the work you do for this class will require the use of computers
to design and compose documents, to save and backup your work, and to
manage file locations and names in our server spaces. Additionally,
we will be reading and engaging with sites and applications on the internet
throughout the semester. If you have any concerns about the role of
technologies in this course, you should arrange to meet with me within
the first week of classes. While we will run through a few of the basic
writing technologies in the early weeks of the course, I encourage you
to raise questions when you have them.
Computer technology provides us with an impressive range of tools and
applications for composing. Such technologies confront us with numerous
choices as well as the potential for multimedia enhancements and greater
compositional experimentation, neatness and efficiency. Nonetheless,
the sage warnings about saving your work apply. When relying on computer
technology, take appropriate steps to ensure that your work is backed
up and plan extra time, as needed, for integrating multimedia features
in your work.