WRT302: Digital Writing
Fall 2006 | Section MO1 | MW 12:45-2:05 | Syllabus | Syracuse University

Writing Program Upper Division Course Evaluations

Instructor: Derek Mueller                    Course & Section: WRT302: Digital Writing (M001)

1. Account briefly for one or two of the ways in which WRT302 involved you in using new and emerging networked applications for research and writing.

  1. The 1st project was an excellent way to show the students web 2.0 apps. For me it was educational both in use of certain apps and in knowledge.
  2. I learned about bloglines, blogging, and generally became more aware of new & emerging sites/trends available on the internet.
  3. WRT302 taught me a lot in general about using networked apps., I entered with no real prior knowledge of anything. It taught me alot about comp.
  4. We learned and used a variety of Web 2.0 applications, one being MT where were asked to keep an ongoing class blog.
  5. Hyperlinked resources & delicious as a scholarly organizational tool.
  6. Many of the projects we worked on applied new and useful applications that we went over in class. iMovie was my personal favorite.
  7. WRT302 combined my backgrounds in writing and technology and helped me explore writing in a new dynamic environment.
  8. We started off studying the terms of new technologies that related to digital writing. This eased us into some new ways to write instead of the old fashioned paper and pen method. We then started blog accounts in which opened my eyes to the great potential of Katamari learning and balling all the knowledge of the internet in order for easy processing. The segment on photography [illegible] me on the different ways people appeal to photographs.
  9. I actually learned of, about, and how to use multiple applications throughout this course: wikis, Moveable Type, Tabblo, bloglines, del.icio.us, to name a few. We used them for readings, installments, and projects, and learned about more via others’ projects.
  10. We used applications which I’ve never heard of. We researched on them and presented them to the rest of the class.
  11. I was totally unfamiliar with blogging before the class. Now it is easy, similar with online mapping (Wayfaring) but less so in exploring larger applications such as Garageband, etc.

2. Which specific applications or technical processes (FTP, uploading images, HTML) were most valuable for you throughout the course?

  1. Learning how to upload images and other types of media for the blog was really cool.
  2. The blogging—including images, etc.
  3. Uploading images and text.
  4. Uploading images/files, etc. I worked a lot with images in my projects so it was important that I know how to upload them onto a computer.
  5. Knowledge of Mac OS X.
  6. FTP and uploading images.  Without these two the projects would have been very difficult.
  7. HTML helped reinforce my comprehension of the language.
  8. Flickr, Tabblo, Movable Type, del.icio.us.
  9. I really enjoyed learning to use Tabblo, bloglines, iMovie, and audio applications/sites like Odeo. FTP was useful—for finally understanding the process behind it all.
  10. Uploading images and blogging was valuable to me.
  11. Uploading images, editing software, Garageband, Audacity.

3. Briefly discuss your sense of the pace and rigor of the course. To what extent were the readings, assignments and technical expectations reasonable and appropriate in your view for an upper division writing course?

  1. To be honest, I thought the amount of readings and assignments to be on the easy side for a 300 level course. However the ease in readings and assignments allows for more time for the bigger projects.
  2. I found a lot of the readings obscure and really did not pay much attention to them. I had the conception that a class entitled “Digital Writing” would have included more writing—I was unaware of his idea of “Digital Writing.” I thought we’d be learning more about constructing personal web sites.
  3. I felt the readings were reasonable & at times a little challenging but always worth it.
  4. I feel that all assignments were reasonable and the pace was fine. Personally it was hard for me to keep up w/ blogs due to workload in other classes. Blogs weren’t a top priority. Readings I found sometimes hard to understand or hard to apply to class projects @ times.
  5. Good pace and amount.
  6. The readings were appropriate but not very useful to the [illegible].
  7. Very appropriate.
  8. I love the different authors and writers we read up on. I got to read pieces from a great dj (dj spooky) which showed us the bare essentials of how music should move and appeal to us and to others I was unfamiliar with such as [illegible]. All reading, writing, and assignments and the blog assignment let us communicate about assignments, problems and [illegible] ideas.
  9. I thought the workload was reasonable for an upper-level course, especially since it was up to us as students to keep up with the schedule, blog entries, etc. Derek’s flexibility helped to make the projects interesting instead of overwhelming.
  10. The readings and assignments were all at an even pace. Although the assignments were very general.
  11. The readings seemed somewhat wordy and needlessly complex for a simple overall message. The applications used: blogging, mapping, photo, sound, etc. were good, but more could have been done to implement each section (more time on technical projects, less blogging). The difficulty was about right, but the way in which the work was broken down made it more difficult.

4. Identify one piece of assigned reading as your favorite. Identify one piece of assigned reading as your least favorite. Briefly explain each of your choices.

