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Digital Literacies in FYC Classrooms: Enhancing Understanding, Engagement, and Transfer


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The curriculum we use at the University of Central Florida, Writing about Writing, can be intimidating to students because they are expected to read, understand, and enact difficult theoretical concepts in composition and writing studies. Rather than attempting to teach students “how to write,” our curriculum focuses on teaching students transferrable concepts about writing, so they can apply this knowledge outside of the composition classroom. Some of the criticism of this curriculum has centered around the idea that introducing students to theoretical writing concepts by having them read scholarship in the field of rhetoric and composition may be overly complex and may limit the engagement and understanding of first-year writing students. We suggest that incorporating students’ existing digital literacies into the composition classroom may increase the success of writing-concept transfer into students’ future writing situations.

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Digital Literacies in FYC Classrooms: Enhancing Understanding, Engagement, and Transfer

  1. 1. Digital Literacies in FYC Classrooms Laura Martinez
 Leslie Wolcott @LeslieSue
 Chris Friend @chris_friend
  2. 2. Transfer in Composition
  3. 3. Transfer in Our Curriculum
  4. 4. Digital Literacies in FYC Previous Writing Experience Future Writing Situations
  5. 5. Example Assignments Background In this unit, we discussed how writers and readers play an active role in constructing texts and making meaning. We read Grant-Davie’s exploration of rhetorical situations, and Haas and Flower demonstrated that understanding the rhetorical situation is central to actively engaging and creating texts. We then also discussed how meaning is created by looking at commercials, ads, and political cartoons (remember the President sketches and Jersey Shore cartoons?). After this initial introduction, we discussed how rhetorical situations apply to writing constructs, which Downs and Wardle define as “mental frameworks that people build in order to make sense of the world around them” (35). We read articles discussing constructs such as plagiarism (Parry; Porter; Wittacker), and discussed how these constructs are so embedded in our education that they may seem “natural” or inevitable. RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF WRITING CONSTRUCTS ENC 1101/Martinez Fall 2011 Unit 2 Assignment By combining your ability to read and write rhetorically with your understanding of constructs and rhetorical situations, this assignment asks you to rhetorically analyze (using Grant- Davie and Haas and Flower) 2-3 texts discussing one writing construct. In class, we will develop a list of constructs. As we do, you may consider jotting them down here: Objectives - To understand how readers and writers construct texts - To recognize and understand common misconceptions about writing - To analyze misconceptions about writing through what we learn in this unit regarding rhetorical situation and constructs - To practice using scholarly sources to construct an argument - To synthesize your ideas into a nuanced analysis ? Wolcott ENC 1101 ENC 1101 Assignment 2: Writing Self-Study Objective: Observe, study, then understand, analyze, and communicate information about your own writing habits and practices. How-to There are two options for this paper. One is about the writing work you do over the course of a week, and the second is about the process that happens as you write a single essay. The purpose of writing this essay (both Option A and Option B) is to understand how and why you write, and if there are any changes that you might make to your writing process to improve your writing outcomes. Both of these options are very challenging, but we will spend a lot of time in class working on small steps of the assignment. Option A: Writing Practices Self-Study Write The goal with option A is to study your writing practices. In addition to your regular reading journals for the class, you’ll read and compose journal responses for an additional reading in Chapter two: either the Tierney and Pearson article or the Berkentotter article. Study your habits and practices In this project you will consider your writing habits over time--over the length of an entire week. As you move through the week, try to take note of every time you are doing writing/reading "work," whether it is for school, for a job, for fun or family. The aim here is to see if there are times when you work best; situations where you do certain kinds of work, and how you feel about your own writing work. Gather Data: How-To For a one week period, keep a journal that records, on a regular period (say, hourly) the writing activities you are doing. An observation log might look something like what is shown below. As you observe, you might find that you wish to add columns. Your observation log should aim to gather a lot of information, but it does not necessarily need to be identical to the one I’m sharing here. (Date) Name of activity (What were you doing?) Intensity (how hard were you working/ concentrating/thing?) 1-5 scale with 5 being the most work Affect (how did you feel about the work?, on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best feeling) Productivity (how much do you feel like you did, on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the most) Media (on what kind of media were you working? i.e. laptop, mobile phone, paper, etc) Was this task completed without interruption? If no, what were interrupting factors? 9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. read bio textbook 4 3 3 textbook no; phone call and texts
  6. 6. Leslie Wolcott
  7. 7. Writing Process
  8. 8. Study Methodology
  9. 9. Chris Friend
  10. 10. Library Resources
  11. 11. April Community The purpose of this page is to inform High School student bodies about the leading causes of plagiarism, and to instruct students on how to avoid plagiarism. About Photos 37 Likes Highlights Now April Founded Stand Against Plagiarism shared a link. Tuesday, April 10 at 10:14pm Make sure you are prepared! The best way to eliminate plagiarism is to prepare for the future and pratice, pratice, Stand Against Plagiarism shared a link. Tuesday, April 10 at 10:05pm This stuff gets pretty serious! lol Create a PageCreate a Page Liked MessageStand Against Plagiarism 37 likes · 1 talking about this Chris Friend HomeSearch Account Settings Plagiarism Prevention
  12. 12. Community About Photos 45 Likes Highlights Now April 1 Friend Likes High School to College: Traumatic Brain Injury Recent Posts by Others See All Kimberly Masse Create a PageCreate a Page Liked MessageHigh School to College: Traumatic Brain Injury 45 likes · 1 talking about this Write something... Post Photo / Video Chris Friend HomeSearch Account Settings Traumatic Brain Injury Photos 45 Likes Liked Messagec
  13. 13. Laura Martinez
  14. 14. Discourse Communities
  15. 15. Writing Constructs
  16. 16. Implications
  17. 17. Thank You.