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Teaching undergraduates to compose and assess scholarly multimedia.
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Teaching undergraduates to compose and assess scholarly multimedia.

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A presentation given by Dr. Cheryl E. Ball on September 4, 2010, at the Academic Literacies conference in Lille, France. …

A presentation given by Dr. Cheryl E. Ball on September 4, 2010, at the Academic Literacies conference in Lille, France.

In this presentation, I discuss an undergraduate writing class where students learn to read, peer review, and write their own digital scholarship that draws on multiple media and modes of production (audio, video, graphics, written text, HTML, etc.) to enact their arguments. I describe how students transfer their alphabetic writing processes to multimedia, using example projects and reflections to show their learning.


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  • 1. Teaching Undergraduates to Compose and Assess Scholarly Multimedia Dr. Cheryl E. Ball Editor, Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy Associate Professor of New Media Studies, Dept. of English Illinois State University, USA cball@ilstu.edu | ceball.com
  • 2. Multimodal Literacies
    • linguistic (delivery, vocab, logos, etc.)
    • aural (music, sound effects, …)
    • visual (colors, perspective, …)
    • gestural (body, kinesics, feeling/affect, …)
    • spatial (eco/geosystems, architecture, …)
    • any combination = multimodal
    (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000, p. 26)
  • 3. Publishing Scholarly Multimedia http://kairos.technorhetoric.net
  • 4. A Course in Scholarly Multimedia
    • Illinois State  “Multimodal Composition”
    • (for undergraduates in any major)
  • 5. Sequence of Assignments
    • literature reviews/responses
    • venue/publication analysis
    • audience analysis
    • genre analysis
    • media & modes analysis
    • project pitch proposal
    • collaborative scholarly multimodal project
    • peer-review analysis
    • submission emails
  • 6. Establishing Peer-Review Criteria
    • Read and analyze scholarly multimedia
    • Read and analyze other digital media texts
    • Apply existing heuristics for evaluating scholarly multimedia to published texts
    • Test those heuristics by analyzing unpublished scholarly multimedia texts
    • Choose which heuristics work best, add others (if necessary)
    • Use revised heuristic to workshop each others’ texts in class
  • 7. Three Established Heuristics…
    • Institute for Multimedia Literacy @ University of Southern California (USA)
    • conceptual core
    • research component
    • form//content
    • creative realization
    • (Kuhn, 2008)
  • 8. Three Established Heuristics…
    • Manifesto Special Issue @ Kairos
    • readership
    • form
    • media
    • response
    • (DeWitt & Ball, 2008)
  • 9. Three Established Heuristics…
    • “ Assessing Scholarly Webtexts” in Kairos
    • content
    • web-based allowances
    • emerging conventions
    • (Warner, 2007)
  • 10. Student-Chosen Heuristic
    • creativity
    • conceptual core
    • research/credibility
    • form : content
    • audience
    • timeliness
  • 11. Student’s Scholarly Multimedia
  • 12. Students’ Reflections http://alwasowicz.wordpress.com/project-reflection/

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