  1. The readings about social networks was very interesting because it seemed so relevant to today’s society. The reading about stadium/punctum was a little over my head, but that is due to my lack of knowledge in that field.
  2. I truthfully cannot think of the different pieces we read. Maybe the piece on the blogosphere was most interesting.
  3. I liked the studium & punctum reading b/c it was really interesting. I didn’t like the Katamari interface b/c I didn’t understand it at all really.
  4. ---
  5. Katamari Damacy least favorite, poorly organized. Wired articles rock.
  6. Phillip Ball’s piece was very interesting.  I didn’t like the piece about DJing. It bored me and didn’t seem useful.
  7. The video editing piece was my favorite. The one about punctum was my least.
  8. DJ Spooky reading—probably because I never expected to read his stuff in class. Some of the reading material in the reader was bland.
  9. I liked the Roland Barthes piece because it drove so much of that unit, and it was nice to see theory pieces broken up into manageable portions.  My least favorite
  10. I enjoyed reading the pieces on Camera Lucida. That was very interesting. As well as the Phillip Ball piece. The stuff we read at the beginning of the semester like Web 2.0 stuff was kind of boring.
  11. Barthes was terrible. DJ Spooky was the best/worst. Much like the course it had a solid easy-to-understand message that sometimes seemed overly philosophical and needlessly complex to a generation that already takes internet-generation tech for granted.

5. Would you recommend WRT302 to someone you know?  On what basis?  What would be your primary reason for recommending or not recommending the course to another person?

  1. I would if they liked to work with computers. One of my roommates saw the projects I was working on in this class and thought that they were cool.
  2. I would recommend this class to those who are interested in new up & coming sites, programs, technology.
  3. I would recommend this course to someone who is interested in comp. based writing.
  4. I would recommend this class because it teaches writing in a whole different perspective.  It’s not your traditional type of writing class but it is geared towards following todays constantly changing technology.
  5. Yes. Its fun and applicable to other things going on (songmaking, etc.).
  6. Yes—it would be fun and very useful as technology continues to improve.
  7. Yes. Such a unique and beneficial course. But the readings didn’t always fit.
  8. Definitely. A very different class, opens your mind to more than typical school processes.
  9. Absolutely. It’s a good course for someone already versed in technology and Web 2.0 as for someone who isn’t.
  10. I would recommend this course for those that are already savvy with computers. I think it may be good for those that want to learn new applications on a Mac as well.
  11. I would recommend it to someone who needed some technical internet skills in relation to writing digitally, but not to someone who wanted to learn about the societal/philosophical implications for said skills.

6. WRT302 this term emphasized logics of collection, annotation, association, juxtaposition, layering, mixing, and loops. As you conclude the courser, do certain items in the list make more sense to you than others? Are you satisfied that these logics are reflected in the range of digital writing practices you enacted this semester?

  1. Finding things and their associations was something I wasn’t very experienced in, prior to this course. However this course helped me understand the practices behind them.
  2. They all make more sense to me now, especially after the Katamari Damacy project. That was basically the essence of the course, and was helpful in understanding what to expect from the course.
  3. I like the way everything comes together towards the end. Everything we’ve learned can finally be collaborated into one very cool project.
  4. Yes—I have definitely gained better knowledge of these terms and applications. I am happy w/ the end results and what I have taken from this class.
  5. Yes.
  6. All but loops seemed important, fun, and necessary to the class.  They were all great.
  7. I am very satisfied.
  8. I understand all terms and the associations they had with the projects we completed.
  9. Collection, annotation, association, and juxtaposition strike me the most favorably at the end of this course—I can see elements of our discussion in so much of the web, now. Mixing and loops are somewhat less powerful to me, now, but only at first glance.
  10. Yes, the projects that we submitted throughout the semester covered all of these things I believe.
  11. It makes some sense, but it would have been more satisfying if there was a way to link together the projects somehow.

7. What is the most significant thing you have learned in this course?

  1. How to use some computer applications.
  2. Collaboration in the internet is kind of fascinating to me.
  3. I learned that just as people evolve so are our digital capabilities. This idea can only be used to further bring us together.
  4. That technology is constantly changing the world of writing and in order to keep up one must be willing to embrace and work with it as much as we can.
  5. Following multimedia endeavors to completion.
  6. I would say HTML.  It is important in this “digital age.”
  7. iMovie.
  8. Stay creative, understand that there are a lot of uses of new tech processes and a lot is to be learned through unconventional learning.
  9. The sheer magnitude of the online world of writing—and the implications of that giant scope.
  10. I learned about the different applications that I never knew before and it was interesting. I may use them after this course is over.
  11. ---

8.  Which two or three activities or practices work best in this course (e.g., the assignments, class discussion, readings, presentations, collaborative work, research, use of computer technology, etc.)? Why?

  1. One of the better parts of the class is that we had class in the computer lab almost every day. That definitely helped me with the projects, and also gave the class a bit more of a layed back feeling.
  2. I like project III, I liked blogging although sometimes it was tedious, and I enjoyed the project about different sites on the web because otherwise I would have never known about them.
  3. Collaborative work and class discussion. It helps people get to know each other and projects and class discussion are more in depth.
  4. Class discussion—get other’s point of view on readings, projects, etc. –Ability to openly communicate w/ the teacher encourages input and flexibility for change.
  5. Use of computer tech—hands on skills.
  6. Projects and use of computers.  They mad the class fun and exciting.
  7. Presentations and assignments.
  8. Presentations, computer tech, ---
  9. It all works together very effectively, I think. Talking about the readings in class—and not shying away from wherever the discussion goes—helped my understanding of the pieces, and discussing sections in groups or pairs was also helpful. The projects were evenly spaced and very new, nice formats and not too overwhelming. Project I with tutorials—I found especially significant.
  10. Blogs were a good touch to the course. It created a community outside the classroom.
  11. Use of computer tech.

9. What changes would you recommend to this course?  Please explain.

  1. None.
  2. I would change the name of the course because it’s a little misleading to those who may take its title literally.  I’d also like more structure—I understand that he wanted us to be free and just “go” with projects, but sometimes that was harder.
  3. I would add a little more structure b/c the freedom to do whatever is cool but sometimes it can be quite overwhelming.
  4. Shorter evaluation form.
  5. More projects. Less classroom stuff like early on.
  6. Less readings. They took away from the more fun activities in the course.
  7. Less focus on readings.
  8. More hands-on assignments. More tinkering with photos, layouts, movies, photography, music, free form writing.
  9. The changes all occurred—definitive deadlines for wiki entries, for example, to keep them from sliding through the cracks of our minds, was a good change. The course blog had its moments, but it is difficult to be insightful and culturally critical and academic without thinking that your being boring (even if it’s not!). The frequency of the posts—though not too much to ask—also led to the brief updates on weather, etc., I think, when people realized that they were short an entry or two for the week.
  10. Be more specific about projects. Like if all students chose one topic and we came up with our own touch to it.
  11. The readings and the blogging took away from the three main projects, which could all have a great deal more potential. The projects need to be refined more.

10.  What was challenging about this course?  Why?

  1. The projects were challenging because they were the major points of focus.
  2. Getting to think about writing in a different sense—visually, orally, audibly…
  3. The beginning and figuring out what was expected of you.
  4. Jumping right in to using new technology/applications in a limited amount of time to create work. It encouraged experimentation and taking risks.
  5. Blogging on time.
  6. Nothing. It was a lot of fun.
  7. Using Mac’s so much.
  8. I liked how we had to be organized and on track of on-going assignments along with major assignments.
  9. The course was challenging in a good way—new technologies, applications, and a very different format than a standard WRT or ETS class—the new tech and apps I learned I will use beyond this course.
  10. Some applications were difficult to understand because we really didn’t go through them before using it.
  11. ---

Teacher Professionalism:

11. My teacher:

1. treats students respectfully yes (11) no (0) not sure (0)
2. supports student learning yes (11) no (0) not sure (0)
3. is available to discuss the course work yes (10) no (0) not sure (1)
4. grades students fairly yes (8) no (0) not sure (3)
5. is open to student views yes (10) no (0) not sure (1)
6. responds to student work in a timely fashion yes (11) no (0) not sure (0)
7. is prepared for class yes (11) no (0) not sure (0)
8. uses class time effectively yes (9) no (0) not sure (2)
9. challenges me to think and write better yes (6) no (2) not sure (3)
10. knows a lot about the subject of the course yes (11) no (0) not sure (0)
11. creates a challenging classroom environment yes (8) no (0) not sure (3)

12. Select (at least) two answers from above and explain each in more detail.

  1. Sometimes it feels like class time is wasted, but that is mainly due to technical computer problems. Although this class forced me to think and “write” differently it had little impact on my academic writing.
  2. Mueller was always interested in our opinions of readings, etc. It was clear he wanted us involved in thinking differently. It’s also very clear he knows a lot about what he teaches, and he’s clearly passionate about.
  3. I found that if I needed help outside of class Derek was available and he knows alot about the subject so I always thought deeper about things.
  4. Always available to discuss. Very responsive to e-mails, answers are clear and helpful. Very thorough in teaching about all applications and readings. Clearly explains everything and is willing to help understand things better if needed.
  5. ---
  6. Preparedness and openness were two great, helpful qualities.
  7. Excellent professor who is very knowledgeable on course topics.
  8. I never visited him outside of class. I thought I deserve a high grade on some assignments.
  9. Is open to student views—discussions in class are real discussions rather than excuses for the professor to lecture without much interruption, as in many classes. Uses class time effectively—appropriate # of “work days” for projects without there being too many.
  10. I don’t know how challenging the course work could be because it was very general. I feel if it were more structured in what we were doing we would do better.
  11. The class was not particularly challenging, learning the technical parts were hardest.

13. Are there other things you would like to say about the instructor or your course?

  1. Overall great & fun class with a cool and layed back instructor.
  2. Thanks for a good semester & good luck w/ everything in the future.
  3. He’s awesome & very helpful.
  4. Derek is a great instructor, helpful and insightful. I esp. like how he can help gear projects toward individual student interests.
  5. ---
  6. No.
  7. Loved the course.
  8. I appreciate this course and what he is trying to bring to the writing program. It took a lot of leg work to probably get this class going but I feel it should be a direct success.
  9. Very helpful, understanding, flexible, presented a lot of new information to tackle in manageable ways.
  10. Be a little more specific on what is expected from students.  We were really just given a structure of what should be included but the rest was left very general.
  11. The blogging needs some sort of focus rather than a self-censored personal blog of every student who must alter their life to the standards of academic writing.